Sport

Warrandyte women line up with Sheagles

WOMEN’s FOOTY is a big hit in Warrandyte and although the Bloods may not have a team in the Victoria Amateur Football Association (VAFA) Women’s Premier division, Warrandyte locals are making a big impact with four of our girls playing for the Marcellin Sheagles.

Nat and Zoe Macdonald, Lexie Hipwell and Taylor Padfield, all friends who have grown up together, made the decision to play women’s football this season and have reaped the rewards.

The Diary met with the girls, and Lexie told the Diary how the four of them ended up playing footy.

“My intent was never actually to play footy — I mean I wanted to, but Dad was a bit worried, and I didn’t want to do it by myself.

“But Nat got me into it,” she said.

Nat acted as somewhat of a ringleader for the group, and Marcellin can be thankful that she did.

In Lexie, the Sheagles gained athleticism, a strong presence in the ruck and long kicking ability.

Zoe’s strengths lie in the backline, with a good ability to mark and win the ball at ground level, while Nat acts as a speedster in the middle and excels at clearing packs.

“My friend Maggie was asking me to come down and play for the Marcellin Seniors, she said that it was a new team with some good quality and that in the first year we might struggle a bit so that I would play 80 minutes.

“But the team actually turned out alright and we’ve gone on from there,” Nat said.

The Sheagles first grabbed attention after competing in the in VAFA’s Lightning Cup back in April.

Despite going in with low expectations, the Sheagles managed to win their four games, before advancing to the Grand Final and taking the tournament.

“There’s 40 new teams that have come in this year, and this was a chance to expose the girls to matches because they didn’t want the girls to come out underdone for the season.

“We played St Mary’s in the final and we just got it done,” Zoe said.

Results in the Lightning Cup and performances in grading games have placed the side in VAFA’s Premier Division, and though the girls thought they might be out of their depth, the reality has been anything but.

“Our first Premier game was against Brunswick, and everyone thought we would get done by 60 points.

“It was a wet game, we went out and we weren’t too confident, but we kicked the first and went from there,” Nat said.

The Sheagles currently sit in 3rd position on the ladder, only percentage below the two teams above.

“We’ve actually been really good, we even won our game in round three by 60 points.

“I think we were all a bit worried because everyone was talking up Premier, but we’ve been playing well,” Lexie said.

Playing in Premier division has further advantages for the Warrandyte women, with scouts and coaches keeping a close eye on the games.

“There’s some great players in the Premier division and there were even scouts at the Lightning Cup, so its definitely a platform for the AFLW.

“Each game we are improving, not just working on skills but also on tactics, so we are only going to get better,” Zoe said.

Coach Tom Stafford and Assistant Coach Luke Boyd are certainly in luck with their Warrandyte contingent, who have without doubt played a major role in the Sheagles rapid rise.

Templestowe win the tussle

Templestowe won over Warrandyte in the annual STOP. One Punch Can Kill cup, with both Reserve and Senior outfits winning comprehensively.

STOP. One Punch Can Kill, an organization founded in 2013 by Caterina Politi after the tragic death of her son, David Cassai (a member of both the Warrandyte and Templestowe communities), is dedicated to teaching others the dangers of violence.

Both Warrandyte and Templestowe football clubs have been avid supporters of the cause, and changed the name of the Yarra Cup Challenge match to the STOP. One Punch Can Kill Cup in 2016 to further lend their hand to the organization.

Reserves

The Reserves struggled early in the game, kicking just the one major in the opening quarter.

Zac Ratcliffe continued his good form, constantly attacking the ball, but Warrandyte couldn’t manage to create clear-cut forward chances.

However, Warrandyte’s defence held firm, managing to restrict Templestowe well throughout the first half, and holding the margin to just 19 points at the major break.

Unfortunately, Josh Huntly sustained a broken arm in the second quarter, an injury that will see him spend a significant amount of time on the sideline.

The Bloods started the third term with great purpose, peppering the goals and generally running over Templestowe.

Sadly, Warrandyte would rue missed opportunities in front of goal to bring the game within reach, and despite only trailing by 16 points at three quarter time, fell by over eight goals at the final siren 3.7 25 to 12.5 77.

