By Andrew Schmidt
In ideal conditions, the cream of Broken Hill’s female footballers staged a game for the ages with a powerful and passionate re-enactment of a match played at Jubilee Oval over 80 years ago.
It was October 1941 when the newly formed women’s teams named the Spitfires and Bombers played off in charity match to raise money for the War effort.
Last Saturday, modern-day warriors took to the field in a game where the Spitfires hung on to win by a solitary point.
“It was like a grand final,” Umpire Peter Nash said.
“The intensity and passion were unbelievable for what was supposedly an exhibition match.”
As spectators filled the bleachers and grandstand, it was the Spitfires who got the jump. Aided by a slight breeze, they dominated the first quarter goals to fly towards the first break 20 points up.
In the second quarter, the Bombers lifted in the middle. With the breeze at their back kicked two goals of their own to narrow the margin to eight points at the long break.
During the halftime break, a sprint race was held to find the fastest female footballer in Broken Hill. It was a no-contest as Paris Ralph streaked the field to break the ribbon and claim the title in front of Shelby Raven.
As the third quarter got underway and after a halftime rev up from their respective coaches, the pressure went up a degree or two, with the game becoming all about winning the hotly contested ball.
At the last change, it was the Spitfires still by eight points with the Bombers coming home with the aid of the wind blowing down the Jube.
As the game entered the final quarter, the lights were switched on, the yellow ball was introduced and the crowd became involved as the players responded with the game going up another notch.
The Bombers goaled and it was game on.
As the quarter ran down, players from both sides attached the ball with finals like ferocity, the final siren finally ending in a win to the Spitfires by one point as exhausted players slumped to the ground.
It was a terrific exhibition of football and was a credit to the players and coaches.
Spitfires captain Ash Anderson won the nod as her team’s best player with a powerful running display. She said the match was very special.
“I think the best thing about it was getting the local players together.”
Bombers star Shae Nevill said it was a real buzz to see people at the Jube and being part of a special afternoon.
“Amazing, simply amazing. It was a real high running out onto the ground.”
The game was instigated and supported by Steve Radford in conjunction with the CWA, who are celebrating their NSW centenary.
It was an afternoon that delighted all, including CWA Broken Hill secretary Joan Casey who said it was all about having a fun day.
“The local AFL and Steve knew it was our NSW 100th anniversary and we were rapt to be involved.”
The Broken Hill CWA were thrilled with the fundraising amount raising over $1100 from donations and sale of merchandise.
With the game over, players, officials and supporters headed to the BHP to celebrate an exceptional afternoon at Jubilee Oval.
Final Scores: Spitfires – 3-3 (21) defeated the Bombers 3-2 (20)
Best players: Spitfires – Ash Anderson (BOG) Penny Billings, Mel Keenan, Daisy Tyrrel, Paris Ralph
Bombers – Abbey Stevens, Makayla Berg, Tegan Coombes, Bridie Mannion, Jess Ray, Jacinta Barraclough.
Goal kickers: Spitfires – Addie Isedale 1, Shelby raven 1, Jo Johnstone-Smith 1
Bombers – Nikki Phillips 1, Abbey Stevens 1, Zali Beattie 1.