DALYSTON’S Youth Girls team made history on Sunday, winning the first ever West League grand final by 10 points.
Played at Leongatha in good, but occasionally slippery conditions, Dalyston settled to the grand final atmosphere quickly.
The first tap out wasn’t a competition with the free kick given to Dalyston’s Mollie Bloch for a centre-square infringement.
However, it was Phillip Island, through some good linking up play and follow-ups, that was first into its 50m arc.
However, Dalyston responded well, rebounding the attack through some good decisions by Hayley Balmer out on the far wing, which resulted in a rushed behind.
The girls were playing hard and some good tackles held up the transfer of the ball, where Bloch and Phillip Island’s Julia Redmond could finally get a match up.
The two had a great game, evenly matched and played in excellent spirit.
Phillip Island’s Charlie Ross was leading by example, finding space and marking well before kicking on quickly.
At the first break, Dalyston was one point up.
The second quarter also started with a technical infringement.
Dalyston, having been gifted the possession made good use of it, kicking and rushing behind a succession of points.
Dalyston’s best effort came from Bloch, who ran on from an uncontested mark, with her thunderous kick bouncing on fingertips over the pack for a point.
Phillip Island was putting together some good passages of play led by Makeisha Muller, but the game was congested in the midfield.
Another shot at goal came from Sinead Griffin, who marked and kicked but it hit the post.
The first goal of the game came late in the quarter, a major by Megan Hocking which was followed by a huge celebration from the crowd.
Dalyston was leading 15-0, but Phillip Island was showing intensity at the stoppages.
Dalyston continued scoring points, kicks dribbling over the line and some rushed behinds.
Finally, Dalyston scored its second through Ella O’Flynn and it looked like Phillip Island was sucking in air.
Emma Volard was having an exhausting day, crumbing well off the packs which worked particularly well with the boundary umpire’s big throw-ins.
Muller linked up well with Jessica Gysberts and their work from the back line through the midfield saw Phillip Island score its first point.
Phillip Island lifted in intensity, strong tackles ensued and a holding the ball resulted in Phillip Island’s first goal at 14:59.
At the last break the scores were 2-10–22 to 1-1-7 – game on!.
Phillip Island’s Chloe Moxey had a good chance for a goal, taking the mark, but instead decided to pass, catching her teammate unaware, and Dalyston was able to bring the ball back down the ground.
A point and a poor kick in from Dalyston saw Ashlee Moxey mark 25 metres out.
Her floating kick looked like it would hit the post, but the wind took it in for a miraculous goal.
Dalyston’s Chelsea Wilson responded with her own goal.
Then the ball was back straight down to Phillip Island where Shelby Heatley goaled. It was thrilling footy to watch.
Phillip Island’s Maddison Pearsall was keeping up the pressure in Phillip Island’s backline as Volard’s attempt hit the post.
Volard’s point was the last score of the day, and while she was bitterly disappointed, she was still judged best on ground and the league’s leading goal kicker.
Dalyston’s final siren celebrations were dampened when an ambulance was called for a Phillip Island player who was having difficulty after a big tackle, but by all reports she is recovering well.
Final score: Dalyston 3.11.29 def Phillip Island 3.1.19.
The Dalyston girls will take on Traralgon at Moe at 1.30pm on Sunday for the Champion of Champions match, between East and West Gippsland leagues.
Historic win by Dalyston’s girls