Oakleigh v Old Ivanhoe (Women)
The final bye of the year had come and gone, leaving three remaining matches for each team to prove themselves before the end of the regular season. After consecutive losses, Old Ivanhoe were left in a tight scrap for the top four but still had sights on one of the top two positions. The Saturday afternoon game provided perfect conditions for both sides to fight it out in. Old Ivanhoe were also welcoming back captain Jaqueline Mitchelhill and Cara Eddings, who was playing her first match since suffering an unfortunate head injury in round nine.
The match began with both sides being aggressive over the football and working hard through the congestion. Romy Costa kicked what would turn out to be a crucial goal for Old Ivanhoe after she burst through a pack and shot from 30 metres. Each possession had to be earned as the crowding of players forced both sides to have to be clean with the ball in order to score.
The second quarter was mostly played in the middle of the ground. The ball moved back and forth but neither side were able to capitalise on any forward movement. Sophie Di Virgilio was strong across the wing and along with Tash Reeve in the middle, fought very hard for the football. Despite the quality of the game improving throughout the quarter, scoring remained a large difficulty. Going into half time Old Ivanhoe held a slim four-point lead.
The third quarter was highlighted by Old Ivanhoe’s strong defence. Cara Eddings led from the front as she showed great courage in putting her head over the ball on numerous occasions. Emma Vople channelled her inner Alex Rance as she continuously used her fantastic judgement to come off her player and take strong intercept marks. Much like the first half, the scoring remained low and despite minor chances on goal, Old Ivanhoe went into the last quarter leading the match by seven points.
Oakleigh began the fourth quarter in the exact way that they needed to. Working the ball forward and kicking the goal that their multiple efforts deserved. After a migraine kept her off the ground for much of the third quarter, Jaqueline Mitchelhill returned to the field and showed all onlookers why she was the captain. Jaqueline won the ball several times and was crucial in keeping the ball away from the Oakleigh forward line. Chelsea Huynh provided one of the highlights of the day with a clever kick out of defence on her non-preferred left foot. Bella Reeves-Smyth laid the biggest bump of the match as she imposed herself in the closing minutes of the match. As the siren sounded it was Old Ivanhoe who had done enough to hold off Oakleigh’s fast finish, coming away with the victory by a solitary point.
Round thirteen will see Old Ivanhoe return home to face the in-form Bulleen Templestowe as they try to lock up the chance to play a home final.
By Jack Veal
Best Players: S. Wilkinson, S. Di Virgilio, C. Huynh, R. Costa, L. Purchase, J. Mitchelhill
|July 14, 2018||11:00 am||Womens||2018|