GEELONG has posted an important 24-point win over Walyalup on Saturday afternoon, breaking a run of consecutive losses to remain in the top eight.
Two goals from the Cats' leading goalkicker Chloe Scheer made sure of the 6.11 (47) to 3.5 (23) win at GMHBA Stadium.
After being exposed inside the contest last week, Geelong opted to change up its midfield brigade. Physical players Darcy Moloney and Julia Crockett-Grills spent time on the ball alongside Amy McDonald (30 disposals, eight clearances) and Georgie Prespakis (25 disposals, eight tackles), while this season's most consistent Cat Nina Morrison (21 disposals, four tackles) reprised her role on the wing.
CATS v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats
As a result, the Cats stepped up to the challenge when it came to contested possession, winning the count 109 to 100.
Walyalup wingers Airlie Runnalls (16 disposals) and Joanne Cregg (293m gained) were heavily involved, working exceptionally hard, but at times guilty of trying to move the ball too quickly when there simply weren't any teammates ahead to hit up.
Geelong did well to dominate the forward territory, worrying a typically composed Walyalup defence into repeated kicks out on the full or directly to waiting Cats. Claudia Gunjaca (seven intercepts) and Meghan McDonald (10 intercepts) maintained their structure behind the ball beautifully, while the Dockers' defenders were often drawn up to the footy, allowing the Cats plenty of space close to goal.
Aishling Moloney was dangerous in attack, taking four shots on goal, but inaccurately, unable to convert any through the big sticks. That inaccuracy was emblematic of the team as a whole, who took 16 marks inside 50 and won the inside 50 count 34 to 25, but only converted six goals from 17 scores.
By the second half Geelong's ability to open up pockets of space in attack and lead up at the football really hurt Walyalup's defence. Chloe Scheer and Aishling Moloney worked impressively for one another and not getting in each other's way.
At the other end of the ground, star Docker Aine Tighe (17 disposals, 11 hitouts and a goal) threatened to put her team on her back as part of a late charge, but it just wasn't enough against the experienced, organised Cats.
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Irish imports on show
Between the two sides, six Irishwomen were on the field plying their trade. While Rachel Kearns' physicality and Amy Mulholland's link into attack were important for the Cats and Dockers respectively, it was tall pair Aishling Moloney and Aine Tighe who stole the show. Playing at either ends of the ground, their ability to dominate the air but also follow up at ground level was vital for their respective sides, and just as entertaining for fans on the sidelines.
Moloney in hot water?
Known for her aggressive attack on the footy and opposition, young Cat Darcy Moloney might have something to answer to at this week's Match Review. Frustrated by experienced Docker Ebony Antonio in the opening quarter, Moloney swung an elbow at her that landed high on her chest. While Antonio may be guilty of going to ground a little easily, it is certainly something that will be looked at on Monday.
Geelong will head to Victoria Park with the goal of beating Collingwood for the first time since its very first AFLW match back in 2019, while Walyalup will host the Saints at Fremantle Oval in its home Indigenous Round match.
GEELONG 2.4 3.7 5.9 6.11 (47)
WALYALUP 0.0 1.1 2.2 3.5 (23)
Geelong: Scheer 2, Scott, D.Moloney, Webster, Parry
Walyalup: Verrier, Antonio, Tighe
Geelong: A.Moloney, Morrison, A.McDonald, M.McDonald, D.Moloney
Walyalup: Tighe, Strom, Verrier, Kauffman, Runnalls,
Walyalup: Mulholland (left shoulder), Cregg (ankle)
Crowd: 2,166 at GMHBA Stadium