Hawthorn have broken through for their first AFLW victory after overrunning a fast-starting Sydney to score a thrilling four-point victory at a packed Punt Road Oval.
- North Melbourne were led by another best-on-ground performance from midfielder Jasmine Garner
- Teenager Rylie Wilcox kicked two goals to keep the Bulldogs alive
- The Roos’ win kick-started a big day for the AFLW, which features four matches in total
The Hawks gave up a four-goal start but after a fierce spray from coach Bec Goddard at the first change, wrestled back the momentum to set up a 5.5 (35) to 4.7 (31) triumph on Friday.
The Swans made a scintillating start with four majors in the opening 10 minutes but from there the Hawks turned the game into more of a contested battle and kept their opponents goalless.
The Hawks took a three-point lead into the final term but with both teams desperate not to concede a goal the margin barely moved despite the ball flying into the Swans forward 50 as the final siren sounded.
Third-gamer Tahlia Fellows made the most of the Hawks’ territory advantage after quarter-time with three goals, while Jasmine Fleming continued her outstanding debut season.
The 17-year-old midfielder Fleming finished with 16 disposals and 10 tackles to lead the way with Tilly Lucas-Rodd (12, 11) in support and defender Akec Makur Chuot (13 touches) also crucial to the comeback.
Brooke Lochland was the spark for the Swans’ electrifying start, buzzing around inside the forward 50 and slotting three of the Swans’ four goals in the opening term after they failed to kick a major last week.
Lochland finished with 17 disposals and had a chance to steal the game late as a ball bounced around close to goal but was quickly closed down by multiple Hawks palyers.
Cynthia Hamilton starred for the Swans, playing in the ruck, the midfield and at times up forward, as the 18-year-old gathered a game-high 19 disposals.
The Swans’ co-captain Maddy Collier had 10 touches in her first game of season after recovering from an ankle injury.
Garner leads North to win over Dogs
North Melbourne have leaped into the top eight and ended the Western Bulldogs’ unbeaten start to the AFLW season with a 15-point win at a sold-out Punt Road Oval.
Jasmine Garner (26 disposals) was brilliant in the Kangaroos’ 6.7 (43) to 4.4 (28) triumph.
She was wonderfully assisted by Jenna Bruton as the Kangaroos had the edge on the Dogs’ vaunted on-ball brigade.
Katie Lynch and Isabella Grant’s intercept marking in defence was a feature for the Bulldogs, while 17-year-old Rylie Wilcox’s two goals kept her side in the match, which was in the balance for the majority of the afternoon.
The Kangaroos combined strength at the contest with ferocious tackling to dictate proceedings early, firing the first strike through half-forward Isabella Eddy, who found goal smartly in the opening 90 seconds.
The Dogs weathered the early storm and steadied, taking the lead at quarter-time when Rocky Cranston walked into an open goal.
Hard-running Irishwoman Vikki Wall found goal to start the second term, which for the most part was played on North’s terms.
The Kangaroos owned the corridor and dominated territory, but were unable to add to Wall’s major, thanks chiefly to some sterling Bulldogs defence, piloted by Lynch and Grant.
Captain Ellie Blackburn had a big third term and the Bulldogs peppered the goals early but let North off the hook with three successive misses.
The Roos made the Dogs pay and led by six points at three-quarter-time on Emma King’s powerful mark and goal.
Wilcox’s second goal gave the Bulldogs a sniff in the fourth but North ran the match out stronger.
Molloy magic inspires Pies to win over Dons
Collingwood have moved to second spot on the AFLW ladder after withstanding a Maddy Prespakis masterclass to defeat Essendon by 11 points at Olympic Park Oval.
Prespakis (31 disposals, 17 contested possessions, five clearances) was rarely out of the thick of the action on Friday but the Magpies had more contributors over four quarters to prevail 4.4 (28) to 2.5 (17).
Mikala Cann (20 disposals, seven clearances, nine tackles) worked tirelessly on the ball, Ash Brazill set a sizzling early tone and Chloe Molloy electrified with one of the goals of the season.
Ex-Magpie Sophie Alexander drew first blood for the Bombers before defender Lauren Butler levelled for Collingwood with a clean opportunistic snap.
The Bombers’ ball movement was superior early but they were unable to adequately capitalise on their territorial dominance.
Collingwood opted for an ill-advised dry-weather method in the slippery conditions but they changed that up in the second term, out-tackling Essendon 18-7, after trailing that stat in the opening quarter 19-28, and getting on top at the clearances.
Prespakis was everywhere in the second period and her goal midway through the quarter gave the Bombers the lead.
The Magpies responded through a moment of sheer brilliance from Molloy.
She sharked a throw-in inside Collingwood’s attacking 50, zigzagged her way past two would-be tacklers, sold some delicious candy and finished expertly on the outside of her magical boot.
Demons belt Blues to get back on track
Melbourne have bounced back from their first AFLW defeat to warn that they are still a force this season, crushing an injury-stricken Carlton by 42 points at Ikon Park.
The determined Demons controlled the contest after an even first quarter to run away with a 7.8 (50) to 1.2 (8) victory in wet and slippery conditions after halftime on Friday night.
Missing key players such as Darcy Vescio and Phoebe McWilliams, Carlton were more than a match in the opening term with young midfielders Mimi Hill (11 possessions) and Abbie McKay (10) brilliant around the stoppages.
But the experienced Dees tightened their control of the Blues’ young guns and, although Hill finished with 33 touches, she was eventually overwhelmed by young counterparts Olivia Purcell (30) and Eliza West (20), well supported by the wily veteran Karen Paxman (16).
Purcell said Melbourne were hellbent on making a fast start and maintaining the pressure after falling away at times in earlier games.
“It definitely was the focus. I think it’s pretty good having a short turnaround after the loss against Brisbane,” she said.
“They’re a very good team who played consistently for four quarters and that’s what we want to do. It’s only the halfway mark of the season and we just want to make sure we turn up and play better each game.”
After a week out with suspension, Melbourne forward Tayla Harris kicked three goals against her former Carlton teammates and she had other options all around her.
An illustration of the Demons’ dominance was the lopsided 46-13 inside 50 count.
The Blues had stout defenders with Vaomua Laloifi and Gabby Pound, but two heavy head knocks that sent captain Kerryn Peterson twice to the bench further hampered the already weakened home team.
Harris set it all up for Melbourne with her strength and smarts up forward that caused problems for the Carlton defence every time the ball ventured inside the visitors’ forward 50.