Reds take home inaugural title
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.
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.