By Hayley Wildes
The Hallam Secondary College senior girls football team headed to Kardinia Park on a mission on Wednesday, 8 August.
With the Herald Sun Shield on the line, and facing the dominant team of the last four years in Ballarat Girls Grammar, the Hallam girls knew they had to be on their game from the first bounce.
And they were.
A barnstorming opening quarter saw Hallam jump out to a 23-point quarter time lead after holding the defending champions scoreless.
Coach Brett Alexander had set the scene for that first quarter dominance earlier in the day.
“In the morning I showed them a presentation I’d put together about the history of the program,” he said.
“That was sort of a lead-in to the opportunity that they had and how it had taken us three years to get this chance to have another crack at the Division 1 title.
“I just wanted to make sure they understood the significance of the day.”
The opening quarter set the tone for the game and with Emily Browning, Courtney Jones and Lucy Grocock dominated proceedings, Hallam held a 22-point lead at half time.
The second half was a battle of attrition as both teams defended tirelessly.
Despite not scoring in the second half, Hallam’s defence – led by Jess Lidsey – stood tall and kept Ballarat to just one-goal in an intense second half battle.
“They had a heap of inside 50s, but our backline was just fantastic and we were able to repel,” Alexander said.
“We played some smart footy and implemented the things we had been training.
“To the girls’ credit, we were able to play exactly how we wanted to by making smart decisions and showing composure with ball in hand.”
Hallam Secondary College claimed the Division 1 Girls Herald Sun Shield, defeating Ballarat Girls Grammar, 4.5 (29) to 2.3 (15).
Emily Browning received the best on ground award for her match-winning two-goal effort and incredible leadership around the ground. Courtney Jones also booted two important majors, while Lucy Grocock, Brooke Struylaart and Jess Lidsey played pivotal roles.
“The leadership group was just outstanding and it was a well-deserved win by the girls to come away Division 1 Champions,” Alexander said.
Hallam’s win sees them return to the top of the school competition after previously winning back-to-back titles in 2012-13.
Hallam Secondary College is currently accepting applications for the AFL girls program in 2019. For more information head to: hallamssc.vic.edu.au.