VFLW - Round 4 vs Fark Carlton @ Windy Hill, Saturday 1 June 2019 at 12noon

Mass evacuation of the stand by the non-playing squad as they prepare to run on after the siren…


5.2.32 defeats 2.3.15

“Our girls who play this grand old game”


Bullas’s dog is especially happy.


Scoring was split Essendon 32 (I think), umpires 13, and Fark Carlton 2.

That’s awesome. Way to go girls

1 Like

I’m on a high.

@Hoffy and I briefly discussed closing the weekend right now, but we’re tragics and we’ll be back at Windy Hill and the MCG tomorrow.


It was a good win, FC players sitting behind us were commenting that they were playing much better and stronger today. They felt they could win it. Katie Brennan was with them too.

Really pleased we won as we had to beat them and one of the Umps. Our manic pressure around the ball made sure FC couldn’t win. Quigs is a very handy in for us. Always comfortable when she is in the forward line.


And yes, I would be happy to call the weekend over after today’s effort… but I’ll be back tomorrow.


Last week Nalder and Bullas (and the rest of the midfield) got shut down by Richmond and that was the basis of a bad loss to one of the best teams in the league.

Today normal (great) conditions were resumed. Nalder got all the hit-outs plus a few nice marks, Bullas got stacks of clearances, and Audley and Anderson were big players to complete that key centre four.

Our forward line, minus Moreen, wasn’t that efficient. I liked the scrap of the debuting 14 Tessa Zagantinos in the pocket, but Stepnell and DeMatteo were pretty quiet for much of the game. Stepnell, in particular, has a big kick so is really useful for getting that ball deep quick.

Quigley at full-forward was sloooooooow. But she has tricks and nous, and she kicked goals regardless of her sluggish pace.

Mass credit to our backline for squeezing the life out of Fark Carlton. Ahrens is a good pick-up: she’s tall (176) but also mobile and with good hands, and has a big kick that makes the opposition crap their pants.

Loving Eloise Ashley-Cooper’s willingness to do the hard things down back.

Trevean also popped up enough that I kept looking at my list to see who this new #19 was.

Solid team win, despite some truly awful umpiring (affected both teams, but 75% against us).

Next week we have a bye, before the VFL/VFLW double-header versus the Dawks at Windy Hill. We’ve jumped to ninth right now (though when you look at the percentages there is a very large gap between sixth and seventh). The Dawks are one of those two teams just in front of us.


The Bombers controlled the majority of the contest with higher pressure and intensity to claim the 5.2 (32) to 2.3 (15) victory.

Alex Quigley opened the goalkicking in the early minutes, while back-to-back goals to Carlton’s Mia-Rae Clifford and Natalie Plane handed the visitors their five-point lead at the first break.

Both teams struggled to gain possession of the footy in the second term, with the first major scored 19 minutes in via Hayley Bullas.

Although the majority of the play was spent in the Blues’ forward 50, Kendra Heil and Lauren Ahrens did well to cut off any attempts at goal as the Bombers held a one-point lead at half-time.

Essendon’s intensity lifted in the third term, as it looked to stretch its lead.

Quigley hit the scoreboard early, while Maighan Fogas impressed with her run through the midfield which saw the Bombers claim a higher set-shot advantage.

Skipper Courtney Ugle and vice-captain Simone Nalder led by example, capitalising on every opportunity despite the scrappy contest.

Lori Stepnell left fans stunned as she managed to score a contender for goal of the year that had to be seen to be believed.

With just one minute remaining in the third quarter, Stepnell snapped a goal while laying flat on the ground.

The Bombers dominated play early in the fourth – their increased aggressiveness in the contests standing out.

Conceding just two goals for the match, the Dons did well to stem the Blues’ momentum.

Quigley booted her third in the final minutes of the game, pushing the margin to 17 points at the final siren.

The inaugural leading goalkicker was back at her impermeable best, but Quigley said it wasn’t easy to get there.

