With Madi’s Cup on Sunday, we thought we would share photos from last year’s match between the Peel Thunderbirds and Swan Districts, that honoured the memory of Peel’s biggest fan.
The game this Sunday starts at 2pm at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
Last year, the Peel Thunderbirds paid a touching tribute to Madi Molloy with a spirited performance for their fan who lost her fight with brain cancer in 2016.
The Thunderbirds rose to the occasion with their “best performance yet” despite not coming away with a win, according to league coach Mark Fenton.
“We went into the game wanting a big performance from the girls on what is a really special day to our club, and they delivered,” he said.
“It’s an emotional occasion and the girls gave us everything they had – we couldn’t be more proud.”
Peel led the game half way through the third term but ultimately fell to a star-studded Swan Districts outfit 6.4 (40) to 8.13 (61).
The Thunderbirds were out to a quick start in Demi Okely’s 50th game and led by a single point at the first break.
The game stayed tight throughout the second quarter and at half time it was still the Thunderbirds in front, stretching their margin to three points at the main break.
Eventually Peel were overrun by the powerful Swans team, but Fenton labelled the game his side’s best outing this season.
“As a whole I think that was our best game yet – the girls played as a team and put in a brilliant showing,” he said.
“Swans are a great team and have some star players whereas we’re a very young side, so I think experience got us in the end, but there’s plenty for us to take out of that game.”
The Thunderbirds received admirable performances from Georgia Perry and Ebony Dowson, who went toe-to-toe with AFL Women’s marquee players Kellie Gibson and Kara Donnellan.
Youngster Courtney Hodder put in a blistering performance and was awarded the Madi Molloy medal as Peel’s best-on-ground.
Fenton said his side’s spirited display was the perfect way to honour Madi’s memory.
“It was a great tribute. Madi always cheered us on to put up a fight and the girls were outstanding,” he said.
The club also rattled tins and raised around $1600 to help the fight against brain cancer.