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Fitzroy-ACU Reserves make first grand final


With a tough five-point win over its more fancied opponents the University of Melbourne in the Premier Womens Reserves preliminary final, Fitzroy-ACU Reserves has made it through to its first grand final.

For the second week in a row, the game was played with a strong wind favouring one end, this time at Williamstowns VFL ground, and the result was the same.

Despite Melbourne Uni having a lot of possession in the first quarter with the ball locked in their forward half, Fitzroy scored against the wind thanks to a beautiful team goal kicked in the end by Susie Worthington and took a five-point lead into the first break.

A bad head clash late in the quarter between two Roy Girls, led to a lengthy delay and the team needing to play must of the game two short. Tess Plant-Thomas, probably one of the favourites for the best and fairest this year, had to leave the ground for Williamstown hospital with a bad cut to the forehead and a broken nose. Teammate Cass Blake also had a cut above the eye and suspected concussion.

The strong defence under the weight of possession was something weve come to expect from this Reserves side and they managed to keep the University of Melbourne goalless for the first half. Going into the break 2.0.12 to 1 point, the Fitzroy-ACU side was full of confidence but realising the big challenge was yet to come.

With the coachs message You havent let me down so far and I dont expect you to the Roy Girls headed back out after half time to face a fired up Mugars outfit with the wind at their backs.

It didnt take long for the Uni team to use the conditions to best effect with one goal early in the third quarter and another late, to put them three points up at the final break. The tension and the tackling only stepped up in intensity from there.

It took a gutsy effort in the final quarter to thwart Melbourne Unis repeated efforts to build on their lead and then a cool, calm shot from Calypso Poole, about 25 metres out on an angle, tipped things back in Fitzroys favour.

The final score was 3.2.20 to 2.3.15 to set up a grand final against a Marcellin side that has taken all before it this year, with only one loss for the season and a percentage of over 1000!

The coach named Shannon Alexander as Fitzroys best player, for her work in the backline, dropping back behind the play especially after her teammates went down. He could have named half a dozen or more; captain Rachael Telfer led from the front all day, Freya Shearer was simply outstanding with her reading of the bounce and often taking on more than one opponent and repelling their attack with her pace and guile, Bridie Murphy, Loz Field, Nikita Smith, Tess Young and Katie Hillier also got in and did a lot of the hard work. Susie Worthington backed up her performance of last week with two goals.

The three-point win means Fitzroy-ACU will play the grand final at the home of VAFA football at Elsternwick Park on Oval 1 at 12pm this Sunday 19 August. Given the signage and the costumers weve seen at the two finals so far, the grand final may well be as big off field as on.


Post grand final celebrations

Win or lose, we will be congratulating the team on their season at a special function at the Royal Derby on Sunday evening. The club has a function room booked from 4 to 8pm and everyone is welcoming to join us.





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