Girls Touch Football gains ground

This week trending on Touchtube: Venturing to the upside-down to face the St John’s Demogorgon; A last goodbye to the Seniors; four victories, two defeats and smiling Mr McBride who was five days away from long-service leave.

Our Year 10s didn’t know it at the time, but their 1-nil win was integral to OC’s TAS champion positioning. Bystanders watched in anticipation as several touchdown attempts by Emily Ellis and Hannah Harrison were disallowed by Referee Machiavelli, who saw touches OC supporters didn’t see (should have gone to Specsavers). Despite the setbacks, the team played solidly. Emily Ellis and Elise Elkington played a full game with great energy, while a scoot from Hannah with Ally there for support scored the winning try. Great communication in defence from Teahna controlled the team on the St John’s try line and prevented the Forest Lakers from evening up the score by the full-time whistle.

The Seconds game began with injured Senior and regular starting Middle, Haylie Andrews, who was sent in to 'rock-off' for the choice of direction and possession. Feeling confident after a rigorous weekly training session (which was spent learning to sharpen their AFL kicking and marking skills) in the old fashioned “Force ‘em back” strategy Mr McBride played as a teenager - the Seconds looked controlled, worked through their sets strongly, rucked quickly and moved the ball around like pros. OC dominated the first half. Emily Stone who was like a hot rock in a sauna, was sizzling, scoring two out of four tries. While St John’s scored just before half-time, Yasmin Timothy-Parkes and Laura Prince finally had the courage to try a trick play from the tap they had been practicing and the deceptive ‘McBriz’ settler which ended in a flick pass perfectly executed and saw Laura sprint away for a surprise play try. Former premiership winning rugby coach, Mr Hornibrook, was impressed.  In the second half, fatigue caused the girls to make silly errors, allowing St John’s Superstar Sally to score three individual touchdowns in a row. Luckily Sally’s exerted effort left her spent, leaving OC to respond with a beautiful blind side draw and pass from Vanessa Parisi who put try scoring machine Caitlin Newbury away for the clincher. OC won 5-3. A huge victory which saw the team leap frog St John’s into fifth place.

Fighting evil by moonlight
Winning love by daylight
Never running from a real fight
The Firsts were just like Sailor Moon

Mr Peterman and the Firsts hard work throughout the season paid off last Saturday when they defeated the Negamoon Sisters of St John’s. The Firsts were flat from the get go after a less than impressive warm up. Being out enthused, the girls struggled to get any real ascendency in the game as St John’s rucked with more vigour and seemed more up for the contest. Slowly but surely the Firsts found their feet, with Sailor Scout Chantelle Winstanley procuring most of the Firsts promising attacks. Eventually OC’s tactics broke St John’s defence, with Sailor Scout Winstanley and Sailor Scout Natasha Pimley scoring three touchdowns and two touchdowns respectively.  Ruby Wolf also had a solid game to round out the season. By the end of the game, the OC Sailor Scouts won the heart of Tuxedo Mask and proved the difference in class between the two teams with a final score of 5-2. A massive and heartfelt thank you from Mr Peterman to the entire team for a long season, which began way back in Term 1 playing Tuesday nights at Redlands Touch. A special mention to the Firsts four departing Year 12 players - Alissa Mason, Natasha Lay, Sophia Hughes and our inspirational captain Chantelle Winstanley.

This week the Year 7s were caught in a bad romance, unfortunately going down to St John’s 4-3. The game started positively with an early try; however, the empire was quick to strike back as St John’s quickly responded with a touchdown of their very own. Most of the second half was a tie, which drove the OC bystanders Gaga when St John’s scored in the last few minutes of the game. Unfortunately, there were not enough minutes left on the clock for the girls to redeem themselves and while the girls got close to the try line on several occasions they weren’t able to executive over the line. Well done to the girls who have worked hard all season and shown significant improvement since the start of the season.

Our Year 8s had a slower start to the game than usual with a few change overs and neither team gaining much ground to begin with. However, stealthy like a ninja Tayla Valentino-Egan broke through the defensive line with some good footwork to score. Shortly after, Lauren Avent - with great passes from the team – took the score to two touchdowns to nil. Shortly after, a ‘yes/no’ call from St John’s enabled Guitar Hero Chelsea Riley to break through the St John’s line to score. In defence, Tyler Marot made three unbelievable catches on the run to save the team from a change over. In the closing moments of the first half, the team pulled together and successfully implemented one of their plays allowing weet-bix kid Maddy Sloan take the team’s lead to 4-0 by the half-time whistle.

After a half-time sugar hit, the girls came out ready to spice it up with Sporty Spice Sloan opening the second half with a touchdown in the opening minutes. There were a few close calls where St John’s almost scored but some strong defensive plays by OC kept them from being successful. Half way through the second half, an amazing ‘pass and catch’ between Eliza Barnett and Chelsea Riley resulted in another touchdown. The real slim shady of the game was Georgia Croke, who got her first EVER touchdown, meaning that every player on the team scored during the season. By the end of game, the OC Trojan horse had defeated St John’s 7-0. An epic game to end the season with terrific team work.

The Year 9s came out in war paint, ready for the battle ahead. From the very first play the girls knew they were in for a tough one again but that didn't matter, win or lose the girls were there to have a good time for their final game of the season. Once again they were down at half time and needed to try chase down a lead. However, they were outplayed by the St John's girls who were well-drilled and repeatedly made the most of OC's broken defensive line. There may have been a few salty feelings at the end of the game but that didn't stop OC climbing goal posts in order to celebrate their season accomplishments. Teamwork, resiliency and commitment; a strong platform to build from in future seasons.

Overall, a huge congratulations to the OC Touch Football girls whose combined efforts throughout the season have placed them fifth on the ladder - an improvement from last year’s eighth place finish.

Miss Melodie Nelson
TAS Girls Touch Football Coordinator