KEILOR PARK v MARIBYRNONG PARK
Saturday 10:00am at Martin Reserve
ONLY one point separated Maribyrnong Park and Moonee Valley at Windy Hill on Saturday.
After a riveting last quarter, the game ended in the Lions’ favour.
They were able to hold their nerve and maintain a narrow lead for three quarters of the game, and the difference was never greater than two-points after half time.
Despite the wet conditions, Maribyrnong Park was able to pull down a number of strong marks and apply consistent pressure in their back line as Moonee Valley launched a number of repeat entries.
The Lions’ trio of Zoe Pedersen, Gabrielle Mahoney and Josie Andrighetti were influential in winning contested ball.
Keilor Park kept pace with Essendon Doutta Stars for three quarters but ran out of legs in the last as the Stars put on another four goals in quick succession last week.
Caitlyn Simon opened the Devils’ account in the first quarter, bursting through the pack to kick an exciting goal.
Sam German then kicked a bullocking goal in the second term, pushing aside the Stars’ defenders.
Midfielder Meghan Patrick was everywhere, winning the ball in congestion and providing forward drive for the Devils.
Holly Bauerle played a great game in defence, stopping a number of the Stars forward entries.
The last time these two teams met was prior to Maribyrnong Park launching their current eight-game winning streak, with the Devils recording a 30-point win on the back of a three-goal game by German and best-on-ground performances by Renee Szabo and Caitlyn Simon.
The Lions have had some inclusions from that game, including Cassandra Scerri and Faith Considine.
A rematch against the Stars could await Keilor Park, however Maribyrnong Park have shown that when they gain a lead, they know how to hold onto it and can find a way to win in any conditions.
For both teams, playing off in the grand final would be a fantastic story.
KEILOR v HILLSIDE
Saturday 11:50am at Martin Reserve
Hillside stormed into the preliminary final after a 34-point upset win against the Sunbury Kangaroos.
The Sharks will meet Keilor after the early intensity of Aberfeldie caught the Blues on the backfoot.
Keilor fell short by 30 points, despite working their way back into the game in the second quarter.
Brooke Todero (two goals) provided a spark for the Blues up forward, while Sophie Freeman worked hard in the backline and Kallyn Gent set up attacking play while also getting back to support a defence that was under pressure.
The Sharks set the pace early against the Kangaroos and led at all breaks.
Emily Paterno’s three-goal haul included a double receive effort and running goal, which helped finish the hard work of her teammates up the ground.
Nikita Wright was the Sharks’ general in defence, racking up disposals and setting up a number of forward entries.
Burcu Johnson and Annalise Wilkie were also among the play, taking strong marks and providing run.
Daniella DiPaola kicked an important goal on the three-quarter time siren to effectively snuff out the Kangaroos’ chances of a last quarter comeback.
Hillside would need to pull off another surprise victory here to enter the grand final but they are a cohesive force.
Since their last loss to Aberfeldie in Round 9, they have proven they are up for any challenge.
However, Keilor will go in with the edge in experience and can take confidence from their last meeting in which they took the four points during the home-and-away season.
Lisa Kirby and Renee Melton had limited opportunities against Aberfeldie but will want to make it difficult for the Sharks’ defenders to quickly rebound.
For the Sharks to advance, Rachael Jackson, Demi Houston and Fiona Pazsa will be important alongside Paterno and Wright.
MARTIN RESERVE ENTRY PRICES:
Valid Aged Pension Card Holders (must produce aged pension card): $5.00
Valid Secondary Student Concession (must produce photo ID card): $5.00
Children under 14: FREE
ANIMAL ACCESS RESTRICTIONS:
No animals will be permitted into any finals venues, except for dogs to assist people whose vision is impaired.