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Dominant youth girls win highlights big weekend of junior interleague action

Standout performer: Shepparton Swans product Holly Egan was prolific in the NCWL’s interleague victory. Photo by Aydin Payne

The region’s top junior footballers were given a chance to showcase their talents on the interleague stage on Sunday, with Northern Country Women’s League and Goulburn Murray Junior Football League staging matches against Bendigo Junior Football League.

The highlight of the five interleague clashes for the Goulburn Valley-based teams came in the youth girls match, with the NCWL side coming away with a dominant 5.17 (47) to 1.0 (6) win over Bendigo.

Representing the NCWL for the first time on the interleague stage, youth girls coach Dean Walton said the team played with pride.

“I was really happy with how the girls went about it, we had a plan in place for the girls to give us 100 per cent effort for the whole game and they ticked off every box,” Walton said.

“Our pressure all over the ground was immense and the girls really came together well and showed great chemistry despite having never played together before.

“All credit goes to the girls and their ability to put in a complete team performance.”

Registering a whopping 22 scoring shots to one, the only disappointing part of the day was their inability to convert, registering just five goals and 17 behinds.

Walton said the dominance on the scoreboard didn’t reflect the hard-fought nature of the contest.

“It was actually a really physical game, as much as Bendigo only had the one goal, there was a lot of competitive footy that needed to be won and neither side held back,” he said.

“The way the game was played it was really high class.”

As for who stood out in the NCWL side, Walton highlighted a number of girls that rose to the occasion.

“Shaleah Cooper was just really good all game, Olivia McGie played 90 per cent of the game in the midfield and didn’t stop running,” he said.

“Zahra Kelly kicked two goals and missed a quarter, Holly Egan was also great across the half-back line, with her marking a particular highlight.

“But overall it was just a complete team effort.”

The only other local team to triumph over Bendigo was the GMJFL under-12s side, which came away with a 10.10 (70) to 3.2 (20) triumph.

Dominating the game from start to finish, the Goulburn Murray boys put in a complete team performance, sporting a number of winners across the ground.

Jackson Butterworth was the star, kicking four goals in a best-on-ground performance, while Xavier Carmichael, Will Hatfield and Harrison Whan were all prolific.

In the under-13s, Bendigo prevailed 6.7 (43) to 2.8 (20) in a hard-fought encounter.

A scoreless first quarter was the catalyst for the loss, as the Goulburn Murray boys finished with a flurry to make the game a contest in the second half.

Frederick Peat, Lincoln Brand and Harry Link were recognised as the best of the visitors, while Maelan Allan kicked both goals.

Bendigo was far too good in the under-14s clash, coming away with a dominant 9.13 (67) to 2.7 (19) victory.

Cody Walker, Jack Mellington and Liam Broom all battled hard in the loss.

While in the under-15s, Bendigo was again too strong, registering a dominant 11.8 (74) to 3.10 (28) win.

For Goulburn Murray, Darby Jones, Max Hooper and Melvic Pambai were the standouts on what was a disappointing day.