By David Nagel
A rapidly-improving Pakenham Women’s team is now in positive territory after the Lions played their best football of the season on their way to an 84-point victory over Seville.
The Lions, now three wins from five games, made their way into the hills for the Saturday-night fixture with newcomers Lexi Thompson and Zoe Monckton making their club debuts.
The Lions started brightly, with Danielle Case in the ruck and Bianca Moody, Courtney Stephens and Abbey Tognazzini providing great drive through the midfield.
Jenna Green, playing just her second game of football, was the real surprise packet in the first quarter, kicking two goals, with Moody and left-footer Melina Eppel adding further majors to give the Lions a 22-point lead at quarter time.
Madi Ward was proving dangerous for Seville and kept the home side in the contest with two goals in the first half.
But the Lions played a consistent brand of football for four quarters, with skipper Chloe Nagel kicking two goals in the second term and Moody and Eppel kicking others.
Moody and Nagel kicked two each in the third as the Lions raced away with the contest.
Kayla Menere then booted two last-quarter goals and Eppel another, to give the Lions a 15.14.104 to 3.2.20 victory.
Pakenham has several members of its team playing their first seasons of football, and the improvement in players like Tayla Sbisa, Courtney Karayannis, Steph Grentell, Sarah Connelly, Emma Caulfield and Green is a real credit to the training methods of experienced coach Rick Stalker.
Moody and Nagel kicked four each for the Lions, with all goals on the run, with Eppel kicking three and Green and Menere two each.
Stephens and Tognazzini were brilliant through the midfield, while Ward, Kylie Ockwell and Lillian Pagels never stopped trying for the navy blues.
Upwey-Tecoma was in brilliant form in its home game against Thornton-Eildon, scoring an 18.17.125 to 0.0.0 victory in front of its home crowd at Upwey.
The Tigers were super-impressive in the first half, kicking 5.3 and 6.2 in the first two quarters to set up their winning score.
Reigning league best and fairest Kianna Oates was at her brilliant best for the Tigers, kicking five goals, while Cale McNess and Jess Occhipinti were also lively up forward with three each.
The Tigers had 10 individual goal-kickers, in a timely reminder of the depth they have at their footy club.
Lauren Cleeman, Emma Caccetta and Imogen Rennie were also impressive for the winners, while Hannah Rusic played a great game for the Kangaroos.
Rusic was joined by Jess Waixel, Rose Kealy and Emily Kerr on the best players list for Thornton-Eildon.
And Healesville has continued its winning start to the season, scoring a 9.16.70 to 1.1.7 victory over Yarra Junction on Saturday.
Paula Pavic, Jaimee Petersen and Lauren Rogers kicked two each for the Bloods while Danielle Carracun and Bec Collins were also hugely effective around the ground.
Jess Laidlaw kicked the only goal for Yarra Junction, who had Emily Spicer and Georgia Page battle things out to the final siren.
We will know a lot more about the top-four teams this week with Healesville hosting Upwey-Tecoma and Olinda Ferny Creek on the road to Belgrave.
In Eastern Women’s Division One, Beaconsfield suffered a hefty defeat at the hands of Rowville.
OUTER EAST WOMEN’S
RESULTS ROUND 5
Healesville 9.16.70 v Yarra Junction 1.1.7, Seville 3.2.20 v Pakenham 15.14.104, Upwey-Tecoma 18.17.125 v Thornton Eildon 0.0.0. Byes: Belgrave, Monbulk, Olinda Ferny Creek.
Healesville 20, Olinda Ferny Creek, Upwey-Tecoma 16, Belgrave, Pakenham 12, Monbulk 8, Yarra Junction, Seville 4, Thornton Eildon 0.
FIXTURE ROUND 5
Pakenham v Yarra Junction, Thornton Eildon v Seville, Belgrave v Olinda Ferny Creek, Healesville v Upwey-Tecoma. Monbulk – Bye.