K rock Football

Falcons fall at final hurdle

Geelong Falcon Gabbi Featherston feels the pressure of Oakleigh Charger Eliza James. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG Falcons quest for a second NAB League Girls premiership has come up short, suffering a 37-point loss to Oakleigh Chargers in the grand final at Werribee’s Avalon Airport Oval, 11.5 (71) to 5.4 (34).

The Chargers score was the highest ever conceded by the Falcons and their biggest losing margin.

After a tight opening 11 minutes of the contest, in which both teams kicked a goal, the Chargers took control of the match with a six-goal burst on either side of the quarter time break, which proved to be decisive.

“I thought their pressure was elite,” Falcons coach Paul Corrigan said of the Jason Davenport-coached Chargers.

“They probably jumped on those outside balls a bit better than we did. They held their structure on the outside, and it probably gave them that flow-on early in the game where they were able to convert.

“Scoreboard pressure’s everything in this game, and they just got ahead.”

Goals just before and after half-time from Tamika Lewis after strong marks inside forward 50, followed by a nice snap from vice-captain Poppy Schaap got Geelong back to within 23 points midway through the third quarter.

However, just when it seemed the Falcons were going to make a run, the Chargers found a way to reply.

“We couldn’t get it past our halfway line and get it in our front half to lock it in for periods of time,” Corrigan.

“I thought there was a five-minute period in the backend of that second quarter where we started to get it a little on our terms.

“But, at times, they’d just go and score a little bit easy off the back of all our hard work that we’d been doing.

Midfielder Tess Craven (15 disposals, four clearances, eight tackles), Schaap (14 disposals, ten tackles, two goals) and winger Ingrid Houtsma (14 disposals, five tackles) all battled hard for the Falcons.

Gabbi Featherston (14 disposals, four clearances, six hitouts) also worked tirelessly between the forward line and stints in the ruck.

Twitter: @tom_king79

Oakleigh Chargers        4.1, 7.2, 9.3, 11.5 (71)

Geelong Falcons        1.2, 2.2, 5.3, 5.4 (34)

Goals: Oakleigh Chargers: S. Reid 3, S. Morley 3, J. McCormack, A. Russell, T. Morton, A. Smith

Geelong Falcons: P. Schaap 2, T. Lewis 2, M. Van Dyke

Best: Oakleigh Chargers: A. Ling, S. Reid, J. Fleming, K. Kearns, C. Rowbottom, E. Woodford

Geelong Falcons: G. Featherston , P. Schaap, T. Craven, I. Houtsma, T. Lewis, A. Lee