STJFL FINALS – U18 and U14 Girls – August 20
UNDER-18 GIRLS: Up against a quality opponent which benefited from some state Devils squad players returning to the team, our Under-18 girls knew their elimination final last Sunday would be a tough gig. But to the credit of every player who took to the field, they never gave up and fought out the game to the end. In the end, Lauderdale’s class and speed combined with more bench rotations allowed for them to run out winners and end our team’s year.
Kodi Stevenson ran most of the game out in the midfield and was in and under all the packs getting the ball out. Taliesha Keleher and Amber Rainbird stood tall down back, while Brandi Sokolski worked hard in the midfield and laid some big tackles. Kyah Abel and Olivia Lane tried hard all day rebounding of the backline and creating opportunities down the ground. Sophie McNeill and Ash Harwood rotated in the ruck and fought hard to give our mid field first use of the ball. Even though the score board didn’t show it all the girls gave a great effort and never gave up until the final siren.
Elimination Final score: Lauderdale 16.12 d New Norfolk 0.0.
Best: Kodi Stevenson, Taliesha Keleher, Brandi Sokolski, Amber Rainbird, Kyah Abel and Sophie McNeill.
UNDER-14 GIRLS: The Under-14 Girls lined up for their second final for the year on Sunday, against an older and more experienced Claremont team. The game was hard-fought and even though the scoreboard didn’t reflect the effort the Under-14 Girls put in and the pressure they applied to Claremont, those at the game could see it.
Claremont had to work harder than they have ever had to work against our girls to score. The whole team applied great pressure, laid good tackles and chased down some of their faster players more than once. We mentioned it last week, but this team has achieved more than anyone could have expected playing in the Division 1 competition against the older and more experienced sides.
All members of this year’s team should be able to return and play Under-14s again next year, which shows the age of this team. Chelsy Benson was moved to full-back for this match and found herself under pressure for the entire game, but she took many intercept marks, spoilt the incoming ball most of the time and provided a long clearing kick from the back line. Elsie Chaplin played the majority of the game in the midfield covering the entire oval, gaining lots of possessions but also laying just as many tackles. When needed Elsie also moved into the back line to provide an extra layer of coverage.
Sienna Brown did what she has done over the past four weeks, giving us a great option to kick to on the wing with getting herself to great positions to help get the ball moving up the ground. Freya Cashion gave our defence a great hand by putting a lot of pressure on their forwards to cause turnovers. Haley Miller really tried hard to get a score on the board for us as she has all year and her forward pressure really helped us keep the ball in our forward line. Ruby Rainbird provided a target up forward but done what she does most games and provide constant forward line pressure to keep the ball moving forward and assisting in locking it in the forward line.
Semi-final score: Claremont 16.12 to New Norfolk 1.1.
Best: Chelsy Benson, Elsie Chaplin, Sienna Brown, Freya Cashion, Haley Miller and Ruby Rainbird.
STILL TO COME: The loss of these finals last weekend saw the end of the 2023 football season for the New Norfolk Junior Football Club, but the best and fairest event is still to come.
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