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VFLW Grand Final sees Hawks add to silverware

Meg Hutchins with the VFLW cup - AFL,AFLW,Hawthorn Hawks,Geelong Cats
Meg Hutchins with the VFLW cup

HAWTHORN defeated Geelong by 13 points at Etihad Stadium on Sunday to claim its first VFLW premiership.            

The Hawks led at every change before prevailing 4.6 (30) to 2.5 (17).

Hawthorn vice-captain Tamara Luke scored the first goal of the game after five minutes, with the Hawks’ persistent forward pressure paying dividends.

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The Cats struggled going forward for large parts of the opening term, but when Maddie Boyd goaled from a free kick, they trailed by only one point.

That was the closest the Cats got, as Hawthorn captain Emma Mackie booted the only goal of the second quarter to give her team an 11-point half-time lead.

Geelong’s intensity lifted in the second half as Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell found more of the ball.

Morrison was unable to add a VFLW premiership to what has already been a stellar year for the 17-year-old. She was MVP for Vic Country in the NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships, joint player of the carnival, and best and fairest and premiership winner in the TAC Cup competition playing for the Geelong Falcons.

Morrison led the Cats with 20 disposals, while her Vic Country and Falcons teammate Purcell had 19 touches and 11 tackles.

The Cats had more kicks, marks and tackles than the Hawks, but managed only 24 inside 50s to the Hawks’ 34 for the match.

Geelong’s most dominant period came in the third quarter, but they wasted chances with poor kicking at goal, scoring just four behinds from repeated entries.

Chantella Perera was tremendous for the Hawks in defence, marshalling a back six that kept Geelong goalless in the second and third quarters.

Chantelle Perera was among the best. Picture: AFL Photos

She had 13 touches, four marks and five tackles in a best-on-ground performance that saw her awarded the Lisa Hardeman Medal.

Experienced Hawthorn forward Sarah Perkins nailed a goal late in the third term to give the Hawks a game-high 13-point advantage.

The teams traded goals in a tense final term, with the Cats’ chance of a comeback derailed by an Emily Gilder goal with seven minutes to play.

Hawthorn’s VFLW Rising Star Jayde Van Dyk shone with 19 touches, while teammate Rebecca Beeson led all players with 24 disposals.

Rebecca Beeson racked up a game-high 24 touches. Picture: AFL Photos

Sunday’s victory caps a tremendous season for the Hawks, who won the premiership in their first season as Hawthorn.

They previously competed in the VFLW as the Box Hill Hawks and were re-badged after Hawthorn was unsuccessful in obtaining an AFLW licence.

The club won’t be considered for admission into the AFLW until 2022 at the earliest.

However, president Jeff Kennett told members in a newsletter on Monday that he would be pushing for the club to enter the competition in 2020.

The victorious Hawks celebrate the win. Picture: AFL Photos

HAWTHORN    1.3 2.6  3.6  4.6 (30)
GEELONG         1.1  1.1  1.5  2.5 (17) 

GOALS
Hawthorn: Mackie, Luke, Perkins, Gilder
Geelong: Boyd, Darby