MUDDY conditions at Southport Oval on the Gold Coast did little to halt the Victorian teams' dominant NAB AFLW under-18 championships.
The games were played under clear skies, but recent heavy rains meant some struggled to hold their footing at times, although the slower but more powerful players relished the conditions.
Vic Metro triumphed over Queensland by three goals, Vic Country continued its winning ways with a thumping 30-point victory over Eastern Allies while Western Australia accounted for Central Allies by 22 in the final match of the day.
QUEENSLAND 0.1 1.3 1.4 1.5 (11)
VIC METRO 0.1 1.1 2.4 4.5 (29)
Vic Metro: Harley, Morris-Dalton, Newton, Georgostathis
Queensland: Hickie, Hampson, Gregory, D'Arcy, Whap-Farrar
Vic Metro: Gutknecht, Newton, Fitzgerald, Lagioia, Sansonetti, Barba
Vic Metro's undefeated championships continued, with a second-half burst proving too much for an improved Queensland.
The class and elite disposal of Britney Gutknecht and Gabby Newton stood out throughout the match, the experienced pair controlling play across the ground.
The bigger bodies of Queenslanders Tahlia Hickie and pre-listed Suns Ellie Hampson and Kitara Whap-Farrar enjoyed the slower conditions in defence, reading the ball well in the air. Whap-Farrar also spent some time on the ball.
Metro midfielder Georgia Patrikios' clean hands and agility stood out, while Jessica Fitzgerald was also strong through the middle of the ground.
VIC COUNTRY 2.2 4.4 4.5 6.6 (42)
EASTERN ALLIES 1.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 (12)
Vic Country: Barber, Hards, Sheppard, Notman, McDonald, Molan
Eastern Allies: Hamilton, Hurrell
Vic Country: McDonald, Molan, Sheppard, Shannon, Gardiner, Brett
Eastern Allies: Hiller-Stanbrook, King, O'Donnell, Hamilton, Pease, Hurrell
The winless Eastern Allies took it up to Vic Country in general play for vast portions of the match but struggled to hold on late.
The firepower and experience of Country got them over the line, with Lucy McEvoy putting in another commanding performance in the middle of the ground and while resting up forward.
Paige Sheppard worked hard around the ball, while St Kilda coach Peta Searle would have been thrilled sitting in the stands watching the run, carry and poise of pre-listed pair Molly McDonald and Isabella Shannon.
For Eastern, ruck Eloise Hiller-Stanbrook commanded the stoppages, with the ever-industrious Mia King – aligned to North Melbourne through the Tasmanian zone – prominent in the midfield.
Olivia O'Donnell's booming boot out of defence also came in handy on several occasions.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 0.0 3.0 4.1 5.2 (32)
CENTRAL ALLIES 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.4 (10)
Western Australia: Briggs, Lewis, Morrison, M. Hyde, Morrison
Central Allies: Charlton
Western Australia: Bowen, Anderson, Lewis, Verrier, M. Hyde, Webb
Central Allies: Usher, Tabb, Newman, B. Smith, Ward, Charlton
Three goals in six minutes during the second term was enough to separate Western Australia from a dogged Central Allies.
In a game dominated by stoppages, Central's Montana McKinnon impressed against the rotating trio of Mim Strom, Sophie McDonald and Roxy Roux.
NAB AFLW Academy member and Central/South Australian midfielder Jaimi Tabb was strong breaking away from packs and fierce in her tackling, while Western Australia pair Mikayla Bowen (pre-listed by West Coast) and Nyra Anderson found plenty of the footy at the bottom of packs.
Teagan Usher's determination and strength in defence was also a standout for the Allies side.
Players will be able to rest their heavy legs on Thursday ahead of the final day's play at Bond Uni on Friday.
Eastern Allies will be searching for its first win for the week against Vic Metro, followed by a battle of the heavyweights between Vic Country and Western Australia.
Queensland and Central Allies will finish off the carnival with the final game, with state/team MVPs and player of the championships to be presented at the conclusion of the day.