By Alyce Collett
Round one of the Eastern Region Women’s competition saw new teams take to the field, while others didn’t quite get the start to the season they were after.
In the Premier Division, Mount Evelyn were not able to get the start to the season they were after against competition newcomers Chirnside Park. It was a hard afternoon from the get-go, with Chirnside racing away to a 22 point lead at quarter time while Mt Evelyn didn’t score, and didn’t kick a goal until the third term. They only ended up kicking one goal for the entire match as the Panthers ended up 61 point winners. Nolene Kingi was the sole goalkicker for Mt Evelyn, while Nicole Akers, Jennifer Anderson and Sophie McCracken were among their best players in a tough opening encounter.
In Division One, Upwey Tecoma had a great start to the season, thrashing Upper Ferntree Gully. Upper Ferntree Gully were kept scoreless for the entire match as the Tigers were dominant and ran away with a 67 point victory. There were five individual goalkickers for the Tigers, while Jessica Occhipinti kicked three and Madison Walsh and Emma Caccetta kicked two goals apiece. Michelle Bateup, Samantha Searle and Lana Kitteringham were among the top players for the Tigers.
Meanwhile in the Outer East division there were a mixed bag of results.
Belgrave continued their great pre-season form, defeating Upwey Tecoma by 40 points. The Magpies led at every change to ultimately get the chocolates. Samantha Royce, Emily Dowling and Imogen Rennie were the goalkickers for the Tigers, while for Belgrave Jessica Weisgerber and Chelsea Carnell both kicked three goals, while Shannesy Hilder kicked two goals and Rachael Clarke kicked a single major.
The match between Yarra Junction and Monbulk was a much tighter affair. Monbulk lead by the slimmest of margins at quarter time, but it was Yarra Junction who took the lead going into the main break. A three goal to one third term saw the Hawks take the lead back, and they were able to hold onto the lead and take a five point win. Kathryn Gow kicked three of Monbulk’s four goals, while Kirsten McConnell was the only multiple goal kicker for the Eagles, with two majors to her name.
It seems like it is going to be another long and hard year for Thornton-Eildon, this time comfortably beaten by Healesville. Healesville were never troubled, ultimately securing a 62 point win to start the season on the top of the table. Jaimee Petersen (3 goals), Alexandra Bryan (2 goals), Kira Maass, Emily Hay and Rebecca Collins were the goalkickers for Healesville, while Cassidy Brown, Natalie Baulch and Natasha Hay were amongst the best for Thornton-Eildon on a tough afternoon.