Yarra Junction had a reasonably successful season, finishing 3rd with nine wins and six losses.
They made it as far as the Preliminary Final where went down to Kinglake.
The Eagles were the number one intercept team, with 52.2 intercept possessions per game and 18.4 intercept marks per game. They were also ranked second for hitouts to advantage at 10.1 per game.
The Eagles narrowly lost to eventual Premier Powelltown by seven points in Round 1 after having three more scoring shots, showing they’re one of the better Division 2 sides.
They managed to then beat Powelltown in a shootout, by one goal, in Round 8. They defeated Grand finalist Kinglake away in Round 6. They trounced Yea before Broadford and Yea joined forces for the season, where Sam Morton amassed 14 goals, with Dean Eliades chiming in with eight as well as six for Mackenzie Bail.
They also had a resounding win against Warburton Millgrove by 59 in Round 14.
Their performance this season should give Yarra Junction real confidence that they can win the flag next year. However, they need to play more consistently against the top sides.
David Johnson had a great year in front of the sticks, booting 48 goals, as did Sam Morton who clocked up 45 from just 15 matches. Joshua Wall also managed to hit the scoreboard, adding 20 of his own.
Ewan Wadsworth had a sublime season, being named among the best players 12 times from 16 games, whilst Samuel Cannon, David Johnson, Josh Hammen and Luke Spaulding had stellar years.
Wadsworth was listed on the ball in Team of the Year alongside David Johnson (HFF) and Sam Morton (FP)
With a handful of stars and a list that can beat anyone on their day, the Eagles will go into next year knowing they have what it takes to win the flag in 2023.
Their reserves finished fourth and went down in the first week of finals by 21 points to Alexandra.
Unfortunately, the women’s team didn’t fair as well as the men’s, finishing the lowest of the Conference 1 teams, finishing sixth of nine all up.
They suffered some heavy defeats at the hands of some of the top sides, however they also enjoyed some big wins. They smacked Thornton Eildon 55-21 in Round 3, they clobbered Monbulk 42-0 in Round 7 and they took revenge against Olinda Ferny Creek, who beat them by seven goals two weeks prior, in Round 11, pipping them by three points (18-15).
Emily Spicer was the standout booting eight goals from just eight games, whilst being named among the best in all of those games bar one. Spicer’s season was rewarded with a place in the Team of the Year.
Sarah Wilcox and Adele Ormsby also had great seasons, with Jade Newburn also enjoying a solid season.
In A Grade Yarra Junction, finished 5th from six wins, one draw and 10 losses.
They conceded the second most goals (815) and were ranked fifth for scoring. They conceded 10 more goals per game than the top four, something which they will need to improve to make finals next year.
Jessica Ellwood was prolific as Goal Shooter with 417 goals from 14 matches, who combined well with Claire Spicer who shot 202 goals.
Although they didn’t manage to beat any of the top teams, they drew with second placed Powelltown in Round 2 and made Powelltown fight hard for a win in Round 8.
If they can pinch a few wins against some of the top sides next year, they’re a real finals chance as they beat the sides below them. Having two close encounters with Powelltown will give them confidence heading into next year as it showed they aren’t that far off the better teams.
Standout players for the season were: Jessica Ellwood (GS), Stephanie Ratcliff (GD), Stacey Davis (WA) and Claire Spicer (GA).
Jessica Ellwood’s brilliant season was acknowledged with Team of the Year selection.
With a handful of talented players and knowing that they matched it with Powelltown on two occasions should give the team some hope that they can break into the four in 2023.
Written by Jordan Peeler