Newcastle City has handed the Nelson Bay Marlins women’s team its first defeat since 2015.
The Marlins had not been defeated since the 2015 grand-final, where City clinched the inaugural Black Diamond AFL women’s title.
The Bay women went through 2016 undefeated, even claiming back the title from City.
Nelson Bay and City were on a hot streak heading into the round 10 fixture – neither had felt a loss this season.
The Marlins looked solid early in the game.
But once ruck Pippa Smyth went off with a cut to her face, Newcastle found their feet and dominated their way to a win.
The end score was 15.16 (106) to 3.3 (21). Sophie Balcombe, Emily Nichols and Jessica Phillips kicked one goal each for Nelson Bay.
Lisa Steane, the league’s reigning best and fairest, was a standout in Saturday’s game, as was Jemma Astley who went into the ruck after Smyth left the field, Kaitlyn Douglass, fullback Molly Fraser, Madeleine Norton and Bailee Relf.
Nelson Bay Marlins president Roger Price said there has been a significant increase in the skill levels of the women’s side since 2015.
“We lost quite a few players from last year’s side, and we needed to fill that void,” he said.
“Our new girls have fitted in really well and picked up their skills very quickly.”
The women’s side will be looking to rebound on Saturday when they host fifth placed Wyong Lakes.
The Bay’s premier men’s side also faced tough opposition from Newcastle on Saturday.
Missing Tim Divall, Luke Price, Ben Eddy and Harry Freund, the Marlins kicked just one goal in the first half and ended up on the wrong end of a 114-point hiding.
The final score was 23.18 (156) to 5.12 (42).
David Wood managed two goals to be Nelson Bay’s only multiple goal-kicker.
Fullback Chris Eddy was the Marlins’ best, supported by Billy Barton, Jayden Rymer, Todd Thornton, Aaron Clayden and Wood.
After being touted as one of the premiership chances at the start of teh season, the Bay now see themselves hanging onto fourth position on the ladder.
They host fifth placed Killarney Vale this weekend.
Price said the men’s side has had a mixed first half of the year following on from their preliminary final loss in 2016, the first Black Diamond Cup finals appearance since 2003.
“We have lacked the consistency so far this year which has cost us games we were in a position to win,” Price said.