How these sporty Ipswich women created wonderful history
THE Ipswich Eagles women were challenged to "dream and believe'' chasing a historic grand final spot in only their second season of footy.
They delivered by dominating Moorooka 27-4 in their impressive QFAW Division 2 preliminary final victory under Limestone Park lights.
Saturday's deserved win qualifies the Eagles for Sunday's grand final showdown with Hinterland at Yeronga.
But as best on ground Samara Mahoney highlighted, it will be on the field that the Eagles do the most talking.
Modest after her standout performance, the Ipswich centre shared what it meant to make the grand final in only her second season playing Aussie rules.
"It's pretty awesome. We've worked really hard,'' she said having joined the Eagles last year.
Like some of her teammates, Mahoney came from a soccer background.
She grew up playing the round ball game in Minden before venturing into Aussie rules.
"We've just got some really good players and we really get along,'' she said of adjusting to a new game.
"They are just a great bunch of girls and it's heaps of fun.
"Hit hard and play tough.''
The Eagles women ran on to the field through a tunnel formed by men's players in the Ipswich club.
That continued a tradition all season where the Eagles men supported the club's developing female footballers.
However, it was motivation on the banner that the Eagles women ran through that captured the Ipswich club spirit.
"We dared to dream. It's time to believe,'' were opening inspirational words on the AFL-style banner prepared for the final.
"Our game, Our way. Mighty Eagles. Time to soar.
"2019 is ours. Start unknown. Finish unforgettable.''
Buoyed by all the support, the Eagles women got down to business early with Sam Chisholm booting the first of her three goals from her opening attempt in front of the posts.
The Eagles led 14-0 at the first change and consolidated that lead 15-2 at halftime before shutting out Moorooka in the second half again.
Co-captain Rebecca McCarthy sealed the victory with Ipswich's fourth goal in the third quarter.
Mahoney said the Eagles got on top playing on the bigger Mark Marsh Oval and due to her team's fitness.
"We just wanted it more I think,'' she said.
"It's the team environment.''
Other terrific performances included from defender Lara Boon who gave the Moorooka attack little opportunity to shoot.
Stephanie Cockerill-Wright, Leah Sibbick and Selina Prevolsek in the ruck also had powerhouse games.
Mahoney, 21, is studying at USQ Springfield to become a teacher.
With a grand final to prepare for, she shared what it is about Aussie rules that lured her in.
"I really enjoy the physicality and all that,'' she said.
State of play
QFAW Division 2 North preliminary final: Ipswich Eagles 4.3-27 def Moorooka 0.4-4.
Grand final: Sunday (10am) - Ipswich Eagles v Hinterland at Yeronga.