Felines competitive at Birralee Park
On a great day for football where the ambient temperature was an even 18C, the gentlest of breeze drifted across the ground, and some give in the turf due to the recent rain, the Felines travelled to Birralee Park to take on the Wodonga Raiders.
The under 14 team were jumped early in the first quarter by the strong Raiders team. The Raiders had a number of midfield players who were able to hunt the ball, and run with it once they had gathered possession. This meant that they dominated forward possession and they were able to constantly convert their forward opportunities.
After the first quarter, the young Felines improved their play and teamwork. They were on several occasions able to link up and move the ball to their forward line. However, unlike the Raiders, they were not able to capitalise on their good work.
Abbey Ibrahim played well for the four quarters, and Carrington Schmidt played a solid game wherever the coaches positioned her, full back or on the ball. As the game went on, most of the Felines lifted and in particular Anastaisia Lairson and Marlie Smith.
In the end Raiders had a comfortable wine. However, the scoreboard did not properly reflect the good even tussle between the two teams.
Wodonga Raiders 13.13-91 defeated Murray Felines
Best Players: Abbey Ibrahim, Carrington Schmidt, Ashlyn Willett, Anastasia Lairson, Marlie Smith, Kaity Ford.
The under 17 team had 8 players out for this match and so it was great to see some of the under 14 players step up and play with the under 17 girls.
In another mirror image to the under 14 match, the Felines jumped out of the blocks with some solid team work and running from the midfield. However, goals proved hard to come by for the majority of the match.
The Raiders also had a strong midfield contingent, and this made for a very entertaining match with the football moving rapidly around the field.
Ava Loughnan was outstanding as the ruck rover and she was helped out by Paige Duffy.
Hannah Loughnan started in the back line but after quarter time she was moved forward by the coaching staff. Hannah provided an effective forward option throughout the match. Her ability to swerve into and out of trouble with a smile on her face is amazing.
The Felines had the ball camped in their forward 50m arc for much of the match but they struggled to convert their chances.
At centre half forward, Olivia Cheeseman improves each week and continually provides a strong contest in the forward line. Not to be outdone, Millie Cheeseman is gaining in confidence each week and her efforts and developing skill in the forward line is very pleasing.
The back line was solid for the entire match and did not let the Raiders score a goal. This was exemplified by Sophie Kelly and Phina Muscat who returned fire on most of the Raiders forward 50m entries.
In the last quarter, the Felines were able to break the shackles and started to get some scoreboard results for their efforts. Georgia Kelly was able to finally break free of her opponent and run the ball. Latoya Holdsworth and her sister Jazmine Holdsworth were able to get amongst the goals with some skilful evasions in the forward line.
In all, the result was a solid win against a worthy opponent in Wodonga Raiders who never stopped trying. The Felines, were able to record what was on paper a convincing win but they had to work at it much to the delight of the coach Brad Nicholson
The open team played the undefeated, top of the ladder Raiders.
Once again this was an entertaining match where the final scoreboard did not reflect the pressure the Felines placed on the Raiders and the evenness of the contest. The Raiders also had a full team and plus some, which meant that they were able to keep up their rotations and run the match out till the end.
Through the match, the senior Felines had opportunities deep in their forward line to score but they were not able to take their chances.
In the back line, Kaitlyn Robinson played a dominant role at centre half back. Emily Nicholson was back to her best with her tackling and skills around the pack.
Mietta Habets won most of her ruck contests against taller opponents. Some of the under 17 girls played on and they all had strong contributions to the game.
At the end of the match in a much-appreciated gesture, the coach of the Raiders, Mr Terry Burgess, spoke to the Felines playing group and praised them for their intensity and attack at the football. He encouraged the team to keep persevering and said that they were not far off from being a good team and being able to match it with the top teams on the ladder.