Grand Final - Women's Premiership vs Wildcats
David Jordan | 01.09.22
And so it wasn’t meant to be. The SheDees went down fighting on a baking hot day in south London against a hungry Cats side determined to claim their first AFL London crown.
The girls threw absolutely everything at them but in a low scoring game were ultimately undone by the first two minutes. With one of the Cats usual midfielders starting in an unfamiliar forward role, the Cats won the first centre bounce and got the ball into her hands to kick a goal very early. That was to be the only Cats goal of the game.
Despite the early setback, the Dees grappled hard to stay in the game. Prip was winning a huge amount of taps giving us first use, with Nools running as hard as I’ve seen her to drive the troops forward. The pressure and fight at the contest was immense too, with Bec Foster (in possibly her finest game in Demons colours) one of a number of girls to land chase down tackles.
But the Cats were also putting our girls under pressure, preventing us from playing the clean, composed footy that has become our hallmark over the last two years. As such it became a bit scrappy, with a lot of congestion and long kicks to marking contests. We reached half time with the scores at 1.2.8 - 0.2.2 and it all to play for.
In the third the Dees came out firing. Our kiwi firecracker Cayne snapped an absolute beauty from near the 50 and with the momentum behind us, nearly kicked a second - a ‘soccer’ off the ground that agonisingly hit the post. We just couldn’t quite land the knockout blow and got to 3Q time with two points the difference.
With the massive Dees crowd roaring them on and a speech from the ages from Nools, we went into Q4 with our tails up. Alas, it wasn’t to be. The Cats won early use of the footy and managed to lock the ball in our forward 50 for most of the quarter, using up valuable clock time even if they weren’t able to land the knockout blow.
The siren went and it was over 1.8.14 - 1.3.9. While going so damn close hurts, it was hard to begrudge the Cats their victory; going 4-0 against us across the season and managing to neutralise some of our key players in the grand final. But there was nothing in it on the day, and we start with an exceptional group of players both new and veteran with which to try and reclaim the crown.
A huge shout out to so many people that have helped and supported this year including but not limited to; my fellow coaches Matty, Tim and Ed; captain and vice captain Nools and Prip; our exec for their support; as well as the players and physios for all their hard work this year. We’ll get ‘em next year.
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