While the resumption of our senior football and netball competitions have been held off for another week, it presented the opportunity for the Kärcher Women’s Football and Veterans semi-finals to take place.
There were some great games played at Narre Warren, Upwey and Belgrave over the weekend with all winners advancing through to the next stage of their finals series.
Kärcher Women’s Division One Semi Finals
Upwey Tecoma v Pakenham
Upwey Tecoma and Pakenham began the afternoon magnificently with both sides throwing everything at each other in what was a tough game of finals footy.
Going into the game after a tight home and away season, it was third taking on fourth in what was going to be a continuation of a key rivalry from the season.
The Tigers got the dream start, kicking the first two goals of the game towards the Burwood Highway end of the ground going into the first change with a 12-point buffer.
To finish off the first half, the Tigers went on to double their quarter time score, putting on another two goals, including one to spearhead forward Jess Occhipinti who kicked her second major before the half time siren.
As the second half got underway, Tigers captain Kiana Oates threw herself into every contest possible to try and get the hard ball, along with the likes of Ella Collard and Holly Parkinson making their presence known around all stoppages as the Tigers took a firm grip on the game.
Going into the last quarter, Pakenham continued to fight. Abbey Tognazzini was leading from the front all day from a Lions point of view while skipper Chloe Nagel was still throwing everything at the contest until the very end.
Reward for effort did come for the Lions, with a free kick to Melina Eppel, who converted a brilliant shot on goal.
As the final siren sounded, the Tigers had won by 19 points and a preliminary final berth against Beaconsfield awaits next Sunday.
Mount Evelyn v Beaconsfield
The second semi-final of the day saw a fantastic clash between Mount Evelyn and Beaconsfield, who finished first and second on the ladder.
Kicking to the highway end in the first quarter, the Rovers kicked 1.4 and might have been disappointed, knowing full well they could have stamped their authority early in the match.
The second quarter showed why the Rovers are the form side of the competition, with a two goal to one quarter setting up the Rovers with an important 17-point buffer at the major break.
In a second half that ebbed and flowed momentum, the Rovers still had a grip on the match but to Beaconsfield’s credit, they were attacking every contest through the likes of Kate Angelis & Aimee Buchan.
While the scoreboard didn’t reflect on their effort, they were still right in the game given the margin at three quarter time was 25 points.
The final quarter had momentum shifts, Beaconsfield won the first few minutes of the quarter locking the ball inside their forward 50 and getting some reward very quickly on the scoreboard through the boot of Sophie Boneham.
The final 12 minutes of play became a slug fest of players trying to get as much territory as possible to try and impact the scoreboard.
For the Eagles, it was a fact of trying to push the Rovers as much as they could to get within striking distance. While for the Rovers it was kick away to get their grand final berth.
As time ticked down, it was the Rovers who got the job done and advanced through to the Kärcher Women’sDivision One Grand Final.
Isabella Rennick, Savannah Bowden & Isobel Urquhart among the best for the Rovers, while Victoria Liarakos, Sarah McCallum & Charlotte Jagusch were some of the Eagles stand outs.
Kärcher Women’s Division Two Semi Finals
Yarra Junction v Olinda Ferny Creek
The first of the semi-finals were between the top placed Yarra Junction and the mighty impressive Olinda Ferny Creek who finished second in their first season fielding a women’s team.
A goalless first half from the Eagles sounded some early warning bells in the rooms at half time, only the inaccuracy of the Bloods keeping the Eagles in the games with a 1.5 score to their name at the major break.
Yarra Junction eventually kicked their first goal in the third quarter off the boot of Emily Spicer, but the Bloods kept adding the scoreboard pressure albeit somewhat inaccurately as they held a handy nine-point lead at the final change.
Captain Maddie Collins and Shanae Northey put some icing on the cake for the Bloods in the final quarter to advance through to the grand final in two weeks.
Belgrave v Officer
The second semi-final in division two saw third placed Officer take on fourth placed Belgrave.
Belgrave got the better start to lead at the first break by seven points, but during the second quarter they only kicked one behind to lead at the main break by eight points while Officer were still yet to score.
In the second half, Officer got back into the game with two goals to Melissa Davey and Kim Issacs, while the Magpies kicked just six behinds, meaning the margin would only be six points at three quarter time.
In the final quarter, Belgrave’s lead couldn’t be wrangled in by the Officer side as they went on to win by 10 points.
Danielle Weisgerber & Serenity Connolly were the goal kickers for Belgrave who will now take on Yarra Junction in a preliminary final next Sunday.
Healesville v Gembrook Cockatoo
Finishing on top of the ladder counted for nothing in this match, as Gembrook Cockatoo came out firing early in the first semi-final to leave Healesville scratching their heads.
Three goals and two behinds to no score in favour of the Brookers at quarter time would set the game up to be a great contest, with the Bloods being up against it for the entirety of the game from there on.
Three straight goals in the second quarter would put the Bloods back in the contest, as the Brookers slotted just one goal to make it an eight-point ball game.
An eight-goal margin continued to separate the two at three quarter time, with both sides slotting two goals and one behind in the third quarter to set up an awesome battle in the final quarter for a spot in the grand final.
An enthralling combat took in the final quarter, with Healesville slotting two goals to grab the lead at long last, holding out hope that despite trailing all game, they would hit the front at the right time.
The Brookers, however, had other ideas, as Corrie Wilson took a mark 30 metres out from goal, directly in front, and converted a crucial goal to give the Brookers a one-point lead with minutes to go.
That crucial goal proved to be the decider, with Gembrook Cockatoo remarkably through to a grand final appearance against Narre Warren in two weeks.
Mount Evelyn v Narre Warren
The semi-final battle between second placed Mount Evelyn and Narre Warren did not produce the match that many were hoping for, with the Magpies, playing as the away team on their home ground overrunning the Rovers by 106 points.
The Magpies were in complete control of the match from the start, piling on goal after goal in every quarter to make it a great day for them as they prepare for a grand final appearance against Gembrook Cockatoo in two weeks.
Aaron McIver continued his brilliant form in front of goal, booting six goals for the Magpies while Brett Evans slotted two majors for himself.
Dom Larosa, Stephen Grantham, Marc Mcgregor and Josh Lafranchi also played well to feature as the best players for the Magpies.
Alex Gardner, Robert Hough, Matthew Mcilrath, David Curnow, Paul Cooper and Craig Barbour all tried hard on a tough day for Mount Evelyn.