GEELONG has booked its place in the 2021 VFLW Grand Final with a 28-point win over Essendon at Windy Hill.
It was a close first half with both sides trading blows across the opening two quarters to sit on 14-points apiece at half-time. It was in the third quarter where Geelong took control of the contest through Georgia Clarke and Annabel Johnson to take the lead at three-quarter time.
Geelong Falcons graduate Renee Tierney stepped up for two goals in the final term to put the result beyond doubt. Maddy Keryk and Maddy Boyd stood tall in defence to keep the Bombers goalless for the entire second half.
Such was Boyd and Keryk’s strength in defence Essendon found it difficult getting the ball into its attacking half, not registering an inside 50 until late each quarter.
Georgia Clarke picked up where she left off in the semi-final against the Southern Saints, putting three goals past the Bombers’ defence. However, the Cats will sweat on her availability for the Grand Final after the star forward was hindered by an injury in the second half and was taken from the ground in the hands of trainers late in the fourth quarter.
Sophie Van De Heuvel and Rebecca Webster controlled the midfield for the Cats, collecting 20 and 29 disposals respectively. It was a best on ground display from Webster who also had nine clearances and seven inside 50s in a dominant performance.
Georgie Prespakis, playing against the club that drafted her during the week, finished with 17 disposals, 11 tackles and eight clearances in another strong display. Prespakis and Georgia Nanscawen dominated for the Bombers early but got extra attention from Geelong’s Renee Garing and Darcy Moloney in the second half, hindering their influence.
It’s season over for Essendon who made it to the preliminary final from fifth in its first ever VFLW finals series - a big step for a Bombers side that only won one game in its inaugural season in 2018.
The win earns the Cats a place in their second Grand Final, their first being in 2018 where they went down to Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium.
Geelong now has the opportunity to win its first VFLW flag when it come up against Collingwood at ETU Stadium next Sunday.
VFLW Grand Final
COLLINGWOOD v GEELONG
August 8, 1.15pm, ETU Stadium, Port Melbourne