Keilor holds on for finals win

Keilor's Tatiana Zahra handballs under pressure from Tara McKean. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tara Murray

Keilor held off a fast-finishing Sunbury Kangaroos to give the side a shot at earning a grand final berth next week in Essendon District Football League Women’s premier division.

For three quarters the Blues were easily in control of the game, but the Kangaroos worked hard to move to within 12 points in the last quarter.

Like good teams do, the Blues steadied to win, 8.5 (53)-5.4 (34).

Blues coach Ron Sikora said in terms of preparation for the game, it could not have been much worse.

The Blues were missing eight players out of their best 22.

“We had girls going overseas, girls working and some of the VFL girls getting called up,” he said.

“We had some iffy things happen before the game, it was always going to come down to our start.”

And it was the strong start that proved the difference.

The first three quarters were all the Blues, kicking the only six goals.

Sikora said he knew the side had the potential to put on such a game.

The Kangaroos threw everything at the Blues in the final quarter, but to the Blues’ credit they steadied when they needed to.

“Ten minutes into the last quarter we had five of our best players on the bench through injuries,” he said.

“They [Sunbury] were able to kick away and it got scary. We had to get them [injured players] back on the ground and even it up again.

“Credit to the girls to be able to weather the storm and stick to the structures rather than play down the line and play unrealistic footy.”

Brooke Todero, Tanay Barbuto and Lisa Kirby kicked two goals each for the Blues.

Keilor’s Erin Bult and Sunbury’s Danielle Green. Picture Shawn Smits.

PHOTO GALLERY: Keilor vs Sunbury Kangaroos 

Sikora said Erin Bult was clearly best on ground.

Christie Roberts played her best game of the season, while Shenay Thomas and Rachael Knight also had strong games.

The welcome win sets up a semi-final with Aberfeldie, with a grand final spot on the line.

The Blues also have the double chance, giving them two shots at making the grand final if needed.

Sikora said he would go into the match open-minded.

“It’s what we’ve been aiming for,” he said.

“We’ve done our homework and done the training, it will be what it will be.

“They know they will have a tough day at the office and they will go in with some structures in place for us.

“It will come down to our start. If we start well it could go either way.

“It we let them get a two-goal jump like last time, it could be the difference at the end of the day.”

In division 1, Keilor Park is also through to the main semi-final, beating Moonee Valley, 10.7 (67)-0.2 (2) at Leo Dineen Reserve on Saturday.

The Devils face Essendon Doutta Stars for a spot in the grand final.