Bendigo Thunder going from strength-to-strength in NFLW

GUN: Tiahna Cochrane is enjoying a stellar season for the Bendigo Thunder in the new Northern Football League Women's competition. The Thunder head the ladder with a perfect 5-0 record. Picture: NONI HYETT
GUN: Tiahna Cochrane is enjoying a stellar season for the Bendigo Thunder in the new Northern Football League Women's competition. The Thunder head the ladder with a perfect 5-0 record. Picture: NONI HYETT

BENDIGO Thunder coach Cherie O'Neill says it is pleasing to see so many players putting themselves in contention for a senior call-up.

O'Neill made the comment in the aftermath of the Thunder's 63 point win over NFLW rivals Pascoe Vale on Sunday.

They won 12.10 (82) to 2.7 (19).

Grace Campbell and Andrea Walsh each kicked two goals for the Thunder, who finished with eight other individual goal scorers.

The win catapulted the club to the top of the league ladder after five straight wins, level on points but with a superior percentage to Victorian University Western Spurs.

Second-year coach O'Neill could not be more happier with her side's start to the season.

"The girls are playing really well, we're just working on maintaining structures and improving each week," she said.

"It's been great to be able to rotate players through a few different positions.

"They are really starting to step up."

The win on Pascoe Vale's home turf at Raeburn Reserve was underpinned by solid contributions from throughout the line-up.

Young midfielder Tiahna Cochrane continued her bright start to the season with another best-on-ground performance.

Kodi Jacques and Emily Findlay capped off some great work around the ground with a goal apiece.

Beppina Marshall (one goal), Sarah Baldwin and Aisling Tupper were others to show out in a strong team effort.

O'Neill said the Thunder made as many as five changes to the line-up for the game against Panthers, with excellent form in the Thunder's reserves team being rewarded.

The pressure for spots is only likley to intensify after the reserves had a thumping  85-point win over Kyneton on Sunday.

Alyx Glanville and Rochelle Daley did their chances of a recall no harm with standout games, while Erin Ross led the way on the scoreboard with five goals among a team total of 12.

Meanwhile, O'Neill congratulated Thunder newcomer Kerryn Harrington, who has been lured to Carlton's AFL Women's league side as a rookie.

"She is a first year player whose work ethic is amazing, she's just a go-getter," she said.

"She's adapated from basketball to football really well,  she's still learning the game but her skills will just keep building.

"She rotates through the centre, but we have been playing her off the half back flank.

"She plays both those positions well, but you could play her anywhere."