Seniors

The Senior side mirrored the Reserves early in the game, finishing the first quarter without recording a score while Templestowe piled on five goals.

In the second term Warrandyte managed to click into gear, with young star David Wilson kicking two terrific majors to ignite the Bloods.

Former Templestowe player Michael Cullum also managed to get one on the board as Warrandyte continued the charge, outscoring Templestowe for the quarter to trail by 29 points at the half.

Throughout the second half, emotion began to get the better of a few players out on the park, but both sides settled down to continue a decent second half of footy.

The Bloods, in particular Cullum, Troy Ratcliffe and Wilson, fought bravely throughout the third and fourth term, with Cullum adding another major.

Sadly, the Bloods were unable to make any real inroads on the margin, with Templestowe continuing to pick apart the defence to score when necessary.

When the final siren sounded, the Bloods trailed by 42 points, 7.10 52 to 14.10 94.

The Bloods face off against fierce rivals Ringwood in their next fixture – again at Warrandyte Reserve – and will look to secure a vital victory.

Despite a less than ideal result, the club can take away that STOP. One Punch Can Kill’s message about the dangers one punch can do was delivered.

Photo sourced from Warrandyte Football Club Facebook page

 

Junior Bloods’ name leaders

THE Warrandyte Junior football club have announced their leadership group for 2017, naming Ben Dickson as skipper to lead the side this season.

Selected by the Colts coaching staff, fellow players and the committee, Dickson will be supported by vice captains Jack VanDerRee and Leo Garrick.

Dickson was also the recipient of the Ben McKellar perpetual shield, in honour of former Colt Ben McKellar, who was captain in 1998 but unable to play out the season after contracting leukaemia, tragically passing away in 1999.

During the interview process all three players displayed qualities that epitomise the values the Junior football club wishes to display — a strong sense of community, equality, and feeling of belonging.

All three have played their younger years of football at the club and are leading by example, getting involved with AusKick, the Senior side and other teams.

During the season, the trio will also be charged with organizing a community event.

Tough shakedown for Bloods at Chirnside Park

THE Warrandyte Bloods fell in both fixtures in their 2017 season opener, losing to a chipper Chirnside Park outfit at Kimberley Reserve on the weekend.

Both Warrandyte teams were handicapped with injuries, with several players failing to pass their midweek fitness test.

Before play commenced one minute’s silence was observed, in memory of former Chirnside Park player Brian Pedler who died October 2016.

Drew Hollingsworth, father of Reserves player Jake Hollingsworth, was also remembered.

First on the field were the Reserves: they put in a nifty defensive performance to ensure the game remained an arm-wrestle, but inaccurate goal kicking and a difficult breeze allowed Chirnside to take the spoils.

Andre Balemian kicked the first goal of the campaign for the Warrandyte Reserves and the Bloods defence looked steadfast, with Bryce Leeanarts and Drew Corke applying terrific pressure in the back half.

Chirnside made better use of the wind in the second quarter, holding Warrandyte scoreless while tacking on 18 points themselves.

Throughout the second half, returnee Daniel Large looked lively, booting a major and providing a spark down the left-hand side of the ground.

Unfortunately, while the Bloods defence was relatively strong throughout, the forwards struggled to create opportunities.

The Reserves welcome back past favourite Daniel Large, whose performance this weekend was arguably best afield for the Bloods.

Chirnside Park Reserves: 5.10.40

Warrandyte Reserves: 3.9.27

For the Seniors, windy conditions and the Bloods lack of familiarity within a new look outfit played into Chirnside Park’s hands; the Seniors were defeated comfortably after a strong first quarter.

Much like the Reserves, they started the game kicking with the breeze and hit the ground running.

Jason Fitzgerald got the Bloods revved up with an early goal, and new-recruit Ryan Tester looked comfortable off the half back line.

Former Colts player Jake Trewella was exhilarating in his Senior debut and the Bloods rattled off four majors in the first term to lead by 19 points at the first change.

Sadly, this only seemed to kick Chirnside into gear, who were far more dangerous with the breeze.

