THE Murray Bushrangers U18 Girls team were gallant in their 27 point defeat at the hands of a strong Calder Cannons outfit in their Round 5 NAB League game at Highgate Recreation Reserve, Craigieburn.
The Bushrangers were slow to start having a couple of opportunities in the forward fifty early, only for the ball to be turned over and numbers around the footy allowed the Cannons to rebound quickly out of defence, keeping the Bushies scoreless and take an early lead of 19 points to round out the first quarter.
With some positive feedback and reinforcement by coach Tim Madden, the girls’ intensity and effort lifted across the ground. Sophia McCarthy kicked the first of her three goals within the first two minutes of the second quarter. There were some great passages of play reminiscent of a training drill, with the Bushies pegging back the deficit to trail the Cannons by 12 points at half time.
The Bushrangers regrouped and came out with the same intensity, only for the Cannons to be first at the footy, outnumbering the Bushies at the contest and going into the final change, 26 points up.
The final quarter saw Mindy Quade kick truly after a strong contested mark and McCarthy booting her third, to give the Bushrangers some hope pegging back the lead to within reach with plenty of time remaining, but the Cannons were too strong and ran away victors.
Millie Brown, Mikayla Jones, Aurora Smith, Kate Adams, Lily Sharp, Quade and McCarthy were in the thick of the action all game. Their ability to win the contested ball, take the game on and produce third and fourth efforts was praised by the coaching staff, who were able to take a lot of positives out of the group’s performance against quality opposition, with the girls improving round by round.
The final scores were Murray Bushrangers 9.7.61 def Calder Cannons 5.4.34