Leven stars in Youth Girls’ success

The Central West Youth Girls travelled to West Wyalong to start proceedings against Northern Riverina Football Netball League (NRFNL). Despite being short-handed the girls were enthusiastic from the first bounce. From the outset, the girls were ferocious and demonstrated their physicality. Strong tackling pressure led to the Northern Riverina girls having no time with the football and caused a number of early turnovers that led to scoring opportunities. A goal apiece to Grace McRae and Rhiani Rozga had the Central West in front by two goals at quarter time.

Northern Riverina regrouped in the second quarter and matched the Central West’s physicality. An improved NRFNL effort created a tight quarter of football and with the Westies kept goalless, it was an even contest at the main break. Coach Luke Le Page was concerned that the lack of available rotations was starting to take its toll on the team.

The Central West girls came out firing in the third quarter with Jade Leven providing run and carry into the forward line. Anna Macpherson regained control in the ruck and the Central West midfielders were able to deliver pinpoint supply into our forward line. Zoe Peters reaped the rewards with a two goal quarter, whilst Grace McRae chimed in with her second. Jade Leven provided a number of highlights including a blistering run through the midfield including multiple bounces and a goal.

Northern Riverina came out firing in the last quarter with a quick goal before the match returned to an arm wrestle. Molly Mann, playing off half back, provided run and carry  and launched a number of effective forward thrusts. Grace McRae added another goal to take her tally to three for the match.

Final Score – NRNFL 2.0.12 def by AFL CW 8.9.57

NRNFL – C. Batholomew 1, L. Smith 1
AFL CW – G. McRae 3, Z. Peters 3, R. Rozga 1, J. Leven 1

AFL CW Best Players:

J. Leven (BOG), M. Mann, Z. Peters, G. McRae, E. Gibson, I. Gailey

What they said:
Co-Captains Elizabeth Gibson and Amelia Chapman:

“We all communicated really well together, a lot of us hadn’t played together before” said Chapman after the match.

“Our numbers at the ball were really strong” added Gibson, who noted that there was still improvements to be made. “We need to work on our marking up in transition” assessed Gibson post-match.

Coach Luke Le Page:

“Having selected a lot of players on the younger end of the Youth Girls age bracket I wasn’t sure how we would gel as a team. I think the result, particularly the third quarter speaks for itself. There were some fantastic passages of play chained together by the girls”. He also made mention of the progress made in the Northern Riverina in the post-match presentation. “The Northern Riverina has come a long way in twelve months, it is difficult when the girls aren’t playing regularly but the improvement from last year was obvious to anyone that watched the game. I am looking forward to seeing how they perform next year”

Player of the match Jade Leven, just 13, led from the first bounce and stamped her authority as a physical player on the match early. “I thought our midfield were particularly good. Jade is a tackling machine and once she decided to tuck the ball under her arm and run in the third quarter it really opened the game up for us. We have a lot to work on in the lead up to the Shoalhaven carnival but we have put together a strong foundation to build on over the next few years.”


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