Essendon VFLW has recorded its third win of the season, beating Darebin by eight points at Windy Hill on Saturday.

The Dons led from the outset, showing great composure against a persistent opponent to ultimately claim the 4.10 (34) to 4.2 (26) triumph.                         

The first goal of the game came via Lori Stepnell 18 minutes into the opening term, highlighting the tight start.                      

Despite both teams struggling to gain possession and a few missed opportunities at goal, Essendon was able to dominate the battle in defence, keeping the Falcons goalless in the opening term.  

Darebin clawed its way back to within just three points in the second, before Cecilia McIntosh was able to get the Bombers back on the board with a karate-style major.                  

The Dons' forward six, including Sian Wilson, Alex Quigley and Jessica Stassi, showed intensity in controlling the contest.   

A goal late in the second quarter from forward Lauren Arnell was vital in developing Darebin’s relentless attack, cutting the Bombers’ lead to just five points at the main break.                         

The Bombers trapped the ball inside their forward half in the third term, creating plenty of scoring opportunities but couldn’t capitalise on the scoreboard.       

The windy conditions added some difficulties, with limited accuracy in front of goal.    

At the other end, Essendon’s defence was impermeable, not allowing Darebin a single inside 50.  

Lauren Ahrens was influential in her return from injury, while Shae Audley continued to impress, swarming Darebin at every opportunity as the Bombers asserted themselves around the ball.

Bucking the trend of the three previous quarters, it was Essendon which brought pressure and intensity to the contest, with McIntosh slotting her second for the day in the opening minutes.       

But Darebin continued to push and challenge.     

The Dons steadied with a great link-up play, starting with Molly Warburton to set up Maddy Collier’s first and maintain the lead.    

The Falcons, however, had all the answers, kicking the final major to help cut down Essendon’s lead, but the Bombers had done more than enough to secure the victory.            

McIntosh finished with two majors, while Stepnell and Collier contributed with one each.    

Senior coach Brendan Major said he was pleased with his side’s efforts.

“It was a really good contest, we played patches of really good football,” Major said.

“I think Federica Frew’s first half was just elite, her first quarter was exceptional and Lauren Ahrens' second half was exceptional.

“I think Georgia Nanscawen played really well again. But I think it was an overall good effort”. 

Major said inaccuracy in front of goal had nothing to do with the trying conditions.

“It was all about our decision-making going forward,” he said.

“We were kicking long points, it happens quite often for sides, but we just got a little bit caught up in it.

“We’ve got to play the numbers game better, as opposed to trying to kick miraculous goals from 45 out”.

Major also praised the efforts of the two debutants.

“They went really well,” he said.

“Marianna Anthony has worked really hard over the pre-season to get to where she is and she attacks the footy and attacks the contest, second to none.

“(Terira Fry) for a small player, she is really strong around the contest, she’s really smart, she defended well, I was really happy with her game”. 

Essendon will take on Williamstown from 12pm on Saturday, July 20 at Point Gellibrand Oval.

Essendon 1.5    2.7    2.9    4.10 (34)
Darebin    0.1    2.2    2.2    4.2 (26)      


Essendon – McIntosh 2, Stepnell, Collier  

Darebin – Arnell 2, D’Amato, Simpson

Victoria Raptis is in the final year of her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) degree at RMIT University. As part of their strategic partnership, Essendon Football Club and RMIT University are committed to providing opportunities for students, staff, players and the wider community.