Olinda Women’s team played ladder leader Healesville for the second time in three rounds at Belgrave on Saturday morning. While the result was the same, Olinda going down by 50 points in a little over 2 quarters of play, the spectacle was much better and Olinda was able to produce a much better brand of football. It was, in fact, the best football Olinda had played since it’s round 3 Anzac Day win vs Upwey.
After dealing with the late withdrawal of young gun Grace Belloni, Olinda had even honours in general play in the first quarter. Ball movement was much slicker, as was transition from defence and clearance work.
The difference between the two sides, and it plagued Olinda for the duration of the game, was Healesville’s ability to outnumber and get free players in attack. This resulted in 2 fairly easy goals for Healesville and they went into quarter time 16 points up.
The second quarter brought a showing of Mars Attacks! as ruck Amalija “Mars” Kostich followed up her good first quarter with a masterful display in the ruck. Olinda won every centre bounce clearance, and Amalija’s contested work, marking and ball use around the ground was a highlight. Capt. Maddie Collins put on her usual display of strong body work, marking and long kicking. Claire Hyett did as she does every time she runs on the field, hard running and attack on each contest, and continually bringing her teammates into the game.
However, the brilliance Olinda displayed was nullified by Healesville’s continuing ability to get easy goals, mostly as a result of their midfielders being able to drift forward unattended. Olinda had their chances up forward, but the delivery into the forward line was haphazard, and any genuine scoring opportunities were sprayed. Credit must go to Healesville, they have proven to be the benchmark of the competition at both ends of the ground. Healesville put on another 3 goals to go into half time 37 points ahead.
Healesville started the third quarter with 2 effortless goals in as many minutes which was disappointing. Unfortunately, the game came to a sudden halt when Healesville’s Captain, Kelly Laidlaw, bravely backed into an oncoming marking pack and received a knee in the back for her troubles and landed awkwardly. With the risk of spinal damaged, she could not be moved until an ambulance arrived, and the clock ran out with no more play. We sincerely hope she is ok and applaud her courage.
The final result was Healesville 50 to 0.