“It’s been a bit of a tough few weeks trying to work my way back into the team. So, it felt good to be out there,” Quigley said.

“But it’s just a credit to how strong our team actually is, to be able to work my way back in.”

Quigley said the forwards did well to execute their game plan.

“It was all the hard work from our high forwards and our midfielders. I think our defensive pressure and our grunt around the ball was our main thing to focus on.

“I think with the forward line, there are a few things we have to work on, but I think our defensive pressure was really strong.”

Coming off the back of three straight losses, the Bombers held on to secure their first win for the season.

Coach Brendan Major said he was pleased with the team’s effort.

“It’s good, I mean it’s only a two per cent step-up from what they showed the first couple of rounds, we just managed to really defend and cut off their scoring,” Major said post-game.

“So, again, we probably didn’t kick as many goals as we wanted to, but it’s only a two per cent increase from what we showed in round one and round two, but we just did it for a bit longer.

“We play our best football when we’re really competitive around the ball and we’re really hunting them, and then when we get it, we can actually use the space.”

Essendon VFLW will have a bye in round five, before returning home to Windy Hill to face Hawthorn.

“Having a bye at this point in the season gives us a chance to refresh the group a little bit. They’ve fought really hard and haven’t got the rewards that they wanted early in the season, so to get a bit of reward today was good,” Major said.

“We’ll give them a bit of a refresh, get the little niggles out, give them a training session off and then get back into it.”

The first bounce will be at 11:30am on Saturday, June 15.

Essendon 1.1 2.2 4.2 5.2 (32)
Carlton 2.0 2.1 2.3 2.3 (15)

Essendon – Quigley 3, Bullas, Stepnell
Carlton – Plane, Clifford

Victoria Raptis is in the final year of her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) degree at RMIT University. As part of their strategic partnership, Essendon Football Club and RMIT University are committed to providing opportunities for students, staff, players and the wider community.

Our bests are listed as Nalder, Anderson, Collier (who was forward, not back), Heil, Bullas, and Quigley.

And I’m under-impressed by that photo NOT being from today.

Stats are up in the VFL app.

Bullas 28 disposals, 8 tackles and a goal. In 80 minutes.

Anderson 20, Ahrens 19 (16 were kicks), Nalder 14 and an equal game-leading 5 marks.


Essendon (9th, 1-3) enjoyed a first VFLW triumph since Round 9 of last season – snapping a nine-match losing streak – with a strong-finishing victory over Carlton (12th, 0-3) at Windy Hill. The Bombers broke their 2019 duck after losing games by five points or less in the first two rounds (to the Casey Demons and Geelong Cats), keeping the Blues goalless after quarter time while powering home with four majors of their own in that period.

Simone Nalder was influential for Essendon with 14 disposals, five marks and 21 hitouts, opposed mostly to Breann Moody (14 disposals and a game-high 31 hitouts) in ruck battles. Hayley Bullas (game-high 28 disposals plus eight tackles and one goal), Ally Anderson (20 disposals) and Alex Quigley (nine and three goals) were also crucial players in the win, with Natalie Plane (25, five marks and one goal) proving Carlton’s most prolific in defeat.

The Bombers now have a bye before a date with reigning premier Hawthorn in Round 6, while the Blues welcome the NT Thunder to La Trobe University in Bundoora this Saturday.

1 Like

When it comes to toughness though, it’s hard to look past Essendon’s Hayley Bullas. The 22-year-old’s consistency in contests has been remarkable over the last two seasons, and she produced game-highs of 28 disposals, 20 contested possessions and nine clearances in the Bombers’ drought-breaking 17-point triumph over Carlton. Bullas now leads the VFLW in total clearances by 11.


CLEARANCES (9): Hayley Bullas (Essendon) and Brianna Davey (Collingwood)

CONTESTED POSSESSIONS (20): Hayley Bullas (Essendon)

GOALS (3): Jasmine Garner (Melbourne Uni) and Alex Quigley (Essendon)

1 Like