At 12.45pm last Saturday, Parkes were up against the Bathurst Giants at our spacious North Parkes oval, featuring a soggy centre square. With even numbers for the game, it made it an easier contest all around the ground. The Giants were up and about early in the game and getting the ball inside their forward 50, kicking for goal. Katie Hetherington got the all-important touch in, to result in a point - however it resulted in a dislocated finger and put her out for the rest of the match. Bathurst kicked one goal and three behinds, but Parkes were determined not to be held scoreless and become more focused than ever before. As the midfielders gained control and used the ball wisely, they gave the opportunity for Hallee Pauley-Lestrange who was able to score a behind. Sara Callan continued to improve and develop her skills as a half-forward flanker.
Second quarter began and Parkes were down by eight points. Players player' midfielder Harriet Moore was clocking up a fair amount of mileage as she popped up everywhere you looked, taking marks in defence and in the forward line. The ball was kept up with multiple scoring shots for the key forwards, Emma 'Baz' Barry bamboozled everyone including herself as she gave the ball an almighty roost as it took a hop, skip and jump straight through the big sticks. Ally Hetherington also scored a goal, as she used her brute strength and weakened the Giant’s defenders. Alex Briton scored two behinds as she was moving like a gazelle, Felicity Ralph was like a snake in long grass as she came out of nowhere and also scored a behind to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Korine Coleman showed her strength in the forward line by kicking a behind as well. The massive effort meant that the Giants were held scoreless for the quarter.
Half-time and the mighty Panthers were up by eight points. All eyes were on the prize and with nothing to lose and everything to gain. The Giants came in hard, Parkes defence was back on board to eliminate any scoring. The ever superb backline consisting of Amy Roseby, Renee Massurit, Amber LEstrange and Ashley Rosser meant that they weren't about to give in and keep the intensity up. Giants were held to one goal and four behinds. They kept the Panthers scoreless for the third quarter.
The last quarter started, Bathurst were up by two points. All eyes staring at that magnificent Sherrin, up she goes, slapped down yet again. Mud flying and stuck to both Ruckmen's boots, mids bumping and crashing into one another. Communication seemed to be a main key at this crucial part of the match, back and forth the Sherrin went. Both teams were not giving an inch and manning up quickly if a mark was taken. Amber L’Estrange went in hard for the ball when it was in the air as a pack of players surrounded her and took some hard hits. Kimberley Dixon used her natural ability to gain several possessions and kick the ball to the forward line. Felicity Ralph maintained her 'snake in the grass' style as she yet again kicked a behind to force the Giants into panic mode. Amy Roseby was pushed up forward to keep Bathurst thinking, within minutes she scored a behind. Bathurst ended up scoring a goal and a behind to take out the match by seven points. Coach Ralph praised "It was a really strong performance by the girls this weekend. Everyone had a fantastic game and it was a real confidence booster to be able to control the ball against a quality team. The girls should be very proud of their effort." Parkes 2.7-19 defeated by Bathurst Giants 3.8-26. Parkes versus Cowra for our last home game of the season.