AFL: First bounce for Tamworth Kangaroos women

Clearing kick: Natalie Deaves puts boot to ball to clear from danger during the Tamworth Kangaroos women's sides clash with the Inverell Saints on Saturday. Photo: Peter Hardin 130517PHB076

Clearing kick: Natalie Deaves puts boot to ball to clear from danger during the Tamworth Kangaroos women's sides clash with the Inverell Saints on Saturday. Photo: Peter Hardin 130517PHB076

Tamworth Kangaroos bound into new territory at No.1 Oval on Saturday with their women’s side running out for the first time.

The Kangaroos took on the Inverell Saints in the third round of the new AFL North West Women’s League.

“It was great,” Kangaroos secretary Danielle Abbott said.

One of the driving forces behind the Kangaroos’ formation, Abbott said, they had 19 players roll up and play a 13 a-side game against the Saints.

“It was a great turnout and great crowd down there,” she said.

She said it was “fantastic” to finally get out there in the middle after all their hard work in training.

“After a couple of months of training the girls were just dying to get out and have a go,” she said.

“Everyone was pretty nervous the first few minutes.”

That was to be expected being their first-ever game, but after that they settled down and were able to drown out the crowd and focus on footy.

She said it took them probably three-quarters of the game to really find their rhythm.

“In the fourth quarter we came out and everything started clicking,” she said.

“The girls all worked out where they were supposed to be.”

Captain Shannon Campbell enjoyed the distinction of kicking the Kangaroos’ first ever goal, and at one stage in the final quarter kicked three goals in five minutes.

From Abbott’s recollection the Saints were 22 point winners but it wasn’t really about the result, and Abbott felt one of their strengths was their passion.

“We’re still lacking in a few of the skills but that was always going to happen,” Abbott said.

For most of them it is all still very new, and she said they were looking forward to getting back on the training paddock this week.

“We’re super keen for training to practice all those skills,” she said.

They’ll have another chance to further hone their skills on Saturday when they play the Moree Suns.

“We’re all really looking forward to getting out there again,” Abbott said.

Campbell was best on ground. Erin Skewes was also impressive.

The Sam Naismith Cup meanwhile kicks-off in Gunnedah on Wednesday. 

The new North West secondary schools competition will teams feature from Glen Innes, Tamworth, Manilla, Inverell, Moree and Gunnedah. Round one is in Gunnedah on Wednesday, with round two in Inverell on Friday. The top two teams from each division (open boys, U15 boys and open girls) will then meet in the final in Inverell on May 26.

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