The backline began to show a few cracks, and Chirnside Park’s big forwards started to assert their dominance.

The home side slammed on nine goals for the quarter to put Warrandyte in disarray, and the Bloods were never able to recover.

Jake Bentley put in a solid shift and Tom Naughtin played a commanding role in defence, but Chirnside never looked like relinquishing control, running out a 74-point winners.

Chirnside Park Seniors: 17.17.119

Warrandyte Seniors: 7.3.45

Warrandyte will now turn their attention towards the first home game of the season after the Easter break on April 22, the first of a series of “themed” home games that will take place over the season.

“Community Day” will promote and acknowledge the support of local businesses, sponsors, and supporters, who will be encouraged to attend.

Complementing this is a ceremony for the opening of the Bendigo Bank Gym.

Warrandyte’s double delight

Warrandyte Cricket Club have had a highly successful end to season 2016/17 with their Fourth XI team and Under 14s junior team winning their respective RDCA Premierships.

In back to back games at the Warrandyte Cricket Ground, the Under 14s started off the successful weekend for Warrandyte with a five-wicket win.

Alan L. Reidy Shield

The Under 14s won the Alan L. Reidy Shield after being asked to bowl first against St Andrews at home.

Chris Rakuscek, coming off a season splitting his skills between junior and senior cricket, got the wickets tumbling early, taking two top order wickets to have St Andrews reeling.

Rakuscek (4/23) and Brady Poole (2/16) opened the bowling strongly, with Tom Jackson (2/18) and Lachie Haberfield (2/22) taking the remaining wickets on day one of the final, to dismiss the opposition within 33.2 overs and give their team a total of 108 to chase for the title.

Warrandyte capably chased down the total with Ethan Ward (13) retiring off his 50 balls at the top of the order while the middle order capably chased the total down around him.

Warrandyte batted exceptionally well in partnerships to make quick work of the runs, with Poole (43) guiding the run chase home with some smooth hitting, before Jackson (11) hit the winning boundary to give the juniors win.

The flag tops off a great season for the junior program, with Poole becoming one of the youngest players in club history to play First Eleven Senior Cricket, and many team members making their senior cricket debut.

Neil Tull Shield

Following the big juniors win, the Fourth XI hosted Heathmont Baptist to complete for the Neil Tull Shield also at the Warrandyte Cricket Ground.

Warrandyte faced Heathmont for the fifth time this season, having beaten them successfully all season, including in the Qualifying Finals where they arguably at their tightest hit out of the season.

After captain Dean Gidley won the toss and elected to bat, Warrandyte faced some tight early bowling before losing both openers, Goddard (10) and Molyneux (9) in tight procession before the first drinks break.

James Weatherley (32) combined with Daniel Wellesley (105) with an excellent partnership to put Warrandyte back into a leading position, before Wellesley would go on to play what would be a match winning innings.

Wellesley, joined by Brett Kline (34), Ison (16), Gidley (22) and Prangley (14), would escalate the run scoring following the lunch break on day one, with some late hitting ensuring Warrandyte finished with a highly competitive 8/250 from their 70 overs in front of a large, vocal home crowd.

Wellesley’s century will long stand as one of the greater innings seen at the Warrandyte Cricket Ground, with his control and speed of bat impressing all that watched.

A confident Warrandyte returned the next day to finish the job, but knew they faced an on form top order from Heathmont.

Heathmont’s opening partnership sent nerves through the Warrandyte camp with an opening stand of 44.

However, Ison would take the crucial opening wicket and from there an essential procession occurred.

Stephen Warr toiled away from the IGA end of the ground for 16 overs throughout the day, taking a crucial wicket in the Heathmont middle order, combined with some persistent line and length from Prangley.

Ison was matched with his excellent form with the ball by captain Gidley, who finished with the figures of 4/35 including three wickets in tight order following the lunch break.

By the time Daniel Woodhead took the final wicket, caught behind by Goddard, Warrandyte would win by 80 runs and knew they had the flag in the bag.

The win marks two premiership flags for captain Gidley, but the first for club lifetime member Stephen Goddard, who after 25 years of playing at the WCC will savour the weekend’s event for a while.