If you were going by the scoreboards, Emmaus St Leo’s didn’t have a very good weekend, with all three sides losing away from home. The men’s teams were competitive all day, just losing out on the scoreboard. But it wasn’t all bad news for the women’s team either despite losing without a score on the board. There were good signs all round, with everybody playing their role and doing what was asked of them, even with some switching around of positions and some tough opponents.

Assistant Coach Brendan Ellwood was impressed by the team’s willingness to go in and have a real crack in unfamiliar positions, with Amy Ronchi having a run in the midfield and defence at times, and Kate Fletcher having a short stint on ball where she competed hard every time. Delaney Morvell moved into a full forward role and showed some good signs while Sarah Smith played well on the wing.

‘None of them complained or got hesitant because they were unsure, all just went out and had a go.’

Head Coach Roy Fenton was happy with the way everyone kept trying and didn’t give up, with Ellwood adding that ‘our persistence is becoming the identity of this team. They never dropped their heads or gave up because the win was out of reach, instead the focused on doing the things we want to do and played much better than the scoreboard says.’

The ball was coming in quick to the backline and Fenton was pleased with how well they stood up. Claire Anderson had an incredible game down in defence before she played off half-forward and Dee Burden got knocked around a bit but continued her efforts all game.

Another good sign was the way the Animalettes were able to shut down the scoring speed of UHS-VU, who scored 10 goals in the first half before only managing to 3 in the second. Ellwood laments that a lot of their early goals were opportunistic ones from goalline scrambles, but was impressed with how the team responded.

Since her first game, Shino Walsh has continuously impressed with her football abilities and her run off halfback, something not lost on Ellwood.

‘Shino had the footy on a string and had a strong defensive presence as well. Her work rate both ways was excellent, and when we put her on the ball, her impact was immediate.’

He also couldn’t talk more highly of Emmaus St Leo’s debutant Kayla Hetherington, stating that she ‘looked a natural at CHB and in her brief stint in the ruck. She adds some height too which gives us flexibility in our structure.’

It’s safe to say the new additions to the Animalettes this season have boosted the team in so many ways. The camaraderie shown every weekend on game day and during the week on training nights is second to none and an absolute product of the Animals spirit. The willingness to play for each other and never give up is amazing to watch. Despite being down, Emmaus St Leo’s women’s team were never out, and that counts for something. UHS-VU ran away winners 13.17.95 to 0.0.0 at the final siren.

Three losses on the same day for Emmaus St Leo’s sets up for what will be an incredible Mother’s Day weekend, with a triple header where all three teams will be looking for some redemption and the annual ladies’ luncheon being held in the clubrooms for the first time ever. The Animalettes will be running out for a 9.20am start to take on Oakleigh, who are playing their first season in Division 3, whilst the men’s teams will look to get one over Manningham, reserves at 11:40am and seniors at 2pm. Get down to Bennettswood Reserve this weekend!