COLLINGWOOD climbed back into the rebel VFLW top six and showed writing obituaries on its premiership hopes might be premature with a gutsy 10-point victory over Casey Demons in wet conditions at Casey Fields on Sunday.

The Magpies stated their intentions by holding the Demons to just one behind in the first half as they built a 19-point lead through the dominance of Matilda Zander (23 disposals, five clearances, five inside-50s, five rebounds, five tackles), experienced defender Nicole Hales (16, five marks, six rebounds) and Elisabeth Jackson (15, eight tackles).

Casey hit back with three goals in six minutes in the third quarter to level the scores, but Monique Demattio kicked her second at the 13-minute mark to restore Collingwood’s lead and it turned out to be the last major of the game as the previously undefeated Demons fell to a second loss in a row despite winning the inside-50 count 34-21.

Captain Sammie Johnson was Casey’s best player in her 50th VFLW match with 20 touches, five clearances and 10 tackles, with Mel Hogg (17, six clearances) and Tahlia Gillard (15 possessions, five marks, 17 hitouts) providing support in the midfield, Rebecca Grant (19, seven rebounds) playing a lone hand down back and Emma Horne sticking nine tackles.

Southern Saint Tayla Kearns takes possession in front of Western Bulldog Tarrah Delgado. Picture: AFL Photos

DAREBIN 1.1 (7)
ESSENDON 9.10 (64)

DAREBIN’s finals hopes took a massive hit as it fell out of the top six for the first time since Round 5 with a comprehensive 57-point loss at the hands of undefeated Essendon at Preston City Oval on Saturday.

The Bombers took a while to shake off the determined Falcons, leading by just 16 points at the main break, but broke clear with four goals in the third and two in the last without reply.

Essendon went +92 in disposals and conceded only 19 inside-50s as captain Georgia Nanscawen produced her best game of the season with 34 disposals, seven marks, eight clearances, six inside-50s and seven tackles and Mia-Rae Clifford (18, six marks, two goals), Joanne Doonan (20, five clearances, two goals) and Alana Barba (16, eight clearances) proved impossible to stop, while best-and-fairest winner Eloise Ashley-Cooper also had her moments with five marks and seven tackles.

Nicole Callinan starred again for the Falcons in a losing cause, picking up 22 disposals, seven clearances, seven rebounds and eight tackles and Emma Mackay had eight tackles, but nobody else managed to gather more than 13 possessions.

Sally Lynch split an enthralling ruck battle with Bomber Simone Nalder, having 40 hitouts and eight touches to 36 and nine.

Western Bulldogs' India Barker cops an ear massage as she takes a mark. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG 6.5 (41)

GEELONG sealed its finals berth and all-but ended the hopes of North Melbourne with a strong first half before easing home by 27 points at Aegis Park on Saturday.

The Cats would have opened the door to the Kangaroos to steal their spot if they had lost, but were never seriously challenged after kicking the first five goals by the 2½-minute mark of the second term, with both teams managing just one goal each for the rest of the day.

Geelong ball magnet Laura Gardiner racked up another cricket score with 39 disposals, six rebounds and six tackles, while Carly Remmos (22, five inside-50s, seven tackles), Rene Caris (21, six marks, 17 hitouts, seven inside-50s) and Georgie Rankin (19, seven marks, seven tackles, one goal) also starred and talented youngster Keeley Hardingham kicked two goals.

Sydney Swans AFLW signing Molly Eastman led the way for North Melbourne with 30 possessions, five marks and five rebounds, and she found support from in-form trio Amy Smith (23, eight tackles), Annabel Scott (21, five marks, seven tackles) and Jess Mourney (18, five marks, five inside-50s), while Elizabeth McGrath (36 hitouts, five clearances, five tackles), 50th-gamer Reni Hicks (10 tackles) and Sarah Skinner (seven marks, five inside-50s, one goal) also performed well.

Southern Saint Alana Woodward takes a mark. Picture: AFL Photos

CARLTON 2.6 (18)

THERE was little between Williamstown and Carlton all day, and there was even less at the end as the Seagulls and Blues played out a gritty draw at Williamstown on Saturday.

Neither team managed to break through for a goal until another Sydney AFLW signing in Aimee Whelan kicked truly for the Seagulls at the 13-minute mark of the second quarter, with Eliza Wood kicking the Blues’ first five minutes into the third term.

The visitors looked like winners when Mia Cowan gave them a seven-point lead with seven minutes to go, but Ellie Cleland got the goal back inside two minutes before Eliza Straford squared the scores with a behind shortly after, with neither team able to break the deadlock in the last three minutes.

Whelan led all comers with 21 disposals, five marks, and a goal for Williamstown, while Sharnie Whiting was tireless in defence with 18, five marks and seven rebounds, Ruby Tripodi had 17, five clearances, five inside-50s and six tackles, Jasmine Kawa picked up 16, seven rebounds and five tackles and Alana Sarec had 20 hitouts.

