The Poochettes secured an emphatic win for their Gunnedah and District AFC Bulldogs in round 9 of AFL North West women’s competition.

Playing the Inverell Saints, the Poochettes put together four quarters of scintillating footy to stamp their authority on the competition.

The Poochettes were dynamite from the first quarter, running out convincing 66-26 victors.

Although kicking 12 points on the day, their nine majors proved the difference with their ‘run and gun’ linking handball from defence into attack. Their ability to find forward targets inside their attacking 50-metre arc was a highlight.

Full forward Meg Foster was the focal point of attack inside the Poochettes attacking 50. 

Foster’s ability to outmark her direct opponent in aerial contests and ability to bring the ball to ground for the small forwards, was critical to the goal scoring opportunities for the Poochettes.

Meg Leaton kicked a game-high three majors, crumbing Foster’s work deep inside the forward 50, while Foster booted two majors of her own as did Apryl Bailey.

Fellow forwards, captain Khobi Devine and Chelsea Palmer, also kicked truly to collectively round out the majors scored for the Poochettes on the day.

Coach Jakob Vearing was delighted with his side’s performance, insisting an even spread of effort, attention to positional detail, combined with a new playing roster in season 2023 – was key to their initial success in season 2023.

“I am so pleased with the girls, what could have been difficult to reset with new players, they’ve so far managed to put together consistent team driven games,” he said.

“They are so keen to learn and embrace the challenge that not only I but the opposition put to them.

“It’s a credit to them, they continue to improve and everyone plays their role.” 

In the men’s fixture, the Bulldogs were comprehensively defeated but battled on valiantly against a youthful Saints outfit.

The Bulldogs were on the back foot after the first quarter, down 38 points to 9 which then turned into 77-14 by the half time interval.

The Saints fleet of foot, combined with their ability to switch the ball across half back and up the ground into their forward line, proved destructive against an inexperienced Bulldogs side.

The Saints regularly had open options through their ball movement, converting truly on the scoreboard to punish the Bulldogs. The Saints led by 105 points at the three quarter time break.

The Bulldogs rallied in the last quarter and booted the last two majors of the match but it was all to little too late as the Saints put the Bulldogs away 148 to 29 by full time.

Despite the loss, coach Andy Mack was pleased with his young side’s efforts. He highlighted how the Saints have been brought up on AFL footy while the Bulldogs are still in the embryo stage of their rebuild since the club’s last men’s premiership in 2020.

“They were well structured in their ball movement and know each other’s game inside out – they’ve been together since they were under 14s,” Mack said.

“We have guys still learning the game and did well in contrast.

“New players have come on board this year and I thought we were fantastic – stopped the bleeding on the scoreboard which didn’t reflect how tough we made it for them.”

Both Gunnedah teams have a competition bye this weekend, before their next match against the Tamworth Kangaroos on July 8.

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