By Rebecca Peppiatt
IT’S the start of the NFL season in Western Australia and while the game, otherwise known as American Football, has been played here since 1988, it’s really starting to ramp up with two local clubs now part of the Gridiron West league.
The newly formed Hills Valkyries and Swan City Titans battled it out on the field in two separate games last weekend to kick off the round one table rankings.
The Valkyries, based in Chidlow, are the first ever all-female gridiron club in WA history and there was anticipation for their debut game against Curtin Saints at Edinburgh Oval in Bentley on Saturday night.
Despite the fact more than half the team had never played a game before, the Valkyries played a phenomenal game of football, scoring two touchdowns to walk away with a score of 12 to the Saints’ 30, who had five touchdowns and no conversions.
The Valkyries have the youngest quarterback in the league in 17-year-old Natasha Warne who stepped into the role for the first time on Saturday, and both touchdowns were made by rookie wide receivers Jacqueline Taylor and Marika Martini.
“Our ladies showed a steely resolve and a work ethic to be envious of,” coach Mike Willems said.
“Over time, with more training and keeping their commitment levels high, we are looking forward to exciting games and positive results on the scoreboard.”
The Titans had a mixed result from last weekend’s football which was played on home ground against the West Coast Wolverines on Saturday.
The men’s team came out on top taking home a victory of 31 points to the Wolverines’ 20 and the Titans women’s division walked away with no scores on the board to the Wolverines’ 44 points.
The Wolverines scored 32 points in the first half.
After some halftime adjustments the Wolverines only managed to score six points on the Titans defence.
There were stand out performances by wide receiver Yvette Quarles leading the team in receptions, Katie Outtrim, left guard, and rookie centre Allison Ovens not allowing a quarterback sack.
In the men’s game, the offense lead by quarter back Travis Haney scored on every possession but were let down by the Titans defensive secondary allowing the Wolverines to pick up first downs in long yardage situations on third and fourth down.
The Wolverines offensive lead the time of possession but were unable to move the ball consistently and could not establish their run game, averaging just two yards per carry.
Round two this weekend as the Titans men take on the Vincent City Ducks Friday night at Farrall Oval, Stratton, the Valkyries ladies will then take on the Perth Broncos at the same venue at 1pm on Saturday followed by the Swan City Titan women who will be defending their home turf against the Vipers at 7pm.
IMPORTANT GAME UPDATE – Due to technical issues at Farrall Oval all games will be played at Edinburgh Oval in Bentley.