AFLSCW Grand Final Preview – Wollongong Lions v Bomaderry Tigers
A preview of the inaugural AFLSCW Grand Final between the Wollongong Lions and Bomaderry Tigers!
Wollongong Lions v Bomaderry Tigers @ 1:15pm
We have almost run out of superlatives for this year when we talk about female football and in particular the Women’s competition and the year reaches its crescendo when the Wollongong Lions and Bomaderry Tigers do battle for the honour of being the inaugural AFL South Coast Women’s Premiers!
All nine clubs who competed in our first ever season must be congratulated on this achievement. Twelve months ago we would have only dreamed of a fully-fledged competition with so many teams and new participants.
On the field, Wollongong and Bomaderry stamped themselves as the top two sides from day one of the competition and nothing changed as the season progressed.
Bomaderry have certainly been the surprise packet of the competition with little expectation before a ball had been bounced. Their player numbers were strong early on and this has reflected in the outstanding season they have put together, only losing the one match in the home and away season (to the Saints in Round 3).
On the flip side, the Lions foray into female football started slower than most other clubs however very quickly the numbers grew and they now boast probably the biggest list of all clubs. They started the season with six straight wins before they fell to Bomaderry at Artie Smith Oval. Strong performances in the middle stages saw them sit 2nd however a late season slump saw them drop their final three home and away matches and question marks over their credentials. A big win over Kiama in the Qualifying Final before knocking off Bomaderry in the Major Semi has now seen the Wollongong side installed as favourites.
Accuracy in front of goal is vital for both sides which means the performances of each team’s leading goal scorers will be crucial. Taking the opportunities when they are presented is key and Rosie Dawson from the Lions has booted 17 goals in her debut season and was an important target in the Major Semi victory. Nowra junior Maddie Pearson has led the way for the Tigers with 16 goals but has been ably supported by both Josephine Hudson at Full Forward and Ruck and league Best & Fairest Sophie Phillips.
Whatever the result, the Grand Final is a great celebration of female football in the region and a large crowd is expected to witness history.
B: S. Boss, E. Harper
HB: H. Minehan, J. Van De Voorde, L. Myers
C: T. Martin, R. Sossai, E. Moate
HF: R. Dawson, I. Babic, S. Walker
F: A. Babic, K. Clements
R: M. Allen, B. Macdonnell, M. Ryan
Int: E. Bonin, B. Horsley, K. Milham, K. Tobin
In: E. Moate, K. Milham, K. Clements
Out: K. McLaurin, R. Van De Voorde, A. Smith
B: K. Phillips, S. Hackett, C. Stokes
HB: G. Chapman, J. Liddiard, E. Priest
C: K. Bramley,
HF: M. Pearson, E. Dempsey, S. Seymour
F: K. Dickson, J. Hudson, L. Macdonald
R: S. Phillips, J. Thomas, B. Kellett
Int: F. Hector, E. Reichler, E. Schweitzer, B. Swankie
Emg: A. Libbis, A. Whittaker
Round 7 – Bomaderry 6.7-43 d Wollongong Lions 0.4-4
Round 11 – Bomaderry 4.5-29 d Wollongong 1.2-8
Major Semi – Wollongong Lions 4.2-26 d Bomaderry 3.3-21
Players to Watch
Rani Sossai – At just 16 years of age Rani is a star already. A powerful player with great skills, Rani will be a key to her team’s success through the middle of the ground
Sophie Phillips – no surprises here. The inaugural Maddy Collier Medallist, Sophie has had a season for the ages. Her dominance in the ruck and work rate around the ground will be hard for the Lions to tame.
Bomaderry went into the finals as the red-hot favourites however the Lions win in the major semi has swung things in their favour. Home ground advantage has played a key role in the results between these two sides this season so playing at NDP a plus for the Lions here. Lions to get home by 3 points in an extra time thriller!
Division Three – Bomaderry Tigers v Figtree Kangaroos @ 9:15am
Division Two – Bomaderry Tigers v Kiama Power @ 11:15am
Women’s – Wollongong Lions v Bomaderry Tigers @ 1:15pm
Division One – Kiama Power v Wollongong Lions @ 3:00pm
Entry to the ground $5 for adults, free for pensioners and children under 18 (with a portion of the funds raised going directly to farmers to assist with the drought challenges they are currently facing!).