Keen to kick off

OPENER: Penola's Ali Ey will be out to perform under pressure again when the Eagles open Round 4 at McLaughlin Park against Kongorong. Pictures: JAMES MURPHY

James Murphy

AFTER a cancelled third round, women’s footballers across the Limestone Coast will be eager to resume the 2024 season when the competition heads to Millicent this weekend.

The heat rule came into play last week, but the forecast looks more pleasant for this Sunday.

Kybybolite has the bye this round, while it looks as though there may be more one-sided results in the four matches scheduled for Round 4.

Opening the day at McLaughlin Park will be a clash between Kongorong and Penola.

This may be the closest game of the day.

Penola has played just one match this season – a draw against Kyby in the first round – with a bye in Round 2 and last week’s cancellation cutting short the Eagles’ game time.

However, they look to be up around the mark again this season, with the aim to better their fourth-place finish from 2023.

Captain Caroline McGrath will be one to watch and she leads her team by example across the ground.

Angela Broad is dangerous in front of goals, while the likes of Heidi and Ellise Berkin, Ali Ey and Karmel Finch started the year with strong performances.

For Kongorong it has been a tough start to the season.

A 100-point loss to Casterton Sandford in the first round stung and it was followed by a 54-point loss to North Gambier.

Despite the result, the Hawks showed promising signs in their latest outing and did restrict the Tigers at times throughout the contest.

The aim will be to translate their skills up the ground and onto the scoreboard, with captain Sarah Lucas, Jade Longbottom, Evie Sealey and Riley Buckingham a few in-form players to watch out for.

Next up on the draw South Gambier will meet Casterton Sandford.

The Demons will be hard pressed to topple the Cats, with the latter finishing minor premiers in 2023 and looking to have carried that form into this season.

The Cats have won both of their outings comfortably, while South has lost its two matches by decent margins.

Milly Thomas and Holly Smith have been in impressive form for the Cats, while Madalene Cleary has been good in front of goals.

The Demons will look to the likes of Jarrah Altschwager, Ella Guest and Taysha Marshall to perform again, but it will likely be a matter of limiting the damage.

Another tough outing awaits the league’s newest addition, as Nangwarry meets reigning premier Mundulla.

Mundulla has had some personnel changes this season with plenty of fresh faces, but the northern Tigers still appear to be one of the benchmarks this year.

The Saints struggled against Millicent in their first match of the year and missed out on a home game last week.

They will need to find another gear against the well-drilled Mundulla roster.

The reigning champions will look to players such as Dellie Brown, Kellsie Turner and Erin Horsnell, but there are not many weak links across the list.

A big win is likely to come Mundulla’s way, which will help keep it at the top of the 2024 pecking order.

The final match of the day will have the home team take to the field against North Gambier.

This looks to be another tough draw.

The Saints have a win and a loss, but their success came over Nangwarry in its debut game.

The other result was a big loss to Mundulla, while for the Tigers they have claimed two comfortable wins.

New recruit Chloe Newton has bolstered the already strong ranks, while the likes of Tess Andrews, Georgia Gentile and Grace Altschwager are just a few who have been among the best players of late.

They are another team with minimal weaknesses and while Millicent has its own talent, it will be a tough outing for the Saints.

Kelsie Wilkinson is reliable through the middle, while Alannah Pratt was best on ground in Millicent’s last game.

Chloe Gronn, Lana Shepherd and Isabelle Wilson have also had solid performances this season.

They will all need to be at their best, but it is difficult to bet against North at this early point in the season.


Kongorong v Penola, 10am; South Gambier v Casterton Sandford, 11.35am; Nangwarry v Mundulla, 1.10pm; Millicent v North Gambier, 2.45pm.