Dazzling sunshine, a decent crowd and howling winds greeted the Ulladulla Dockettes women’s AFL side on Saturday afternoon as they took to the field for their first home game at Dockerlands stadium. The girls took on the Northern District Tigers, who were looking to bounce back from a first-round loss.
The Tigers had the bonus of running with a howling westerly at their backs in the first quarter, which proved to be a huge advantage. The Dockers ruck and rovers started with a few flashes of brilliance, but the breeze ensured the Tigers were pumping the ball forward early.
This field position brought the Dockers backline into the thick of things, fullback Shaylee reefing the ball out of trouble with her big right boot, Shannon knocking Tigers players down like they were skittles, while newcomers Ellen and Paris worked tirelessly, pressuring everything. The Dockers had a tough time of it though, trailing 26 zip at quarter-time.
The second quarter was a much improved one for coach Kimbo’s purple soldiers, ruckman Cian carried her goal kicking form on from week one, slotting a major along with a few near misses.
Elsewhere it was a coming of age quarter for the tenacious Sally, who was moved on to the ball this week and looked right at home, displaying a good mixture of pace and patience to help T and the half forwards lock the ball in the Dockers forward 50. Despite the great field position the Dockers couldn’t exact full toll, managing 1 goal 1 for the quarter and trailing 26 to 7 at the main break.
A change of ends meant another momentum shift due to the wind and the Tigers pushed forward. A stroke of coaching genius saw Plugger Clough moved from the forwards to play loose in the backs, where she wreaked havoc.
Elsewhere it was good to see T running high quality leads, Cian breaking tackles, Sally and Tara putting their heads over the footy in traffic and Nicole putting on a big don’t argue. The Dockers left with plenty to do at the 3/4 break down 40 to 7.
The purplehaze had plenty of ground to make up in the final quarter, new recruit Gemma took to the Sherrin like a greyhound to a bone, scooping it it up and taking off at a rate of knots whenever she got the chance. T was again dynamic across the half forward line, setting the ball up nicely.
Ash came up with a few crucial tackles as well as getting in to great position in the forward 50, while Shannon put a huge hit on a Tigers forward. It wasn’t the Dockers’ day though as a talented Tigers backline held the girls in purple to just one behind for the quarter. The final score a Dockers loss 41 points to 9.
It was another great effort by the girls and it was really nice to see a few new faces making their debuts. The Tigers were a well drilled side and the coaching staff are still confident that this Dockers side are real contenders. Was great for the club to have two senior sides playing.
Training is Tuesdays and Thursday from 6pm and we’re always on the look out for new players. The Dockettes are at home again next week against the Wollongong Bulldogs from 12.15pm, the men’s game from 10.15. Get down to Dockerlands (Ulladulla sports park) and get around around the #purplehaze.