The Maclean High School Open Girls Touch Football team has made a huge impression this year on the CHS Knockout competition finishing in the top 20 teams in the state.
Their quest started by competing in the Northern Rivers area. The team consisting of Jade Moffitt, Erin Shugg, Tia Hollis, Carissa Miltiadou, Halle Roberts, Zhanae Whalley, Alani Berry, Yasmin Elabbasi, Zeah Fox, Sienna Gilbert, Kalani Henwood, Mia Phelps and Zoe Salariosa, of which they dominated to become Northern Rivers Champions blitzing the scores lines during the first 4 rounds.
The team then played Ballina High School (winners of the Far North Coast Zone) to determine the North Coast A Champion team. This was a high-pressure game with Ballina student spectators amassed to cheer for their school. A high paced close first half with touchdowns rocking between both teams placed Maclean ahead 4-3. The game continued in the same fashion for the rest of the game and at the final hooter the score was 5 all. An extra time drop off was required starting with 5 players per team. After 2 minutes neither team was able to score, so another player was dropped. There was a couple of close opportunities for both teams in the next two minutes but still no try and another player was dropped – now 3 on 3. Subbing fresh legs onto the field. Carissa, Zeah and Zhanae took the field and defended hard. Then it was our ball. On the second touch Carissa drew the defence close and passed to Zhanae who sprinted for a half field winning try.
This win placed Maclean High in the final 20 teams in the state.
The next round crossed regions and North Coast A – Maclean drew Sydney North B – Mackellar Girls High.
Luckily for us we claimed our first home game for the season. With a home ground advantage, the girls were excited for a win. However, history has often produced strong teams from Sydney, so Maclean knew they were in for a tough game.
Mackellar tapped off and directly made a play at the line. Strong defence kept them from scoring. Maclean retaliated with quick dumps and pace and took the Mackellar team by surprise with Zhanae and Tia combining to score the first try only minutes into the game. Not to be outdone Mackellar fought back quickly to equal the score. The game continued up and back with the Mackellar team scoring a few quick tries before the end of the first half.
Half time allowed Maclean to re-group and the second half started in a similar way with Jade and Carissa combining for a pacey try. Tight defence kept the score to one try each in the first 5 minutes of play. Then the highly structured attack from Mackellar slowly wore the Maclean team down and match fitness took its toll.
Maclean were gracious in defeat and wish their victors luck in the final 10. A big thank you to Jenna Hope, Lee Bushell and Time Ryan for dedicating their time to referee. We are already looking forward to next year’s competition.
Mrs Kylie Lowe