By Ben Pollard
You couldn’t have scripted Victoria’s first ever Under 14 girls’ grand final any better.
Under lights on Friday night, St Peters and East Sandringham played out an epic match in front of a passionate crowd at Chisholm Reserve in Sandringham.
The final score was St Peters 1.7 (13) to East Sandringham 1.3 (9).
The St Peters girls were led by a best-on-ground performance from their captain Lizzy Wardlaw, who was instrumental in pegging back East Sandy’s early lead.
The Zebbies were in front for most of the night, before St Peters’ Casey Evans booted a last quarter goal to steal the lead.
East Sandy’s best was Molly Bowman, who had the ball on a string, but it unfortunately wasn’t enough to get her team across the line.
Technical difficulties during the pre-match ceremony saw the crowd rise as one to sing the national anthem, while the game itself also began slowly.
However, the intensity steadily grew as the night went on – no more evident than when another of St Peters’ stars, Brittney Seccull, came off nursing an injured shoulder in the third quarter.
In a brilliant show of courage, Brittney returned to the field in the last quarter and provided plenty of drive in the midfield, pushing her team forward at every opportunity.
The game was full of hard-fought, contested, do-or-die footy and both teams should be congratulated for a brilliant display of passion.
The St Peters premiership team consisted of many first-year footballers, four Under 12 players who backed up after last week’s Lightning Carnival, eight girls who returned after the inaugural Under 12 girls’ season in 2011 and three state netballers.
They were presented with their medals and premiership trophy by AFL Victoria Female Development Manager Chyloe Kurdas, South Metro Girls Ambassador Kara Donnellan and Melbourne FC Community Coordinator Glenn Balmforth.
The SMJFL would like to thank all involved with making this wonderful game happen and particularly the Melbourne Football Club for their valuable support in promoting girls’ footy.
Let’s hope we see many more contests like this one well into the future!
* To see photos from the Under 14 girls’ grand final, please visit our photo gallery under the ‘Media’ tab above.