Carlton’s Madeleine Di Cosmo led the Blues with 20 disposals, while Lily Goss was outstanding in the clinches with 16 touches, four marks and 11 tackles, Bry Gurr had 15 and seven rebounds, debutant Brooke Plummer impressed with 16 and four marks, Jorja Borg had 39 hitouts.

Southern Saint Charlotte Ryan shrugs a tackle from Western Bulldog Amanda Ling. Picture: AFL Photos


SOUTHERN Saints got the points to wrap up their spot in the finals, but they were forced to work before outlasting a much-improved Western Bulldogs by 18 points at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday.

The Bulldogs kicked the first goal and stuck with the much more fancied Saints for most of the day but were ultimately brought undone by a four-goal burst in nine minutes either side of half-time.

They kept fighting and kicked the last two goals while keeping the Saints to just three behinds after the four-minute mark of the third quarter and would give themselves a chance of pinching a win before the end of the year if they can produce that endeavour for four quarters.

VFL Coaches Player of the Year leader Hannah Stuart should be in the votes again after a terrific 26-disposal, eight-clearance effort for the Saints, but Gabriella De Angelis (20, five marks, two goals) and Tayla Kearns (17, six marks, 10 tackles, two goals) could take votes off her and Winnie Laing (18, five tackles), Alana Woodward (16, five clearances, six tackles) and Sarah Black (37 hitouts) were also good.

Britney Gutknecht (27 disposals), Lucy Schneider (25, five rebounds) and Eliza Morrison (19, five marks) were terrific for the Bulldogs, as were rookie ruck Jaimee-Lee Morrow (23 hitouts) and Mikayla Barnes (eight tackles).

Western Bulldog Mali McLeod handballs clear of Southern Saint Charlotte Ryan. Picture: AFL Photos

HAWTHORN 15.12 (102)

HAWTHORN continued its barnstorming run through the VFLW competition, cracking the ton for the second time this season in belting Port Melbourne by 88 points at ETU Stadium on Sunday.

The Hawks took 4½ minutes to hit the scoreboard through Jessie Williams but where untroubled from there, racing to a 50-1 lead by half-time and overcoming a rearguard action in the third quarter to kick the last six goals including four in the last four minutes to raise the bat as the siren sounded.

Tamara Luke was a powerhouse for the visitors as she had 19 disposals, nine marks and 14 hitouts and kicked two goals and Kristy Stratton gathered 18 touches and kicked four goals to be not far behind, while Williams also booted four goals.

Isabelle Porter (17, seven marks), Kaitlyn Cox (17, six marks), Emma Humphries (17, six marks) and Ainslie Kemp (16, seven rebounds) also contributed well for the Hawks, while debutant Charli Granville overcame an ankle scare to kick two late goals and Jenna Richardson took seven marks.

Kaitlyn O’Keefe was the Borough’s best with 17 possessions, seven clearances and seven tackles, while Lisa Davie (16, six marks, six rebounds) tried hard in defence and Olivia Barton (14, five marks, five tackles) and 50th-gamer Courteney Bromage (12 tackles) also got their hands dirty.

Western Bulldog Mary Sandral kicks as Southern Saint Ilena Gentile gets unlucky while attempting to smother. Picture: AFL Photos



ROUND 12: Saturday, May 14: Collingwood v Western Bulldogs (AIA Centre, 10am); Darebin v Geelong (Preston City Oval, 11.05am); Port Melbourne v Casey Demons (ETU Stadium, 2pm); Williamstown v North Melbourne (Williamstown, 2pm). Sunday, May 15: Southern Saints v Carlton (Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval, 11am); Hawthorn v Essendon (Box Hill City Oval, 11.30am).

NEXT WEEK: ROUND 13: Saturday, May 21: Southern Saints v Essendon (Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval, 10.15am); Hawthorn v Darebin (Box Hill City Oval, 11am); Carlton v Casey Demons (Ikon Park, 11am); North Melbourne v Western Bulldogs (Aegis Park, 2.30pm); Port Melbourne v Collingwood (ETU Stadium, 3.35pm). Sunday, May 22: Williamstown v Geelong (Williamstown, 11am).

THEN: ROUND 14: Saturday, May 28: Hawthorn v Williamstown (Box Hill City Oval, 11am); Essendon v Casey Demons (Windy Hill, 11.05am); Carlton v Western Bulldogs (Ikon Park, 1.30pm); Collingwood v Geelong (AIA Centre, 2pm); Port Melbourne v Darebin (ETU Stadium, 4.05pm). Sunday, May 29: Southern Saints v North Melbourne (Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval, 9.45am).

Twitter: @BRhodesVFL

Southern Saint Lucy Burke drives the ball forward. Picture: Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos

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