A steep second half turnaround saw Murray beat the Gippsland Power by seven points on Sunday, in what was easily the tightest contest of Round 9. The Bushrangers found themselves three goals down at the first two breaks, but chipped back to hit the front in term three by a single point. The lead changed five times from midway through the third quarter, but Murray ended up on top in the 8.6 (54) to 7.5 (47) thriller.

Both sides were among the least affected by Vic Country selection, with Gippsland having just one representative play on Sunday. It meant experienced heads like Sunday Brisbane (24 disposals) and Alisha Molesworth (19, seven tackles) remained, guiding promising under-agers. Among them, Ash Centra and Shanae Hawker found the goals, while Ella Stoddart and Jemma Birss provided some rebound power.

Excerpt taken from article published by Rookie Me Central, which can be viewed in full here.

#9 Jemma Birss

One of Gippsland’s exciting under-agers, the 2006-born Birss had some good moments in defence. Channelling the exuberance of youth, she was not afraid to attack each contest she got to with vigour and sough to intercept as many Murray attacks as possible. Birss also provided some quick bursting drives on the rebound, completing her flashes with kicks for 12 of her 16 disposals.

#16 Ash Centra

The superlatives are quickly running out for Centra, who scarily still has several years left in the NAB League Girls system. Playing in her most natural forward post, Centra turned it on in the first half and produced something special with every touch. She was the player Gippsland wanted kicking the ball inside 50 as she hit targets from range, but was also the marking fold her side needed closer to goal. The under-ager’s clean hands and elite football IQ made for some must-watch passages, which words can hardly do justice at this early point. She was given less looks after half time and could have converted her chances better, but ended up with 16 disposals, seven marks and 2.2 in a losing effort.

#19 Ella Stoddart

Already a reliable defensive figure for Gippsland, the 2007-born Stoddart was another who produced plenty of excitement in the first half. Advancing a touch further afield, the under-ager was able to showcase her intercept abilities and flew for marks with confidence. She competed well in each contest she attended and while she was forced a bit deeper after half time, offered plenty of drive out of defence with nine rebound 50s from her 20 touches.

Excerpt taken from article published by Rookie Me Central, which can be viewed in full here.

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