It wasn’t the greatest day for the Emmaus St Leo’s football club on Saturday when two of its three teams went down, but there were great moments everywhere with the men’s reserves team coming back from a deficit to draw their match with Canterbury. But the brightest moment of the day was arguably the fierce determination and spirit shown by the Animalettes who were down players before their match against Oakleigh had even started. Being without a bench against a team who had more than enough rotations meant that Emmaus St Leo’s women’s team had to find that extra gear and did, despite the scoreboard.

It could have been a game to forget for the Animalettes but they did their very best to make sure it wasn’t. The contests were hard all day, and the effort immense with no reward. Jess Dawson played her best game for the year and inadvertently for the club as she moved to full back and showed what she could do down there. Continuing her impressive form was Shellby Lonie whose presence was felt all over the ground. Trainer-turned-player Holly Pointon literally took one for the team, donning the blue and blue and some borrowed boots to boost the Animalettes’ numbers, and getting a few handy touches that no doubt did wonders for her confidence. Unfortunately, second-year player Amy Ronchi headed to the hospital after dislocating her shoulder and will be out for the rest of the season, decreasing the number of available players by one.

Oakleigh finished the game 14.7.91 to Emmaus St Leo’s 0.0.0 after consistently progressing their score over the four quarters. Despite being down by an insurmountable number on the scoreboard, the Animalettes’ ‘never say die’ attitude never died. Their second and third efforts were there until the very last second, and both coaches were incredibly proud, telling their charges as much during the debrief in the rooms after the final siren with Assistant Coach Brendan Ellwood lauding the determination, and frustrated with the fact that his team continues to consistently do what is asked of them with little to no reward.

With only 5 games left, the Animalettes continue to show that they are capable of anything despite their horror run with the scoreboard. Their dedication to each other and to the club is second to none. This week, they face a healthy challenge in ladder leaders UHS-VU at home at Bennettswood Reserve, kicking off another triple header with the men’s teams looking to get one over Aquinas.