THE Cooma Fillies have continued their three-year unbeaten record at home with a resounding 26-0 win over the Bega Chicks in the rain on Sunday. The Fillies running battle with the Chicks loomed as the toughest game of the season thus far, and the Fillies showed class and control in their dominant effort in front of a loyal and damp crowd.
Bega kicked off to begin the match and, following an early error, gained good field position and tested the Fillies line early. Having defended hard against a determined Bega attack, the Fillies were eager to gain some ascendancy and field position. Strong runs from Kristy Nichols and Emma Sullivan and an unparalleled kicking game from Maree Ingram had Bega on the back foot, while Kayla Jamieson nullified Bega's return kicks at fullback. With even 7 minutes gone, Nichols found the white line, hitting a gaping hole and planting the ball down just near the posts. With Maree Ingram's conversion, the Fillies were in the lead 6-0 and buoyed to continue their attacking raid. From the restart, the Fillies pushed forward through Anna Steel, Georgie Clarke and Tash Stewart, while Ingram and Abby Schofield continued to steer the team around the park with great focus and foresight. While Bega attempted to hit back through Tegan Mundy and Bronty Burhop, the Fillies defence of Patrice Clear and Jane Peadon quashed their efforts. In the 13th minute, the Fillies increased their lead through the combination of Sullivan, Steel, Stewart and Monique Ingram, who offloaded with precise timing to Meg Bracher to finish the movement with style. The remainder of the half saw the Fillies commanding in all facets of the game, and the injection of Kirrily Carberry, Jade Lee and Brooke Morey had Bega on the back foot and suppressed their attacking efforts.
In the second half, Maree Ingram's powerful kick-off saw the Fillies regain possession on the 10m line, mirroring Bega's opening kick-off and positioning the Cooma girls well for the opening attack. Within a minute, Sullivan, Steel, Stewart and the youngest Ingram combined again in a set play, with Monique effortlessly crossing on the left flank. At 14-0, the Fillies were unwavering in their attempts to keep Bega to nil, and though the Chicks' fullback Georgina Pearce pushed the Fillies' defence, last ditch tags from Bec Robson and Trina Brownlie maintained their lead. The home side had all the control in the middle of the second half, reinforced by the efforts of Nichols and Bracher who found space right under the posts and extended the lead to 20-0. To their credit, Bega never gave up and had the Cooma girls cemented in their own half for much of the back end of the game. May Peck put her body on the line to crush a short kick from Bega, and Sue Morgan was tireless in defence, while Clear, Carberry, Clarke and Schofield kept Bega at bay. With just minutes left on the clock, Jade Lee put the final nail in the coffin with a signature long range try which rounded out the score at 26-0.
Players' player and 3 best and fairest points this week was awarded to Kristy Nichols who excelled in attack and defence; 2 points went to Georgie Clarke who never fails to entertain with her defensive escapades, while 1 point was awarded to unsung hero Kirrily Carberry who was exceedingly effective in the rain.
Though cold and damp, the Fillies were buoyed on Ladies Day by the knowledge that each try scored would earn a donation from the Cooma Stallions to the McGrath Foundation and coupled with donations from the crowd and a percentage of the entry fees on the day, saw well over $500 donated.
Thank you to all who donated and contributed to the smooth running of the day.
The Fillies have next weekend off, before meeting the Bega Chicks again in a fortnight in the Major Semi Final, where both teams will tough it out to be the first through to the 2014 Group 16 Leaguetag Grand Final.