THE BRISBANE Lions have another Goal of the Year contender and remain unbeaten after crushing Greater Western Sydney by 34 points in the NAB AFL Women's competition on Saturday.
The Lions won 6.7 (43) to 1.3 (9), but it was the third-quarter magic of midfielder Kaitlyn Ashmore the 3,500 spectators at Brendale's South Pine Sports Complex will long remember.
After following up her own work twice in the one passage, Ashmore somehow threated the needle with a freakish kick off the ground from deep in the right forward pocket.
It seemed almost impossible, but somehow the ball spun through.
"I saw Sammy (Sam Virgo) running into the square so I tried to kick it to her and it bounced the right way, but I'll claim it," a beaming Ashmore said after the match.
"I was secretly thinking 'please don't touch it' – she did the right thing."
The goal came just seven days after teammate Kate McCarthy took five bounces and ran 80m at the same venue to kick another stunner against Collingwood.
"I honestly think hers is better," Ashmore said.
"Five bounces and a goal is pretty spectacular, especially because she got the ball before the centre circle."
Against the Giants though, it was one-way traffic as Ashmore kicked two goals, captain Emma Zielke (12 disposals) controlled the midfield and Sabrina Frederick-Traub (13 touches, six marks and 1.1) was a powerhouse in the forward line and ruck.
They temporarily hold the competition lead, but Adelaide can regain it with a win on Sunday in Fremantle.
The Giants were best served by workaholic Emma Swanson (18 disposals), but after a tight first quarter, struggled to keep pace with their rivals.
Did you see that?
Kaitlyn Ashmore, take a bow. In an effort that would have made Adelaide dynamo Eddie Betts proud, the Lions midfielder uncorked a freakish third quarter goal to steal the show. With the ball lying on the turf deep in the right forward pocket, Ashmore soccered off the ground, and with seemingly no daylight available, spun it between the big sticks for a truly memorable goal.
Kaitlyn Ashmore you beauty! pic.twitter.com/l8mFYi6X5T— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) February 25, 2017
Five minutes of madness
It was more like six or seven minutes, but after just one goal in the first half, the Lions opened the floodgates midway through the third term with three quick goals to blow the match open. Sabrina Frederick-Traub started the rush with a quick snap from a stoppage, was followed by a Kate McCarthy goal after good lead-up work by Brittany Gibson and Jess Wuetschner, and then came Ashmore's magic.
Sabrina Frederick-Traub really stamped herself on this contest. Despite the blustery conditions, the power forward clunked six marks as she roamed between the forward line and ruck. With sidekick Taylah Harris drawing two and three defenders, Frederick-Traub was too much to handle one-on-one. She got the Lions' momentum rolling in the third term with a clever right-footed snap for goal out of congestion.
Sabrina Frederick-Traub with the quick kick. pic.twitter.com/M1ern9rrzD— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) February 25, 2017
It's a simple one for the Lions and it's now worked four weeks in succession – pressure. They won contested possessions 93-82 and tackles 55-49, but their wave of numbers that reach each contest eventually becomes too much to handle, and that's exactly what happened to the Giants. The Lions also love to use quick hands close to the contest, and this week it bore fruit with goals to Jordan Membrey and McCarthy from such sequences.
"We, the coaches, spoke about percentage (in that third quarter). We knew how vital it was with Adelaide and now Melbourne snapping at our heels. Today, getting a 30-odd point victory and opening up the percentage, that'll definitely help come the end of the season." - Brisbane Lions coach Craig Starcevich
"I didn't think we played our best today, but you don't take anything away from Brisbane, they're undefeated for a reason – their pressure and intensity was immense." - GWS coach Tim Schmidt
The Lions have a top-of-the-table clash against Adelaide next Saturday night. If you're a footy fan and live in Adelaide, you'll want to get to Norwood Oval for the 6.40pm start. The Giants have a short turnaround and will host third-placed Melbourne at Blacktown on Friday night at 5.05pm.
BRISBANE LIONS 0.3 1.7 4.7 6.7 (43)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.1 0.1 0.3 1.3 (9)
Brisbane Lions: Ashmore 2, McCarthy 2, Frederick-Traub, Membrey
Greater Western Sydney: Stanton
Brisbane Lions: Frederick-Traub, Zielke, Ashmore, Gibson, Bates
Greater Western Sydney: Swanson, Williams, Dal Pos
Brisbane Lions: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Nil
Umpires: Belina, Valenti, Mirabile
Crowd: 3,500 at South Pine Sports Complex