New Holland Women’s Country coach Gemma Harrison says she is proud of the application and effort displayed from her side in their 39-point loss to the women’s State under-18 side at Optus Stadium on Sunday. After stumbling to an early quarter-time deficit, the country squad were not able to rally, outscored in the remaining three quarters before falling to a 39-point defeat. Georgina Lilford and Nardia Humphries were the sole Great Southern Football League representatives in a country squad that featured players from West Kimberley, South West, Eastern Districts, Goldfields and Great Northern. Classy Great Northern ruckman Gemma Dix was named best afield for the State country side in the 6.5 (41) to 0.2 (2) result. After charging to a 26-point quarter-time advantage, the under-18 side put through a major in the second and fourth quarter while holding the State country outfit goalless after four quarters. The game was played as a curtain-raiser to the AFL match between West Coast and North Melbourne. “While the score wasn’t what we were chasing, I cannot question the passion, determination and endeavour that every single player displayed throughout the game,” Harrison said. “I was overwhelmed by the pure tenacity of all players, but in particular Gemma Dix who played through the ruck, Katie Jayne-Grieve who never gave up through our midfield and Maddy Obal who played a consistent role in defence. “Nat House from Esperance also deserves special mention and certainly continues to push her way towards the elite avenues of our game. “I believe that these players will continue to grow, not only as footballers but also leaders as a result of our weekend. “Every single player, coach and support staff were proud to play and represent the country regions of WA. “Onwards to 2024, we certainly have the momentum.” Katanning’s Sheridan Kowald also filled the role as assistant coach.