Women make AFL history

TRAIL BLAZERS: The first women's AFL match to be played in the region saw a North Coast team fall narrowly to Ballina.
TRAIL BLAZERS: The first women's AFL match to be played in the region saw a North Coast team fall narrowly to Ballina. Debrah Novak

FORGET the result, the first North Coast women's AFL team was thrilled to be a part of history.

The inaugural women's game in the region between a combined North Coast team and Ballina was a raging success with a big crowd in attendance at Grafton's Ellem Oval and a fantastic brand of footy on display.

"I was really happy with how everybody went,” an ecstatic North Coast captain Alana Hanson said.

"We lacked a bit of match fitness and the finer strategic points but more than made up for it with enthusiasm.”

It was more than just the onfield efforts that impressed Hanson.

"The response has been amazing, the comments from the crowd were so positive, the boys loved watching us out there and the Ballina team were shocked that we hadn't been training or playing regularly,” she said.

The wet conditions proved no barrier as the 35 women ripped in to provide a physical yet skilful display.

North Coast started a little tentatively but by the second quarter found its confidence and the skills were growing with every touch of the footy.

Ballina is an established team and it showed early but by the second term the North Coast team was holding its own. In fact from half time the scores were tied and North Coast won the last quarter by seven points but the Bombers won 5.7 (37) to 2.6 (18).

Next up for the North Coast women's team is a match against the AFL North West team at Inverell on July 8 and planning for matches in both Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour are well underway.

Those interested in playing should contact the AFL Northern NSW office on 66596000.

Topics:  afl north coast ellem oval women's sport

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