The women’s football and veterans semi finals will take place this weekend, as we kickstart our season for the second time in 2021.
With all sides who made it through to contest the finals having played great seasons in 2021, the match ups are sure to be great affairs.
Kärcher Women’s Division One
The match ups at Upwey Recreation Reserve will prove to be thrillers, where four sides will face off for a shot at finals glory.
Upwey Tecoma v Pakenham
The first of two semi-finals will see third-placed Upwey Tecoma face off against Pakenham in what is a cut throat semi-final, with the winner to play the loser of the Mount Evelyn and Beaconsfield game later that afternoon.
Upwey Tecoma have met with Pakenham twice this season, with the Tigers being successful on both occasions.
Captain Kiana Oates has lead the Tigers from the front throughout the 2021 season, while Tigers spearhead Jess Occhipinti, who has slotted 16 goals throughout the season, will once again provide a strong target up forward.
For Pakenham, this is a fantastic achievement to make the finals and they will be very keen to see how far they can go in this finals series. Captain Chloe Nagel, like her Upwey Tecoma counterpart, has been brilliant in leading the Lions to the finals series. Despite winning just four games this season, Nagel will be sure to instil the confidence in her side to ensure they can give this game a real shake up.
Mount Evelyn v Beaconsfield
This game will be a magnificent match up as the undefeated Mount Evelyn take on the second placed Beaconsfield at Upwey Recreation Reserve. When these sides matched up in round three, it was the Rovers who grabbed the victory by 34 points.
The game appears to be a shootout, with two of the top three goal kickers taking their place at opposite ends of the Superdome. Rovers Captain Isobel Urquhart has been superb during season 2021, kicking 22 goals to this stage while Beaconsfield’s Kate Angelis has slotted 11 goals and sits third on the goal kicking list while Georgia Ploegsma has also proved to be very handy with goalkicking.
With both sides chomping at the bit to get out there, this has the potential to be a very close game with the Eagles having all the potential of taking the game right up to the Rovers. The onus is now on Mount Evelyn to continue its dominant form to give themselves an early grand final berth while for the losers will gain a second chance by playing off against the winner of Upwey Tecoma or Pakenham to make the big dance.
Kärcher Women’s Division Two
Down the road, at Belgrave Recreation Reserve, the division two semi finals will take place where two matches are shaping up to be a great contest.
Yarra Junction v Olinda Ferny Creek
In semi-final two, the top placed Yarra Junction take on the second placed Olinda Ferny Creek. While the Eagles 8-1 record may seem daunting, this does not count for anything now with finals on the horizon and the Eagles showing they can still be beaten, with Belgrave upsetting them in Round 10.
The dangerous forward line duo of Patsy Boxell and Jade Mewburn are once again going to team up and potentially give the Bloods defenders a major headache on Sunday, given they have combined for 44 goals between during the home and away season.
For Olinda Ferny Creek, it has been a major success in their first season in the women’s competition to finish second and be in the position to contend for a possible grand final berth is nothing short of rewarding. Captain Maddie Collins will be looking to build on her 2021 goal kicking tally after finishing the season in fifth position with nine majors.
For the winner, it’s a trip straight into the grand final while for the loser will get the double chance the following week, playing the winner of Officer and Belgrave.
Officer v Belgrave
Semi-final one will see the women of Starling Road take on Belgrave, in what is sure to be another magnificent match of finals football given that second to fourth on the ladder was only separated by percentage.
When the two teams met in round five, it was Officer who was victorious by 37 points while in round nine, the tables were turned as Belgrave held on for a one-point victory playing at Officer.
Belgrave will have a bit of work to do on Officer’s Tali Verhoven, who has been a key target up forward for the Kangaroos kicking 10 goals throughout the 2021 season. Belgrave’s scoring has been well shared around by its players, who have been brilliantly led throughout the season by skipper Danielle Wesigerber.
In what is sure to be a hard game of finals football with neither side wanting to exit the competition this week. For the winner, it’s onto the loser of Olinda Ferny Creek and Yarra Junction while for the loser will start to prepare for its 2022 campaign.
Healesville v Gembrook Cockatoo
Having won all five of their games to finish on top of the ladder, Healesville will be looking to gain a grand final berth in their match against Gembrook Cockatoo at Kalora Park.
Bolstering a strong all-rounded side with great talent, the onus will now be on the Bloods to ensure they can continue their undefeated season and begin preparing for a possible grand final berth in two weeks’ time.
Led strongly up forward by Andrew Peters, the Bloods will aim to build a sustainable, early lead which will flow through to the end of the match.
Gembrook Cockatoo, having won three games this season will be aiming to turn the tide on the Bloods and end their fairytale run to put themselves into a shock grand final berth.
Glenn Tempany has proven to be a good target in the forward half for the Brookers, booting eight goals this season.
Mount Evelyn v Narre Warren
Finishing second with four wins, Mount Evelyn will be aiming to begin the finishing touches to a rocky season in its semi-final over the weekend, when they take on Narre Warren at Kalora Park.
With a strong midfield and forward structure, the Rovers will be looking to put this into practice and secure their place in the grand final in two weeks.
With Jon Dalton kicking 15 goals thus far in 2021, he will prove to be a strong target for the Rovers.
Winning four games and finishing third in 2021, Narre Warren would love nothing more than to secure a grand final appearance on their home ground.
Aaron Mciver led the goal kicking in 2021 with 17 majors and will no doubt prove to be a strong target once again for the Magpies in a tough match.