Rays through to prelims

Zoe Besanko celebrates one of her two goals on Sunday. 359433 Picture: ROB CAREW.

By Jonty Ralphsmith

If you want to get an indication of the progression of female footy in recent years, download the Coates League app and watch the first five minutes of the second quarter of Dandenong’s quarter-final win over GWV.

Having been challenged by the Rebels in the first quarter, who kept the Rays to just one goal with plucky defence despite giving up territory, the Stingrays went bang-bang.

Ruck Elli Symonds went inside 50 through the corridor but her kick was intercepted.

She kept running, reading the exit kick like a book and, with surging velocity, hit it sweetly from outside 50.

Going up against fellow Vic Country ruck Laila Lappin, a year older than her, Symonds clearly won the duel with 21 hitouts to 12, while she also accumulated 20 possessions as well as that goal.

That piece of individual brilliance shifted the tide Dandenong’s way in a 9.11 65 to 0.1 1 win at Shepley Oval.

Two minutes later, fellow ruck Zoe Besanko had a similar moment of class.

The 179cm bottom-aged player weaved her way past three GWV opponents, walking the tightrope of the boundary line before snapping her conversion to increase the margin to 19 points.

It was one of Besanko’s five shots on goal, as she stood up inside 50, with Sophie Butterworth having just one shot on goal after scoring six times in each of her previous four games.

Dandenong had too much class on every line, with Meg Robertson and Abbey Tregellis getting it started in the middle.

Jemaya Bressan was also impressive, while Ruby Murdoch and Jemma Ramsdale ensured that the Rebels’18 inside 50 entries weren’t capitalised upon.

The win made it nine on the bounce for the Stingrays, who will this week take on Oakleigh, which consigned them to their last loss.

The Stingrays will enter full of confidence, though, their prime movers in form, bottom-agers standing up and the 18-point defeat to Oakleigh in round five moreso down to a lack of polish and conversion rather than skill.