by Ian Baxter
In sweltering conditions more Australia than Yorkshire another ladies game took place, this time in Sheffield, as the curtain raiser to the Central and Northern England League Men’s Grand Final. The game was between the Tyne Tees Tigers and the Crusaders a team made up of ladies from the Wimbledon Hawks, Wolverhampton Wolverines and Nottingham.
In the first quarter the Tigers jumped out to an early lead kicking the first few goals with Lynn Mitchell winning the ruck taps and the Tigers midfield delivering the ball into the forward line. But the crusaders fought back into it with Laura Turner’s run and carry and Rania Ramadan accuracy in front of goal to bring it back to just 2 points at quarter time.
1Q Tigers 3.3.21 Crusaders 3.1.19
In the second quarter the Tigers using Michelle Healy to tag Turner nullified the Crusaders attack. And with Tigers midfielder Polly Moane, and forward Jordy Lane finding more of the ball they were able to kick three unanswered goals to take a 20 point lead into half time. Despite the heat and the hard running nature of the game the Crusaders managed to keep the pressure on the Tigers capping the quarter at 3 goals.
HT Tigers 6.3.39 Crusaders 3.1.19
The third quarter, started in confusion as the Tigers switched Tanya Scully from defence to attack, Nicola McLaughlin did all the hard work winning the ball in the centre square then proceeded to kick the wrong way!
As the legs started to tire in the heat, the play became more open with more one on one contests. There was some tough tackling on display from both sides but in particular the Crusaders Sophie Morris.
With more run and carry on display from the Crusaders in particular the tireless Rachel ‘Killa’ Kilmartin and French pair Chloe Raso and Gaelle Hazimeh the crusaders came back strongly into the game. Tigers captain Lisa McHugh sweeping up in the back line allowed the Tigers to edge the quarter by a single point and the game remained in the balance going into the final break.
3Q Tigers 9.5.59 Crusaders 6.2.37
In the final quarter as the Tigers tired the Crusaders pushed on reversing the 2nd quarter, with Jess Forster, Turner and Ramadan scoring 3 unanswered goals.
With the Tigers profligate in front of goal, managing 4 behinds, they hung on for a 7 point win.
Full time Tigers 9.9.63 Crusaders 9.2.56
Tigers: Moane 4 Lane 3 Healy 1 McHugh 1
Crusaders: Ramadan 5 Turner 3 Forster 1
Following this 4th successful women’s game this year the ladies are now looking forward to taking part in the Axios Euro Cup in October. With an AFL England women’s training session to occur in Chippenham in September the future of the women’s game in England has never looked so bright.