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Army April 28, 2011
By Michael Weaver
MISSED opportunities in the dying minutes of the
Australian Services Australian Football Association
(ASAFA) women's national championship saw Army
fall short by just two points against Navy.
In a typically hard-fought match for the Commodore
Geoff Ledger Trophy, Navy led by eight points with five
minutes still to play at Whitten Oval on April 18.
Army then surged forward and managed to sneak a
goal to bring the margin back to two points with plenty
of time to defend its women's national title from 2010.
Navy's backline withstood more attacking raids and
held on for its third national title against arch rival Army
winning 5.5. (33) to 4.7. (31).
Army team captain, Sgt Jorja Jones, said a key
moment in the match came during the second half
when the Navy team captain, LS Candice Freeman, was
knocked out. LS Freeman returned to the game only to
receive another solid knock soon after.
However, that only seemed to spur the Navy side on,
as the team clawed its way back in front in the fourth
quarter to secure an emphatic victory.
Sgt Jones said the final was "easily the most physical
game I've ever played in", but a few missed opportuni-
ties in the fourth quarter proved costly.
Army began the carnival by keeping Air Force score-
less in the opening match on April 12, while Navy
defeated Air Force by an even bigger margin in the sec-
ond game, even though Air Force did manage a point.
Best players for Army in the final were Cpl
Margarita Obien, Lt Alisha Hewett and Sgt Jorja Jones.
The ASAFA women's All Stars team comprises: Army -- Pte Lucy
Edwards, OCdt Alex Smith, Pte Rhi Busch, Cpl Margarita Obien, Sgt
Jorja Jones, Sig Casey Tinker, Pte Heather Rosenzweig, Cpl Melissa
Kennedy, Pte Eliza Oates. Navy -- Ashley Haywood (coach), Renee
Herezma, Jemma Cassily, Nicole Palmer, Ashley Hudson, Jenna Mercer,
Trish Muller, Kim Thompson, Hayley Merrick, Jessica Sullivan, Sarah
Beard, Nicki Furlong, Candice Freeman. Air Force -- Kylie Wilson,
Amee Slocombe, Emily Currer, Trudi Lyons.
So close and
yet so far
By Michael Weaver
THE Army men's Australian football side claimed
back-to-back national titles at the Australian
Services Australian Football Association's
(ASAFA) annual championship in Melbourne from
The victory reinforced Army's dominance at the
national titles, however Navy and Air Force once again
provided close competition.
Torrential rain earlier in the week had partially
submerged Whitten Oval -- the home of the Western
Bulldogs AFL team -- and this necessitated a move to
St Albans Oval at Geelong for the round games, before
the final could be played at Whitten Oval on April 18.
A 40-point victory against the Air Force on day one
of the carnival was the perfect start for Army, but coach
WO2 Wayne Morley said it was far from a one-sided
contest with Air Force providing spirited competition.
"Both wins [against Air Force and Navy] were hard
fought and resulted in a four-quarter grind, although
the scoreboard probably didn't indicate that in the first
game," WO2 Morley said.
"Navy always prove hard to beat and it wasn't until
late in the last quarter that we kicked clear by a few
goals and were able to hold them off."
Army had three fewer shots on goal than Navy yet
still won the game by 19 points, while their backline
was stoic in repelling numerous attacks by Navy when
the game was in the balance during the second half.
WO2 Morley said first-year Army player OCdt Jack
Lush was outstanding in his sweeping role across the
halfback line, while full forward Capt Rodney Davis
consistently troubled his opponents with seven goals.
Additional incentive came from the Army team's
mentor and AFL life member, Stan Alves, who pro-
vided an edge for the victorious men's side with a half-
time pep talk that made a significant difference.
"Stan Alves provided some very timely advice
and guidance to some of our younger players," WO2
"Stan has been a fantastic addition to Army footy
and was really well received by the coaching staff and
After the ASAFA national carnival in Melbourne,
the traditional All Stars teams were selected, featuring
a mix of players from across the three services.
The ASAFA All Stars played the annual Anzac
Challenge against the Australian Combined Emergency
Services team at AAMI Stadium in Adelaide on April
23 as a curtain-raiser to the AFL round five match
between Port Adelaide and the Gold Coast Suns. A full
match report will appear in the next edition of Army.
The ASAFA men's All Stars team comprises: Army -- Spr Michael
Leamer, LCpl Adam Stevenson, Cpl Lee Scanlon, Spr Daniel Harper,
Spr Daniel Gojanovic, OCdt Jack Lush. Navy -- Midn Sam Laidlaw,
LS Matthew Polman, Smn Nick Rusling, Smn Kieran McDowell,
AB Mathew Cameron, Leut Jeremy Sims, AB Darren Clinton, AB
Caleb Demunck. Air Force -- Cpl Jebal Williams, Cpl Shannon
Burke, OffCdt Nick Downward, LAC Glenn Meulendyks, LAC Jadan
Morton, Sqn-Ldr Shane Calliess, Cpl Jacob Berry.
Back to back titles
Best on ground against RAAF:
LCpl Adam Stevenson
Best on ground against Navy:
Capt Rodney Davis
Best first year player:
OCdt Jack Lush
Best and fairest: Capt Rodney Davis
Best umpire: Capt Travis Day
Best individual service male player:
Navy -- LS Simon Horner
Army -- LCpl Adam Stevenson
Air Force -- Cpl Nigel Peacock
Carnival best male player:
LCpl Adam Stevenson
Best clubman: WO1 Ashley Heywood
Best individual service female player:
Navy -- LS Trish Muller
Army -- Pte Heather Rosenzweig
Air Force -- Sgt Katie Staines
Carnival best female player:
LS Trish Muller
Close call: Lt Alisha Hewett, 1RTB, tries to put boot
to ball in the final against Navy.
Winning combination: The Army
men's Australian football side blitzed
the competition to win its second
national title in as many years with a
strong victory over Air Force, inset,
Capt Rodney Davis clears the ball
in the final. Photos by LS Paul McCallum
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