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Wallan women make club history

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

Wallan Football Netball Club history was made as the Northern Football Netball League division three women locked in a grand final appearance.

The Magpies’ 11-point win over Heidelberg West Hawks on Saturday secured their spot in the grand final – their first appearance since the women’s team formation.

The victory came as Wallan celebrated 50 senior games for Renee Kelly and Jessica Hort.

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Kelly has been a member of the side since its formation while Hort played in Wallan’s junior program before progressing to seniors.

It was a close first quarter as the Magpies took the lead by one point before trailing by two in the second quarter as they kicked into the wind.

But Wallan did not relent, coming out of halftime to kick two goals in the third term as the Hawks couldn’t manage to score.

Another goal in the fourth quarter clinched the win for the Magpies 5.2 (32) to 3.3 (21).

Wallan coach Leigh Senior said the team knew Heidelberg West was going to bring an intense game.

“They’ve got some really good players in there, but our leaders Kia Montgomery and Kelly Lennox stood up,” he said.

“Particularly in the second half Gloria El-Armaly and Teagan Sheldon really dominated defensively, which held us in good stead in the backend of the game.”

Despite trailing at halftime, Senior said the side fought hard for the victory.

“We didn’t change up too much. We just told the team to keep a level head regardless of what happens and don’t get your heads down,” he said.

“To our credit we fought really hard to get it back.”

This season Heidelberg West was the only side to beat the Magpies.

“There was a lot of tension going into this game but we had a big focus on trusting ourselves, trusting individuals and playing as a team to get the job done which we did,” Senior said.

“We found a bit more of our structure than when we previously played them.

“We did a bit of homework on them so we knew what we needed to do.

“We shut down a few of their key players and our bigger players really stood up so that was the most pleasing part.

“A lot of our players had their best game of footy, which was really good.”

With the side making history for the club, Senior said it was a great opportunity to unite the community.

“It means a lot and it’s created a good vibe in the town,” he said.

“I just think it’s really exciting because we’ve got junior girls teams in the finals as well. All the footy teams are going strong and it’s really good for the community to get behind us.

“It’s something positive for the community and something everyone can support.”

The grand final will be 10am on Sunday, August 27 at Preston City Oval with the Wallan’s opponent to be decided this weekend.

Wallan footballers Jess Hort and Renee Kelly celebrate 50 senior games on Saturday with the guaranteed grand final a fitting reward for the two players. ​
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