THE SOUTHERN Saints and Essendon have both knocked out their higher ranked opponents in the first week of finals to advance to the semis.

Fifth-placed Essendon was playing in its first ever VFLW final and managed to hold on by just three-points to beat fourth-placed Casey Demons 5.5 (35) to 5.2 (32).

DEMONS v BOMBERS Full match details and stats here

The Bombers’ four-goal second quarter was the catalyst for the win, however Casey was able to hit the front in the final quarter. A Lauren Ahrens goal in the last four minutes of the game regained the lead and sealed the win for Essendon.

Georgia Nanscawen was instrumental for the Bombers with 28 disposals, 22 of which were contested, six clearances and 12 tackles.

The Southern Saints snuck into sixth on percentage but are looking to be the smoky of the finals after a 7.15 (57) to 3.5 (23) win over third-placed Port Melbourne in their elimination final.

It ended up not as close as the match up down at Casey Fields, with the Saints having an equal season-best 22 scoring shots on their way to a stirring win.

PORT v SAINTS Full match details and stats here

Port Melbourne trailed by only two goals at three-quarter time but couldn’t contain the Saints’ forward line in the final quarter, as they extended their lead and ran out 34-point winners.

Jess Matin and Tara Bohanna both kicked two goals to help their side over the line and Gabby De Angelis was lively all day kicking a goal of her own to go with 18 disposals.

Gabby De Angelis gets a handball away under pressure in the 2021 VFLW first elimination final. Picture: AFL Photos

Port played 16 players under the age of 21 in the loss with Ellie McKenzie showing why she’s a star already at 18. She had 13 disposals and showed off her speed and strength at the contest.

Collingwood extended its unbeaten run into the post-season, disposing of Geelong in a close contest at the Holden Centre in the qualifying final.

PIES v CATS Full match details and stats here

The Cats controlled most of the play in the final term and threatened to cause an upset in the final three minutes of the game, however, despite a scoreless quarter from the Magpies, they were able to hold on for the 4.2 (26) to 2.8 (20) win.

Chloe Molloy returned to the side for the first time since round 12 and was instrumental with 18 disposals and a crucial goal. Mikala Cann and Marla Neal dominated the clearances, winning 14 between them, while Amelia Velardo and Lauren Butler stood tall in defence.

Olivia Fuller, Rebecca Webster and Renee Garing did their best to try and get the Cats over the line in the final term with their pressure.

Geelong has another chance in the finals after securing second place on the ladder and will face off against the Southern Saints in the semis.

Collingwood will take on traditional rivals Essendon in the other semi final at home at the Holden Centre.

VFLW Finals Week 2

Semi Final 1: Collingwood v Essendon
Holden Centre date & time TBC

Semi Final 2: Geelong v Southern Saints
Venue, date & time TBC