Echuca footballer Sarah Baldwin was part of the victorious team last weekend.GRAHAM WILLIS June 13, 2014 3:31am
Sarah Baldwin (left) pictured with Bendigo Thunder teammates Amanda Carrod and Aalan McNabb. Photo submitted
Victoria Country broke a decade-long drought to defeat Victoria Metro in the biannual Victorian Women’s Football League Championships last weekend.
The team, which included Echuca footballer Sarah Baldwin, restricted Vic Metro to just one goal in three quarters of football on Saturday, running out 8.4 (52) to 4.5 (29) victors.
Three unanswered goals in the opening quarter set Vic Country’s wheels in motion, with Darebin forward Katie Brennan booting two long bombs to help give her side the best possible start, while Aastar O’Connor dictated terms in the ruck contests.
Two goals each toward the latter stages of the term gave Vic Country a 17-point advantage at quarter-time.
As the heavens opened at Footscray’s Whitten Oval, Vic Metro bounced back in the second term, but failed to hurt its country counterparts on the scoreboard, kicking just three behinds.
Majors to Vic Country’s Richelle Cranston and skipper Daisy Pearce in the third quarter broke the deadlock, with Pearce’s influence on the game proving telling.
The deficit reached a game-high 35 points before a spirited comeback from Metro (three goals to one) softened the blow ahead of the final siren.
Baldwin, who played back pocket for most of the afternoon, said Country’s breakthrough win, the first against Vic Metro since 2003, was a hard-fought, but deserved victory.
‘‘I don’t know whether we wanted it more or were hungrier ... but we played really well,’’ Baldwin said.
‘‘It was pretty awesome to get the win. Usually in representative games, the team that gels the best leading up to the game and on the day, usually win.
‘‘We were pegged as the underdogs as they had a really good midfield, but ours really stepped up and our defence was solid all day.’’
While happy with her own performance, Baldwin was just thrilled to be out there rather than worry about turning heads individually.
‘‘Obviously I wanted to take my opportunities when they came and step up,’’ Baldwin said.
‘‘But it’s really hard when you’re playing alongside and against so many really good players.
‘‘It was just such an honour to play with those girls.’’
Baldwin will now rejoin her Bendigo Thunder teammates ahead of Sunday’s VWFL clash with the Eastern Devils at Kangaroo Flat Reserve.
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