In one of their closest matches this season, the VFLW Hawks were sadly beaten by the Southern Saints on Sunday.
In perfect conditions at Trevor Barker Oval in Sandringham, Hawthorn was beaten by just 12 points – a disappointing result for a close game.
The Saints came out of the gates with all cannons firing, immediately kicking a goal to assert their dominance.
With the wind in their favour, it was a Saints show for the first term and they didn’t allow the Hawks much action with the ball.
Emily McIlvena and debut player Grace McRae both attempted to stop the opposition in their tracks with shots on goal but were ultimately unsuccessful.
Already with a lead of 20 points at quarter-time, the Saints were confident but had no idea of the change that was about to come their way.
The second quarter was an showing of Hawthorn supremacy, as they didn’t allow the Saints anywhere near their territory for the entire term.
Chloe O’Malley finally put a six-pointer on the board for the Hawks, and she was supported by Emily Gilder kicking back-to-back majors. Gilder, who usually plays in the back line, showed herself to be a flexible member of the team.
At half-time the Hawks only trailed by three points and were placed in a much better position to take on the Saints in the second half.
The third quarter opened in a dramatic fashion, as an injury from the Saints halted play for five minutes as she was treated and carried from the ground.
It was a small break in play but neither team seemed to recover, and scores were kept low for the quarter.
Each side managed only a few shots on goal, with Kristy Stratton making a gallant effort in front of the sticks.
The fourth quarter was eagerly anticipated, as the Hawks were once again kicking with the wind in their favour. The Saints led only by 11 points, and the Hawks were raring to take on the challenge.
However, with back-to-back goals from the opposition, the Saints warned that they weren’t to be trifled with on home turf.
Although the Hawks managed to bring the ball back to their forward 50 and maintained possession throughout the rest of the quarter, accuracy became a major sticking point.
Hawthorn kicked four behinds before Kristy Stratton was finally able to make the distance and score her first major of the day.
It was a brave effort from the girls but sadly not enough to get over the line, and the disappointment after the match was palpable.
As assistant coach Christina Polatajko said after the game, the next step for the Hawks is to be able to “play all four quarters.”
This will be the focus in training before their next match against Darebin, although the girls should be feeling positive as the last time they met, the Hawks came away with the win. On to next week!
Southern Saints 6.8.44
Goals: Gilder 2, O’Malley, Stratton
Best: Hay, Luke, Garner, Bolding, Stratton, Gilder