Monbulk Stuns Upwey

Hayden Finlay of Monbulk takes mark of the day as ... hon Hevern's shoulders. (Supplied: Anthea Heagney)

By Armin Richter



Round 12 signalled that the Outer East season was two thirds of the way through the home & away meetings. Monbulk had won their last four matches but came up against a skilful and hardworking Upwey team on a high after they had become the first team to defeat Narre Warren this year. Since Upwey-Tecoma formed in 1946 they have been Monbulk’s most regular opponent, with Saturday’s clash being the 160th meeting between the clubs – the Hawks having won 63, lost 94 and drawn twice previously against the Tigers.

Monbulk were intent on sending a message from the opening bounce and looked to be in control, not only when they had the ball or the ball was in dispute, but also when Upwey gained possession. With sustained pressure football the Hawks caused turnovers, and their skills at extracting the ball from tight situations to release players in a better position was a feature throughout the game. Hayden Finlay took one of the best marks of 2024 just on half time, which gave Monbulk the momentum heading into the second half as he converted for a team lifting goal.

The expected Upwey fightback didn’t eventuate as Monbulk had an answer to every situation. The final margin could have been greater as the Tigers were restricted to only about 10 effective forward 50 entries from which they scored five goals. Monbulk ran out the game strongly to record their best win of the season by 70 points over the fourth placed Upwey side. The full four quarter effort pleased the large home crowd that had gathered for the occasion. After facing possible relegation just five weeks ago, Monbulk are now equal sixth but have a tough run home, starting with Wandin at Wandin this week. The only sour note was an injury to Jack Downard-Pengilly while defender Mitch Veit played his 50th game.

Monbulk 15.12.102 def Upwey-Tecoma 5.2.32

Best: Hayden Finlay, Mitchell Veit, Max Thornton, Lochlan Beecroft, Joshua Spencer, Campbell Evans

Goals: Hayden Finlay 3, Lochlan Beecroft 2, Josh Wentworth 2, Max Thornton 2, Ben Hughson 1, Johnathon Hevern 1, Ryan Gilbert 1, Brodie Emmett 1, Adam Banks 1, Campbell Evans 1


The Upwey-Tecoma Reserves have been a dominant team for many years and are the premiership favourites as they sit two games clear on top of the ladder. The experienced Tigers outfit had a decisive victory on the scoreboard as Monbulk found it hard to penetrate Upwey’s defenses. Monbulk’s backline deserve great credit though as the ball was coming in fast and often over the 80 minutes and their desperation against the odds was admirable.

Monbulk 0.2.2 def by Upwey-Tecoma 13.18.96

Best: Zeke Charlton, Nicholas Taylor, Thijs Koelewyn, Jayden Spencer, Lachlan Smith, Hamish Emmett


Both Monbulk and Thornton were missing a few players and the game was played at less than regulation numbers as the Kangaroos weren’t able to muster a full eighteen. The Monbulk contingent that took to the field have been the girls that have represented the club consistently throughout the year and they put in another dominant display. The Hawks linked up well and gave their forwards plenty of opportunities to capitalise on the work from up the field.

Monbulk 8.10.58 def Thornton-Eildon 1.1.7

Best: Maddison Dodd, Yanessa Hancock-Wolfe, Shania Turner, Madeline Caarels, Madeline Vouvopoulos, Jade McCormick

Goals: Madeline Vouvopoulos 2, Jade McCormick 2, Claire Scully 1, Maddison Dodd 1, Grace Emmett 1, Jennifer Pauw 1



This match terminated in the third quarter when club stalwart Sophie Stubbs broke her arm, which saw the game abandoned. Monbulk won the match but the whole clubs’ thoughts are with Sophie as they wish her a successful operation and recovery. Sophie first played for Monbulk in 2011 and was making her 194th appearance for the Hawks. She holds the all time Monbulk record for games played in A Grade, with 182, and won the club Best & Fairest in in 2015. Monbulk find themselves in equal third spot and will meet the top two sides next.

Monbulk 28 def Upwey-Tecoma 22

Best: Jamie Clark, Sophie Stubbs, Peri Reid

Goals: Peri Reid 23, Sophie Stubbs 3, Jennifer Dewhurst 2


Seventh placed Monbulk took on ninth placed Upwey-Tecoma and it was the Hawks who took control early, holding an 11 goal lead by quarter time. The match was more balanced after that but Monbulk played a great team game as they eventually ran out victors by 18 goals. It was Tiana Mancarella’s 150th appearance for Monbulk and it was also notable for the return of Rihanna Kelly after nearly two months out with a foot injury.

Monbulk 52 def Upwey-Tecoma 34

Best: Chloe Schmidtke, Georgia Wilson, Tiana Mancarella

Goals: Jorja Wragg 22, Olivia Crook 17, Chloe Schmidtke 13


Monbulk were sitting in the top six, but only a game ahead of Upwey-Tecoma. In an old-fashioned 8 point game, the Hawks could either have a 2 game buffer or be separated by percentage by the finish of play. The match was virtually decided in the second quarter as Monbulk put on a show, winning the term 14-1. The Tigers fought back in the second half but struggled to make inroads. Tara Donald, who had debuted in 2010, played her 150th match for the club while Jess Whitworth also made her first appearance since having a baby.

Monbulk 36 def Upwey-Tecoma 24

Best: Sammi Kelly, Olivia Crook, Jamie Sands

Goals: Jamie Sands 22, Olivia Crook 13, Laura Del Biondo 1


The development squad came into this match on a high, having come off consecutive wins. Unlike the scalps they had claimed in their two victories, they were up against the finals bound fifth placed Tigers this week. In a seesawing match it looked like Upwey would prevail when they got out to a four goal lead but this young team and their new found confidence and belief were not to be denied. In a never-say-die finish the Hawks prevailed by a solitary goal. Eireann Lawson captained the team in Brooke O’Loughlin’s absence and the third Under 15 player in two weeks debuted, when Stevie Mullinder played her first senior match.

Monbulk 25 def Upwey-Tecoma 24

Best: Hayley Donald, Isla Stubbs, Stevie Mullinder

Goals: Hayley Donald 16, Maddy Buckland 5, Ella Flynn 4