For the first time in a month, all three of Emmaus St Leo’s football teams will take the field, with the men returning from their four consecutive byes to travel over and play Westbourne away hoping to start their run home off with a bang. But it’s the women’s team who will look to extend their two-game winning streak against the Preston Bullants, who sit second the ladder, on Saturday when they run out onto W.R. Ruthven Reserve. It’s been quite an eventful couple of weeks for the Animalettes, who came into their bye winners, and returned from their bye eventual winners, taking down rivals Prahran Assumption in a one-point thriller.

Emmaus St Leo’s women’s team were on home turf last time they faced Preston, with Preston finishing the game 9.9.63 to the Animalettes’ 2.4.16. Both teams are coming off wins, with Preston undoubtably coming in as favourites, their ladder positioning far superior at 2nd, with Emmaus St Leo’s women’s team currently sitting at 7th despite their last couple of games. The Animalettes’ two-game winning streak puts them in good stead for their clash against Preston and if they leave the ground winners, they’ll have pulled off what might be the upset of the year.

Team selection news has the return of Emily Kerr, who has been out for most of the season injured and will start on the bench. The last line of defence is Brooke Chapman, Jess Dawson, and Claire Anderson, with support provided by Shino Walsh, Shellby Lonie and Kate Fletcher at halfback. The Morley sisters return to their usual positions on the wings, with Maddy Hogan in the ruck and Shanelle Blachford, Sam Hogarth and Dee Burden at her feet. The forward half of the ground is going back to the traditional 3-3, with Sarah Dawson, and Sheridan Harris either side of Kayla Hetherington at half forward, and Bridget Monaghan and Shannon Harris are to be joined by Tara Ingham.

There’s a cohesive and adaptability to the Animalettes that hasn’t really been seen before. On-field performances are getting better by the quarters and it’s nothing short of fantastic to see. The development that’s happened has begun to set really strong foundations for the years to come. Was it first round cobwebs that had the Animalettes starting off on the back foot last time these teams went into battle? Can they continue their winning streak and knock off another top four team? Get down to W. R. Ruthven Reserve and find out. First bounce is at 4.45pm.

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