Hawks fall to Novas in grudge match; club debuts and goal-fests mark women's opening round | photos

RETURN: The Black Diamond Women's competition kicked off with a number of debut teams, and goals galore for the league stalwarts. Picture: Isaac McIntyre
RETURN: The Black Diamond Women's competition kicked off with a number of debut teams, and goals galore for the league stalwarts. Picture: Isaac McIntyre

Club debuts and goal hauls were the flavour of the opening round as the Black Diamond Women’s season kicked off for 2018.

With many new rosters taking time to gel, a number of the opening matches were lopsided, including the old rivalry at Hillsborough Oval.

Newcastle City Novas downed the Cardiff Hawks 10.14.74 to 1.1.7, but the scoreline didn’t represent the on-field contest.

With a number of new recruits, the Lady Hawks took time to find their rhythm on the day, and kept Newcastle to just four goals in the first half of the contest.

City kept the Hawks scoreless however, with the home side finding their first goal of the season off the boot of young recruit Arizona Cross.

Kailee Goodwin and Taylah Smith both scored doubles, and Meaghan Macdonald added two in the dying minutes of the match to bring City’s tally to 10.

Taylah Smith, Anna Ralston, Audrey Gillingham and Tahlia Doherty were named best for the Novas in the win, while Sheree Vukovich, Faith Lewis, Abbey Cooksley and lone goalscorer Arizona Cross earned the honours for the Hawks.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Wyong Lakes recorded their first ever win over Gosford with a 10.6.68 to 2.1.13 victory at Don Small Oval.

Most notably, Lakes’ Alexandra Pearce shone upon her return from the injury that prematurely ended her 2017, while Aleece Williams had key impact through her massive six goal haul.

Feighan Park played hosted to a tight battle between Warners Bay and Killarney Vale, with the Bombers claiming the spoils by just 9 points as the match ended 7.8.50 to 6.5.41.

Although the Bulldogs walked away with the defeat on the weekend, the return of player-coach Tracey Baker, and her four goals, will provide a strong point to start their 2018 season. Georgia Butler and Chelsea Dawson both kicked doubles for the Bombers in their win.

Maitland also secured the four points with a 24.26.160 to 1.0.6 landslide over Lake Macquarie off the back of nine goals for Sarah Burns and seven for Sarah James. Hanna Centra also scored four.

Club co-captain Sheree Vukovich was a key performer for the Lady Hawks in their opening fixture, and was named as one of the Best Players on the field.

Club co-captain Sheree Vukovich was a key performer for the Lady Hawks in their opening fixture, and was named as one of the Best Players on the field.

Muswellbrook will be pleased with their first outing of 2018, chalking up a win off the bat after a winless campaign last year.

Their 11.10.76 to 1.1.7 victory came at the expense of one of the debut clubs, The Entrance Bateau Bay, with Gyarn Rawson kicking five of their eleven goals. Katrina Barnes scored the honour of kicking the Blues’ first goals in the competition.

Two more debut clubs, Port Stephens and Terrigal Avoca, both had difficult starts as they were downed by last year’s finalists Newcastle City Stars and Nelson Bay.

FIRST KICK: Terrigal Avoca debuted in the Women's league last weekend, with the powerhouse Black Diamond club a welcome addition to the expanded competition. Picture: Tim Pearson Photography

FIRST KICK: Terrigal Avoca debuted in the Women's league last weekend, with the powerhouse Black Diamond club a welcome addition to the expanded competition. Picture: Tim Pearson Photography

The Stars clinched a 27.26.188 to 0.1.1 win at Ferodale Park, while the Panthers fell to Nelson Bay 20.15.135 to 0.4.4.

Wallsend-West Newcastle forfeited due to insufficient player numbers, giving Singleton the win, and will look to make their competition debut in the second round of the season.

Competition Table: Singleton (4), Newcastle City Stars (4), Nelson Bay (4), Maitland (4), Muswellbrook (4), Newcastle City Novas (4), Wyong Lakes (4), Killarney Vale (4), Warners Bay (0), Gosford (0), Cardiff (0), The Entrance Bateau Bay (0), Lake Macquarie (0), Terrigal Avoca (0), Port Stephens (0), Wallsend-West Newcastle (0).