Season enters ‘night mode’

The 2021 Veolia Limestone Coast Women’s Football League turned on the floodlights last weekend after the season switched to night mode. To kick off proceedings in round 3, the first two night games of the season were played in front of a vibrant atmosphere at Kybybolite.

Mundulla stood out in the open- ing Friday night game and put its first win of the season on the board against Millicent. The 2018-19 premiers raced out of the blocks with a flying start, opening up a 42-point lead before the main break. Mundulla’s positive ball movement was sparked by Kelsie Turner, who maintained constant pressure inside 50.

Despite a barn-storming first half for Mundulla, the Saints limited the damage with a fighting performance in the third and fourth quarters. Mundulla only managed one major each in the third and fourth terms, while Carly Knaggs kicked Millicent’s first goal of the season.

But Mundulla coach Michael Hunt said the drop off failed to dampen his spirits after the 57-point win. He highlighted his inexperienced team’s improvement after a tough start to the season. “It was a beautiful night and perfect for football,” Hunt said. “After a fairly sluggish start and some of our new players adjusting to the intensity of women’s football, we eventually settled down and played with confidence.

“Our girls ran into space nicely and got their overlap handball happening which was not there in the first two weeks.” Despite the comfortable win on the scoreboard, Hunt paid tribute to the Saints’ fighting qualities. “Millicent has a lot of young players who are coming along well and I liked the way they used their rotations,” he said.

“They set up a pretty solid defensive zone to get through. “They kept fighting through the whole game, never gave up and got their first goal of the season which is a credit to them.”

Twigden was crowned as Mundulla’s top performer, while Natalie Twigden booted four majors and traditional defender Carlee Feder kicked three. Kybybolite made full use of its home-ground advantage with a crushing performance against North Gambier.

After completing the 124km journey, the Tigers could not trouble the scorers, while Kyby dominated from the get-go. Fresh from converting three from 11 scoring shots in the first term, Kybybolite did not miss a beat in the second with four goals in as many attempts.

After a less accurate third stanza, Kyby pushed hard to the end and won by 96 points. Holly and Della Hannaford put on a show for the home crowd inside 50 and kicked five goals as a pair.

Sophie Henschke was a big presence around the ground for the victors, while North’s Piper Killick put in a spirited effort. The LCWFL returned to Blue Lake Sports Park on Sunday morning and Kongorong endured another tough four quarters against Casterton Sandford.

The battling team felt the full force of the Cat attack as the Victorians sealed the game in the second quarter. Already enjoying a 33-point lead, Casterton Sandford ruthlessly hammered home another 43 points before half time.

The lead exceeded triple figures well before three-quarter time before the Cats clawed their way to a 138- point thumping. Casterton Sandford had the luxury of numerous threats inside the 50-metre arc led by Emma Lynch and Claire Nolte who both collected bags of four majors.

Best-on-ground Scarlett Jarrad enjoyed a fine day collecting three goals as did Charlotte Launder and Lauren Sykes. Courtney Tait fought hard for the Hawks. South Gambier added another chapter to its unmistakable case to be the 2021 flag favourite with another impressive display.

After two strong performances, Kalangadoo would have fancied its chances, but the writing was on the wall after less than 60 seconds of play. As the midfielders struggled to gain possession from the opening bounce, Emma MacDonald swooped in from the half backline, ran away with the ball and hit the chest of Simone MacDonald at the top of the goal square.

The opening minute set the tone as Demons banged home three more majors before the quarter-time siren, while the visitors only managed two behinds. Kalangadoo managed to kick truly once each in the second and third quarters, but could not prevent South cruising to an unassailable lead.

Kendell Saffin was a key player all over the ground and her performance was encapsulated by a high-flying mark and goal. Emma MacDonald continued to contribute to the Demons’ fast ball movement, which was capitalised by the busy Alice Tentye and Simone MacDonald who both slotted three majors.

Lisa Fyfe’s desperate effort in the backline saw her claim top votes for the Magpies. Friday night football returns to Mount Gambier’s Vansittart Park tomorrow with Millicent and Kongorong kicking things off from 6.30pm.

North hosts Casterton Sandford in the later game, while Kalangadoo and Penola take on the road trip to Mundulla on Sunday when Kybybolite also faces the home side. South enjoys a well-deserved break after already breaking clear at the top of the ladder.

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