PHILLIP Island’s Youth Girls are 2019 Southern Eastern Junior Football Competition Premiers, after defeating Korumburra-Bena on Saturday.
The game, at Tarwin Lower Recreation Reserve, was a tight contest throughout, with the score kept low on both sides, and the final margin only seven points.
The Phillip Island girls got away to a good start with goals to Ashlee Moxey and Poppy Marshall, while the Giants kicked 0.3.
The contest was a bit tighter and more even in the second quarter, with the two teams kicking a goal each.
The third quarter was a real scrap, with the Giants winning most of the ball and keeping Phillip Island scoreless. Korumburra Bena kicked another goal and three points to even the score.
The Island’s Cara Moschetti snapped the only goal in the final quarter, putting them back into the lead. They held on to that lead and kept the Giants scoreless to take out the trophy.
Island coach Diddy Cuthbertson said the game delivered exactly what they’d expected from the Giants, which they considered themselves evenly matched with in terms of skill and size.
“We knew [the Giants] would never give up,” Diddy said. “All of our games against each other this season have been close, and this was no different, but our girls had the desperation to win.”
Diddy said the girls worked fantastically as a team, but midfielder Sunday Brisbane earned best on ground for her uncanny ability to find the ball. “She always knows where to be,” said Diddy.
“And despite being one of our smallest players, she can run all day.”
Saturday’s grand final was the last game for Island captain Ellen Williams, who’s played for the Island’s Youth Girls since the beginning (2016) and is described by Diddy as a great role model.
“She’s always encouraging the younger girls and leading by example by being really tough on the field and a great sport.”
It was also the last game for Ashlee Moxey, who had a great game playing at full forward.
Diddy hopes to return for her fifth year coaching the Island’s Youth Girls in 2020, continuing to develop their skills and work on their game.
The club’s had good numbers at training this season and Diddy expects that to continue as the sport is “absolutely” growing in popularity among girls.
She said the Youth Girls received great support from the Phillip Island Football Netball Club and it was wonderful to see so many girls taking up the opportunity to play footy.
“It’s great that girls now have a pathway to keep playing footy instead of stopping when they get to the age of 14/15,” she said.
“I would’ve loved to have played myself when I was younger but the same opportunities weren’t available back then, so I’m really happy to be involved in this way now.”