Reds take home in­au­gu­ral ti­tle

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Pe­ter de Krui­jff

The Hed­land Reds barn­stormed their way to the in­au­gu­ral VSwans Pil­bara Women’s AFL Twi­light Car­ni­val Shield with­out drop­ping a game.

Fac­ing the highly touted New­man Dragons in the grand fi­nal on Satur­day night at Colin Mathe­son Oval, the Reds snapped three goals with the wind in the first half and held on for the rest of the game to win the com­pe­ti­tion.

It was the sec­ond de­feat the Reds had given to the Dragons on the night in the round-robin event, hav­ing won 4.1 (25) to 3.2 (20) in their first en­counter.

But the fi­nal was the fiercest game of the night as the top two sides tus­sled hard, dis­pos­ing of the ball well and string­ing to­gether a few seam­less pas­sages of play.

Hed­land Reds coach Shane Beros was chuffed with the ti­tle and said ini­tially he had not known what to ex­pect when his full squad pulled on their guernseys on the week­end.

With a few former WAFL play­ers, good size and young tal­ent, the side proved to be the team to beat.

For his trou­ble, Beros copped a cooler full of ice-cold wa­ter on a windy night cour­tesy of a cheeky young sup­porter.

The tour­na­ment started with a clash be­tween the Kar­ratha Pan­thers and the Reds.

VSwans East Pil­bara re­gional man­ager Chelsea Ran­dall gave each side a breakdown of the rules be­fore say­ing the most im­por­tant thing was to get out “and have fun with your mates”.

With a ma­jor­ity of first-time footy play­ers, the Kar­ratha girls took a while to feel out the game in the first half but were solid against their tough coun­ter­parts.

There were a few er­rant el­bows as play­ers pre­ferred to shep­herd their op­po­nents than go for the ball.

A mem­o­rable mo­ment came in the first 12-minute half for Pan­thers driv­ing force and mid­fielder Keryn Eck­er­s­ley , who had been aching to play foot­ball for more than two years, when she booted a goal. Reds won the game 3.3 (21) to 1.1 (7). Kar­ratha did not win a game, but like all the teams their play­ers were thrilled to have a go.

The spirit of the game was on full dis­play as all three teams lent a help­ing hand to the Ash­bur­ton An­gels, which had a core of 12 play­ers from Tom Price and Parabur­doo, by sup­ply­ing ex­tra play­ers for the girls in the Tigers’ striped sin­glets.

The tour­na­ment was a tes­ta­ment to the hard work of vol­un­teers from each town work­ing to fur­ther the in­ter­ests of women’s foot­ball in the Pil­bara.

All the teams from the VSwans Pil­bara Women’s AFL Twi­light Car­ni­val.

Pic­tures: Pe­ter de Krui­jff

In­au­gu­ral car­ni­val win­ners the Hed­land Reds.

Kar­ratha Pan­thers’ Brit­tney Camp­bell fends off a Hed­land Reds de­fender.

Chelsea Ran­dall takes a big grab for the New­man Dragons.

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