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2024 CTL Girls Player of the Week: Round 5

STEERING her side to a come-from-behind win, reigning Rookie Me Central Medallist and Coates Talent League Girls Best and Fairest Sara Howley had an enormous day out. The talented midfielder not only racked up the ball with ease as she normally did, but kicked three crucial goals late in the match to guide the Geelong Falcons to a 21-point win over Calder Cannons.

Howley did it all, recording 32 disposals, nine marks, eight tackles, four inside 50s and kicking three goals, all of which came in the final 25 minutes of the match. Trailing by four points, the Geelong Falcons midfielder kicked her first at the 18th minute mark of the third term, and then just a minute into the fourth quarter slotted another.

Kicking her third and final goal midway through the fourth term, by that stage the Falcons were now 20 points clear and able to run out comfortable victors over the Cannons. Incredibly, three minutes after her third, Howley had another chance but only registered a behind to end with 3.1 for her troubles.

The only multiple goalkicker on the day, Howley also kicked a goal in each of her first two matches, and is averaging 33.0 disposals, 5.7 marks, 6.3 tackles and 4.0 inside 50s, having picked up where she left off last season.

Howley’s closest eligible rival for the weekend was Gold Coast Suns’ bottom-ager Dekota Baron who kicked four goals for the second consecutive week, this time against Dandenong Stingrays. Baron also had 15 disposals, nine marks, four tackles and 19 hitouts in a starring role. Top draft prospect Havana Harris had 28 disposals and 18 hitouts in the same game.

In terms of sheer numbers and impact, Gippsland Power’s Ash Centra booted four goals from 30 disposals in the Power’s tight win over Western Jets, but as the Round 2 nominee, was ineligible. Another big goalkicker was Claire Mahony who kicked 4.1 from 11 disposals and three marks in the GWV Rebels’ win over Bendigo Pioneers. GWS Giants Academy bottom-ager Isla Wiencke had another big game with 23 disposals, 13 inside 50s and two goals against Murray Bushrangers.

2024 COATES TALENT LEAGUE GIRLS PLAYER OF THE WEEK:

Round 1 – Marlo Graham (Northern Knights)
Round 2 – Ash Centers (Gippsland Power)
Round 3 – Lou Painter (Bendigo Pioneers)
Round 4 – Mischa Barwin (Tasmania Devils)
Round 5 – Sara Howley (Geelong Falcons)