The Vics proved too strong for WA's Black Ducks in the Championship grand final. Photo courtesy of Paige Smith, Pixpaige photography

U18 Girls Championships Finals

Monday, September 13, 2010
Victoria v Western Australia (1st v 2nd)

The first five minutes of the first ever Grand Final for U18 Youth Girls was the tight contest you'd expect with WA first to the ball or ferocious tackling Vic, allowing no space for clean possessions.

Some spectacular overhead marks were wasted in the forward 50 for both teams as they were unable to convert. Sabrina Federick, one of the youngest players at the Champs, rucked superbly to tap WA forward and give her midfielders the ascendancy. 

The Championship's leading goal scorer, Sarah Noga kicked the first goal for the black ducks.

The Vics midfield lifted in the second term and started to drive the ball forward with some authority. Mandi Watts snapped  the Vic's first goal from a pack 10 metres out from goal, typical of Watts confidence in the forward line throughout  the Champs.

This was quickly followed by some tigerish play to force the ball forward. Paterno belted one of her two match goals with an effort that clearly caught the eye of the opposition coach who tried to match up and nullify her.

Running in numbers started to prove a good tactical move for the Vics as they doggedly forced the ball into their 50 far more frequently than WA when they had the breeze. Emily Paterno kicked their third with some great run through the corridor.

WA scored their second goal at the six minute mark of the third term through some good run down the wing from Kellie Gibson before Noga marked and goaled. This was followed up by another when Noga bought the ball to ground allowing the nippy Bronwyn Hansen to score.

At the third quarter break the game was set for a thrilling final term with one point separating the teams. However, after a long stoppage from a Vic player going down from an innocuous bump, the game never resumed its pace and intensity.

With relentless pressure from the Vics, WA lost their momentum. Victoria got home by15 points: a fitting conclusion to a carnival they were clearly well prepared for.

Final scores:
Victoria 6 8 (44) defeated WA 45 (29)

Goal kickers:
WA: Noga 2, Osborn, Hansen
Vic: G Punton 2, Garner, Jakobson, Watts, Paterno

Best players:
WA: Sarah Noga , Ashlee Atkins, Lauren Osborne, Natasha Vaughan-Taylor, Alex Williams
Vic: Jessica Dal Pos, Nicola Stevens, Georgia Punton, Mandi Watts, Jasmine Garner, Bianca Jakobson, Kate McQueen

Queensland  v  South Australia (3rd and 4th)

The surprise packet of the U18s Youth Girls National Championships were South Australia.

Commencing their youth girls competitions in two leagues only this year, SA's state team mainly consists of younger girls 15 and 16 years of age.

Queensland on the other hand have been conducting youth girls for a number of years and have had a wonderful interstate rivalry with Victoria leading up to the Championships.

In what was a tough, hard fought game both sides came out to give it their best.

Qld’s captain, Katie Brennan was a stand out, running the length of the field to support her team and provide much needed drive from the midfield and out of defence. Her marking was superb and she even managed a final term 50m goal with sublime effort.

South Australia were tenacious, particularly Gemma Wilton who was lively in the forward line and kicking an early great goal. However once Qld ran in to their forward 50 Jocinta Sleeth beat three SA players to snap a clever response.

After that, Qld slowly got the edge through superior overhead marking and kicking accuracy.

Final scores:
Qld  9 7 (61) defeated SA 3 1 (19)

Goal kickers:
Qld: Katie Brennan, Wastle, Malouf, Easton, Barnett
SA: Gemma Wilton 2, Caitlin Swanson, Bec Catterall

Best players:
Q: Ebony Zuber, Katie Brennan, Kellie Hopkins, Cassi-Mae Butler, Breanna Koenen, Megan Hunt
SA: Alex Price, Jasmin Howe, Caitlin Swanson, Kimberley Batley, Lilla Berry

AFL Vic Development  v ACT/NSW (5th and 6th)

In the first of the placement games for the U18 Youth Girls National Championships the newly combined ACT/NSW team lined up against AFL Victoria Development.

Both teams have a number of younger girls who will still be eligible in two year's time when the next championships are convened.

The superior passing skills of the Development meant they moved the ball more fluently downfield and set up their shots at goals with precision.

Alexandra Quigley took a couple of screamers to have long shots on goal. Heather Anderson again threw herself into the frey as she has done all week but the Development were on to her and tackled her strongly.

At halftime the scoreline was 26 to 2 in favour of Development.

In the third term the Vic girls shared the ball around well and with their midfield dominance were able to surge ahead to an uncatchable lead of 43 points going in to the final term. 

The fourth quarter was entertaining, with the score belying the caliber of ACTNSW. Although their inexperience showed through, their ‘never say die’ approach made for a fast and ferocious quarter.

Sophie Lavendar tried to stem the flow of the Development but they had too many runners.

After a superb passage of flowing football Rhiannon Banner slotted a six pointer to give the Vics their 12th goal.

Still not interested in giving in, ACTNSW then moved the ball into their forward line and scored their only goal for the game.

Both teams should feel enormously proud of their achievements during the week. As the youngest sides of the six competing, they showed promise which augers well for their futures. 

As the Championships progressed, both teams became more organised and cohesive in their play.

Final scores:
AFL Vic Dev 12 4 (76) defeated ACT/NSW 1 3 (9)

Goal kickers:
ACTNSW: Sophie O’Dea
AFL Vic Dev: Alex Quigley 4, Olivia Storer 3, Danielle Hardiman 2, Jenna Fowlie, Sian Wilson, Alex Gittings

Best players:
ACTNSW: Mitchell, Abbott, Heather Anderson, Sophie  Lavender, Friend, Byrne
AFL Vic Dev: Quigley, Madeleine Keryk, Storer, Jessica Wallace, Sharni Di Mauro, Jenna Fowlie, Hardiman

Umpires panel:
Field - Amy McQuade (WA), Tegan Cawley (ACT), Stephanie Morrison (SA)
Goal - Teegan Lincoln (WA)
VIC - Jessica Dal Pos, Nicola Stevens, Georgia Punton, Mandi Watts, Jasmine Garner, Kate McQueen

Fairest and Best Player (as judged by the umpires and coaches): Kate Brennan (Captain) Queensland
Leading Goal Scorer: Sarah Noga (WA) with 13 goals

All Stars team:
Heather Anderson ACT/NSW
Danielle Hardiman AFL Vic Dev
Madeleine Keryk AFL Vic Dev
Alex Quigley AFL Vic Dev
Megan Hunt Qld
Breanna Koenen Qld
Katie Brennan Qld
Caitlyn Swanson SA
Caitlin Williams SA
Rebecca Catterall SA
Teena Leceister SA
Brittany Perry SA
Georgia Bevan SA
Mandi Watts Vic
Jessica Dal Pos Vic
Jessica Garner Vic
Georgia Punton Vic
Emily Paterno Vic
Levi McCulloch WA
Grace Dempster WA
Sarah Noga WA
Tiah Haynes WA

All Stars Umpire: Stephanie Morrison (SA)

U18 Youth Girls Championships website

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