Eastern outlasted in league tag grind

Clare Warton.
Clare Warton.

After a hard-fought first half that saw Eastern Zone enter the break 8-6 down, Western put their foot on the pedal and produced a 22-nil second-half scoreline, downing East 30-6 in the in inaugural All Stars fixture.

Western kick-started the match at the 13-minute mark as a Jasmine Lagudi grubber close to the line bounced up perfectly for fellow Mungal Miranda Rogers to score.

Western then pushed further ahead 10 out from the break after Eastern was penalised for holding back Lagudi. Portland talent Cody Lane sliced through to make it 8-0.

Eastern needed some inspiration and it was Kirsty Willmott who provided it.

Her speed off the mark and stepping saw her score a nice individual effort just over four minutes out from the break. Monique Millmore converted from in front of the sticks to make it 8-6.

From the kick-off Willmott again showed her pace as she made a 60-metre break down the right sideline and while finding Carlee Vanderhaar in support, she was tagged by the cover defence.

Western went to the break with a two-point lead, but when play resumed it upped the pressure.

A nice weaving run saw Ryan over and when some quick hands and overhead lob pass from Casey Schumack helped Amelia Clarke score untouched in the left corner, it was 18-6 with  24 minutes left.

Soon after Griffiths put Choni Hardie into a hole then booted the resulting conversion to see the margin push out to 24-6.

The win was iced with just over nine minutes left when Ryan broke clear down the right wing then rang around to score underneath the posts. Western coach John Griffiths gave praise to the performance of Willmott on the beaten Eastern side and backed the All Stars concept.

“She was good for them Kirsty, we couldn't get a tag on her, I think she had spiders on her,” he laughed. “It's a great concept, good for New Era. I think this is something we've got to do every year.”