Wind, wind and more wind greeted the Ulladulla Dockettes on Saturday at Keira Street Oval as the women's side headed north to take on the Wollongong Bulldogs. It was a new look line-up for Ulladulla, the club welcoming Lilly and Dakota in for their first games in purple. It was a mark of just how good an environment the girls have created to field a strong side of 18 given there were a whopping 10 players out with injuries and illness.
A few players were in unfamiliar territory but the positional changes went smoothly, as Dakota and Meg made their presence felt in the midfield, winning the footy on the inside and dishing it out to wingers Mel and Mia who, fresh from their dual rep captaincy the week before, looked a step ahead of their Wollongong opponents.
Once in the forward 50 it was the Shan squared show, with Shan L running her trademark leads out of the square and Shannon B involving herself in everything, leading, tackling, talking, taking impossible marks and kicking the Dockers' first major. When the Bulldogs defenders did manage to blunt the Shan attack they were greeted by Mia "the magpie" Clough swooping on any loose footy and pumping it forward, where the tireless Jodie added the first goal of her career. A classy soccering effort from centre half forward Em gave the Dockettes their third for the quarter to see the Dockers side take a commanding 21-0 lead at the main break.
The second quarter saw the wind advantage favour the Dogs, but it did little to stem the Docker dominance of field position. Dakota was ever present at the stoppages, forming a good partnership with ruckwoman Kristelle to get plenty of clearances. Regan was physical at the breakdown, making the Dogs players work for every inch and getting the ball to Meg on the outside, who pushed forward and added a terrific goal of her own.
When the Dogs looked like pushing forward, skipper Shazzle and halfback Bethany were more than up to the task, brushing defenders and getting the Sherrin back in attacking territory. The forward line was working well, Evie Powell in particular was getting stuck into her work, running strong leads out of the Dockers attacking end and chasing everything. The wind made it a tricky day in front of goal with the Meg Buchanan major the only score for the quarter. Dockers up 27-0 at the main change.
The wind seemed to move from gale force to cyclone level in the third term. Bethany showed great courage off the halfback line taking a great mark in a heavy collision, Jodie Mclaren was showing yet again what a footballing force she has become, using the ball masterfully of the half back line, while half backs turned half forwards Toni and Nic started getting in on the action, running strong lines and coming up with some influential touches around the forward 50. The Dockers were unable to capitalise in the bad conditions, the scoreline remaining unchanged 27-0 heading in to the final term.
It was a similar scene in the final term, the Dockers remaining focused and physical to the end. Kristelle continued to dominate the ruck, meg was taking bounces at will down the right flank, Dakota was unlucky not to add her first goal in purple with a few long range efforts, Rach was repelling any Dogs attacking raids down back while Evie Powell was having her best game of the season before succumbing to a collarbone injury late. A second goal from Shannon 'Killer Catepillar' Bradley sealed it for the Dockers. The final score Ulladulla 36, Wollongong 0.
Players player went 3 points Dakota, 2 points Jodie with 1 point shared between Kristelle and Meg. As always it was a physical and tough contest from the Dogs side, with a few Dockers players carrying bumps and bruises to show for it. Thank you to Brett for goal umpiring and Annette for running water. The girls have a top of the table clash next week against the Dapto Stallions who pushed the purple haze all the way in round 1. It's also the Ulladulla past players and sponsors day, so come down for a beer. Women's 11:30, Men's 1pm!