St Mary’s Salesian
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St Mary’s Salesian
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The Brunswick Renegades have so much to be proud of this weekend as history was made in many ways. Thanks to some great work behind the scenes by Vanessa “Goose” Lussini and the committee, the Renegades ran out for their first official PRIDE ROUND for the club. Pride for the Renegades is much more than a pair of rainbow socks; it is a part of our culture. As a team, we have worked hard to understand what it means to be a safe and inclusive club for the LGBTIQ community, and we are proud of the contribution this community makes to our club. We are also proud of our opponents Mazenod for not only accepting our invitation to partake in a Pride round but embracing it with our first ever half-time show!
Another historical moment was, of course, having our beloved captain Claire Woodhouse running out for her 250th game. Twenty years of trailblazing AFL for women, the Prems were incredibly proud to run out behind an absolute legend of the game. And through possibly the most enormous banner any of us have ever seen. I’ve read novels shorter than that thing!
A triumphant return from injury for one of our senior leaders Mon Grey bringing her strength and wisdom into the half-forward, taking one of her classic long kicks straight through sticks in the first quarter setting the pace for the game. The forward line saw all of the action in the first half with the midfield absolutely peppering the ball through, which was no small feat since the centre square was buried under 3ft of mud.
There were no delusions about having a good clean game of footy with the conditions this weekend. Knowing very well what it takes to move a ball in a mud pit, Woodhouse showed the sea of spectators what 250 games worth of footy experience looks like. She powered through the packs with a fierceness rarely seen or matched in the league. Shelley Lampard was keen to prove she wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, getting her head over the ball as soon as it surfaced from its mud bath.
The coach had made it clear from the get-go that if there were any team to beat this season, Mazenod were the ones. Sitting third on the ladder, there were equal amounts of determination as there was desperation in the game style. The Renos kept the scoreboard in our favour from the first quarter, with Mazenod clearly taken back by the tenacity the players brought to the game. They were hot on our heels from start to finish, with never more than 6 points between us.
By the final quarter, there wasn’t a single person in their seat. The grandstand, filled with past players and fans wanting to see Housey get a big win for her milestone match, were ecstatic. New star fullback, Erin O’Connor, knew what was at stake with a four-point margin. She rolled over the line with the ball as if she were Indiana Jones escaping a collapsing temple in the final minutes of the game.
The crowd erupted in a sea of rainbows as the final siren went in what passers-by may have thought was a grand final win. It was everything we love about local footy! After the game, Assistant Coach Ned Watson said to the team, “I think that was the best footy day I’ve ever had”. It is safe to say everyone in attendance would second that notion.
Pearson St, north of Victoria St, Brunswick VIC