By Alyce Collett
Despite the heartbreak of Grand Final Day, Monbulk should be proud of the season that they have had in the Eastern Region Women’s Outer East Division.
Round one saw a narrow win over Yarra Junction, but then they backed it up with a more comfortable win against Thornton-Eildon the following week. They kept Belgrave scoreless on the way to their third win in a row in Round three before again defeating Yarra Junction in round four.
They came back home in round five and once again defeated Thornton-Eildon, this time by an even bigger margin. Round six saw the battle of the undefeated sides, and unfortunately for Monbulk their undefeated run came to an end, losing to Healesville by 15 points. Round seven saw their biggest win of the season with a 105 point win over Upwey Tecoma, while round eight saw a 53 point win over Belgrave.
Their good form continued into the second half of the season. The Hawks won almost every game for the rest of the season, only suffering one more loss to Healesville in the final round.
This left Monbulk in 2nd position on the ladder. They finished two games behind the undefeated ladder leaders Healesville, but five and a half games clear of 3rd placed Yarra Junction.
In week one of the finals, Monbulk almost completed the upset of the year, but in the end were not able to quite get over the line against Healesville.
This left them in a sudden death playoff with Thornton – Eildon, and they were able to defeat Thornton – Eildon before being outclassed in the Grand Final.
Although they did lose on Grand Final Day, which is one of the most unpleasant experiences in sport, there are a lot of positives to take out of the season.
They were still one of the teams to beat this season, and the only times they did lose this season were to Healesville. They were also a high scoring team, with their only scores under 20 coming every time they lost, which as previously mentioned was not often.
On an individual note, Kathryn Gow was by far the top goalkicker for the Hawks this season, kicking 40 goals.
By comparison, Maddison Dodd kicked the second most goals for the Hawks this season, with 16. As an extra little note, if you combine all the divisions of the Eastern Region Women’s Competition, Gow would be second on the table behind the Division One leader, Julia Baker from The Basin.