A SPECIAL Saturday then a super Sunday - Paige Cooke's weekend was one of her best yet in Bathurst Giants colours.
The talented teenager has played more than 50 games in the AFL Central West youth girls competition, but on Saturday she made her debut in the women's league.
It was an occasion she should long remember as her defensive efforts in the final seconds helped the Giants keep fierce rivals the Bathurst Lady Bushrangers scoreless with a 14-9-93 to nil performance.
Cooke got the call up to the senior side given the Giants had six regulars unavailable for the local derby at George Park 1 in skipper Katie Kennedy, forwards Elise Gullifer and Hailee Taylor, Molly McCrossin, Saige Davies and Amanda Scrivenor.
Though younger and more inexperienced than many of her rivals, Cooke looked at home in the top grade.
"We had young Paige Cooke come up from youth girls to play with us and she just stepped in as if she'd been playing all year. She was amazing," coach Liz Kennedy said.
"We put her on the wing and then in the last quarter she went in the back line and actually took the last mark of the game to stop the Bushrangers from kicking a goal or a point.
"It was great, the girls just got around her and as I said, she just slotted right in as if she'd been there before."
Cooke was then back in action on Sunday in the Giants' youth girls side as they hosted Orange in a top of the table clash.
In a brilliant team performance, the Giants handed the competition leaders just their second loss of the season with a 9-4-58 to 0-4-4 win.
"The youth girls and the women's sides train together now. The youth girls beat Orange on Sunday and Orange had been sitting on top of the table," Kennedy said.
"You could see the things that we'd been drilling into them at training is now paying off for them as well.
"Our women's program at the moment is very strong and I am just very, very proud of the club for what it is doing for women's footy."
The progression of junior talents is something that has served the Giants well, with former youth girls star Molly Mann earning players' player honours against the Lady Bushrangers.
Mann played both youth girls and seniors in 2018-19 and has returned to the Giants this season.
"Molly Mann was an absolute ball magnet, she was everywhere," Kennedy said.
"It's been really nice to watch Mol come into the team again and find her place. She's been working at it each week and Saturday was a fantastic game.
"Just to see her with a smile on her face after all that's gone on this year, it was good to see."
The Giants stamped their authority on Saturday's derby from the outset, booting five goals six in the opening term while at the same time holding the Lady Bushrangers scoreless.
Though the Lady Bushrangers restricted the Giants to two majors in both the second and third quarters, Kennedy had shuffled her line-up as she looked at the big picture.
"The first quarter we kicked five goals then we just swapped everyone around because with all these injuries we have to start getting players used to different positions," she said.
"Having that great start we knew it was a great opportunity to try people in different positions, so that's what we did.
"But to hold them to nil with those players we had out, it was great. It was a very, very clinical performance."
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