K rock Football

Slow start costs VFLW Cats

Anna Teague was one of Geelong’s best in its 27-point VFLW loss to VU Western Spurs. (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

A SLOW start saw Geelong’s VFL Women’s side record its second loss of the season as VU Western Spurs 7.5 (47) defeated Geelong Cats 3.2 (20) at Henry Turner Oval on Sunday.

The Spurs came out of the blocks firing and booted four unanswered goals in the opening quarter, before Higgins kicked the Cats first.

The initial barrage of goals created an uphill battle for the Cats, but the players rose to the challenge and there was a clear momentum shift after half time.

Majors from Higgins and Habib – while the Spurs were kept goalless – in the third quarter had the Cats looking dangerous at the final break, but they failed to convert opportunities in the last term.

Former Melbourne Vixen netballer Erin Hoare made her debut for the Cats, and looked at home in the ruck as the tallest player in the VFL Women’s competition at 194cm.

It was a congested affair around the contest but regular contributors Lily Mithen and Elise Strachan were impressive once again.

Anna Teague continued to prove she’s one of the league’s top defenders, playing a crucial shutdown role on Spurs star-forward Alyssa Mifsud in a battle of the former basketballers.

Mifsud kicked three goals – two of which were toe-pokes off the ground – but Teague certainly minimised her impact and earnt praise from Geelong Cats VFL Women’s coach Paul Hood.

“Anna Teague was outstanding at full back,” Hood said.

“She had a really tough match up, but did a great job and led our attack from the back,” he said.

Hood credited a big part of the Spurs win to their brilliant ball movement in the first quarter, but was pleased with the Cats’ determination.

“It was a really good effort from our girls to claw back into the game, and just about level the scores from quarter time onward.

“We were 15-points down at three-quarter time and wanted to take the game on.

“The first five or six minutes were all played in our half and then, unfortunately, there was an injury (to the Spurs) which just stopped the momentum a little bit.

Hood admitted his side needed to work on its ability to absorb pressure from the opposition at the start of matches.

“Diamond Creek – and now the Spurs – hit us hard in the first quarter with the ball movement. Not so much physically, but just being sharper and faster with the ball.

“So we’ll look to slow them down as much as we can, and even better, have the ball in our hands early in the game and just control the tempo a little bit more.”

After four games away from home, the Cats – who are fifth on the ladder – will return to Geelong on Sunday to take on third-placed Melbourne Uni at Anthony Costa Oval.

The VFL Women’s match begins at 10.45am before Geelong’s AFL team plays Fremantle at 1.10pm on Simonds Stadium.

VU Western Spurs 7.5 (47) defeated Geelong Cats 3.2 (20)

Goals: Higgins 2, Habib

Best: Teague, Mangan, Mithen, Strachan, Blakeway, Boyd

Injuries: nil

@ Henry Turner Memorial Oval