Historic Women’s All-Star Game sees South Side Victorious

It’s been a weekend of firsts for the Gridiron West Women’s League. In its second year of competition, the League held the first ever Women’s All-Star match bringing together players from all six teams in the league. The game was the first 11-a-side women’s game to be played in WA and only the second in Australia.

League Director Kellie Hopkins served double-duty organising the match and coordinating the North’s Defence. “It’s great to see WA striving for 11-a-side womens football in only two short years. We have great ambition in the west to get to this version of the game” she said, speaking about the importance of the exhibition. “The feedback from players involved in the match is that they really enjoyed 11-a-side and look forward to Gridiron West’s Womens League moving to this format. With only three short weeks to bring players from different teams together to learn a different style of football for this event, the players went out and executed some quality gameplay” said Hopkins.

The three teams located North of Perth – Swan City Titans, West Coast Wolverines and Perth Broncos – brought a 34-strong side lead by Captains Jessica Smith (Perth Broncos), Marie Rowe (West Coast Wolverines), Kim Hynes-Bingham (Swan City Titans) and Laura Ng (Perth Broncos). The team was prepared by Ben Giff (Head Coach), Hopkins (Defensive Coordinator), Scott Smith (Offensive Line), Dan Jolley (Defensive Line), Jordy Kickett (Special Teams) with Jak Cullen and Tristan Bettridge assisting.

The South side were coached by Torren Honda, Gareth Weinbrecht and James Vincent. The 29-strong side comprised of players from the Perth Blitz, Rockingham Vipers and Curtin Saints were lead by captains Chelsea Gray (Rockingham Vipers), Laura Molloy (Perth Blitz), Dagmara Rabinski (Curtin Saints) and Kelly-Marie Thomas (Curtin Saints).

The game itself saw some stand-out performances on both sides. Scores by Vicky Marevic (Curtin Saints), Grace Honda (Rockingham Vipers), Chelsea Gray (Rockingham Vipers) and Eloise Millard (Curtin Saints) marched the South to victory 42-6 against a single touchdown by the North’s Jess Smith (Perth Broncos). South’s quarterback Sally Wehr (Curtin Saints) was instrumental in the victory with four touchdown passes.

Highlights for the North included an interception by Danni-elle Lippiatt-Byrne (Perth Broncos), fumble recovery by Emily Weldon (Perth Broncos) and strong showing by the North’s Defense in the red zone. Sera Ah-sam (West Coast Wolverines) was a force at fullback and Laura St. Ruth (Perth Broncos) racked up the yards on both sides of the ball.

Both team’s uniforms sported teal ribbons for Ovarian Cancer Awareness as a display of support for a player touched by the disease during the regular season. Chris and Rachel Parkhouse from American Sport pulled out all stops to design, coordinate and deliver the uniforms and supporter’s merchandise for both sides. The general camaraderie and sportsmanship within the league showed on the field during the game, and in the celebrations after.

Images courtesy of Andy Gorman. More images from the event can be found on his Faceboook Page.

Officials: Scott Hood (Referee), Matt Tracey (Umpire), Tony Connor (Line Judge), Allen Bessing (Side Judge), Nigel Browne (Field Judge), Bob Barrett (Head Linesman)

North Players
3 Georgia Donaldson
5 Stacey Johns
6 Sarina Gorman
11 Deseree Giles
12 Mel Myers
12 Angela Barker
13 Gabriel Wallace
16 JJ Wan
17 Chole-Marie Bazley
19 Sera Ah-sam
22 Chenae Appleton
24 Latasha Wells-Harrison
24 Tamzin Walker
24 Esther Kalepo
25 Jessica Birnie
27 Jess Smith (C)
29 Shannon Sambell
35 Laura St. Ruth
49 Danni-elle Lippiatt-Byrne
49 Caitlyn Willems
52 April-Maria McCarrey
56 Fetu Kalepo Overend
66 Emily Weldon
69 Ariana Maximo
72 Marie Rowe (C)
73 Ettie Faletolu
74 Oriana Tui
77 Adalaide Faamausili Fala
85 Tara Caple
86 Kimberly Hynes-Bingham (C)
87 Madeline Bentink
88 Laura Ng (C)
88 Sally O’Hagan
91 Veronika Jedrzejczyk

North Coaches
Ben Giff
Kellie Hopkins
Scott Smith
Dan Jolley
Jordy Kickett
Jak Cullen
Tristan Betteridge

South Players
1 Brittany Ormond
4 Mary Makai
5 Sally Wehr
6 Catherine Allen
7 Chelsea Gray (C)
7 Angela Evans
8 Eloise Millard
9 Grace Honda
10 Olivia Craigie
12 Samantha Wright
13 Viki Marevic
13 Sarah Waiomio-Togiaono
14 Dagmara Rabinski (C)
17 Xanthe Gray
17 Elizabeth Freeman
22 Aimee Dagnia
24 Tunisia Leef
26 Kathryn Dellar
31 Gemma Francis
44 Kylie Holmes
46 Casey Byrne
50 Tammy Keepa
52 Jessica-Lee Wood
55 Nicky Heurea
59 Rachel Parkhouse
68 Michelle Colebourne
69 Kelly-Marie Thomas (C)
85 Laura Molloy (C)
94 Mya Pene

South Coaches
Torren Honda
Gareth Weinbrecht
James Vincent