SOUTHERN SAINTS 4.2 (26)
ESSENDON 5.6 (36)
ESSENDON is one victory away from an undefeated home-and-away season and the rebel VFLW minor premiership after wearing down Southern Saints by 10 points in a thriller at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Sunday.
The Bombers had never beaten the Saints before and found themselves under the pump when the home team kicked the only two goals of the first quarter, but answered the challenge as a quality team should with four goals to none across the middle two terms to take a 13-point advantage to the final change.
Southern hit back through 50th gamer Olivia Flanagan and Chanelle Slater’s second goals to get within two points at the 12-minute mark of the last, but Essendon was able to steady and Grace Dicker goalled in the 17th minute to secure the points and lock the home team into the 4th v 5th elimination final in a fortnight.
Essendon co-captain Georgia Nanscawen once again led her team with 21 disposals, six clearances and nine tackles, while Marianna Anthony had one of her best games of the year with 20 touches and seven tackles, Jordan Zanchetta picked up 19, five clearances and seven tackles, Amelia Radford had 17 and seven clearances, Simone Nalder bossed the ruck with 44 hitouts and Federica Frew and Mia-Rae Clifford booted two goals apiece.
Saints gun Hannah Stuart was the most prolific player on the ground in earning 23 touches, six clearances, six inside-50s and six tackles, with support coming from Alana Woodward (19, six inside-50s), Sarah Black (20 hitouts) and Flanagan and Slater’s two goals each.
PORT MELBOURNE 5.2 (32)
COLLINGWOOD 6.5 (41)
COLLINGWOOD came from behind against a lower-ranked but committed opponent for the second-straight week to almost certainly lock away its finals spot with a nine-point win over Port Melbourne at ETU Stadium on Saturday.
The Magpies had to escape against the Western Bulldogs last week and were in trouble again when the Borough led by 12 points midway through the third quarter after a goal to Isabella Stutt.
But Tricia Cowan and Sarah Livingstone hit the target within the next four minutes to regain the lead and they were safe when debutant Charlotte Taylor and then Elisabeth Jackson made it four in a row midway through the last, despite Georgia Wilson’s late major for the home team.
Port Melbourne had more disposals than Collingwood, but the Magpies won clearances and inside-50s as Matilda Zander dominated around the ground to finish with 24 disposals, five marks, 10 clearances and five inside-50s, supported by Jackson (17, five inside-50s), Marla Neal and Demi Hallett (11 tackles each) and Mollie Emond (eight tackles), while King kicked two goals.
The Borough was best served by Kate Adams (20 disposals, 11 tackles), while Lisa Davies (17, five marks, six rebounds), Akayla Peterson (16, five clearances, five tackles), Kaitlyn O’Keefe (five marks, 10 tackles), Nayely Borg (nine tackles) and Courteney Bromage (eight tackles) also performed well.
NORTH MELBOURNE 8.2 (50)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.3 (15)
NORTH Melbourne ensured its hopes of a finals miracle would go down the final round by charging away in the last 25 minutes for a comfortable 35-point victory over Western Bulldogs at Aegis Park on Saturday.
The Kangaroos had to win to keep their chances alive but they were staring down the barrel when the Bulldogs were level at the 15-minute mark of the third term.
However, debutant Meghan Gaffney and rookie Audrey Rhodes broke the game open just before the last break and the home team kicked four more goals in the run home.
Experienced pair Reni Hicks (23 disposals) and Annabel Scott (19, one goal) starred for North Melbourne, while McGrath (17, 26 hitouts, five clearances), Brooke Slaney (18, six clearances) and Sarah Skinner (two goals) were also important in giving themselves a chance of June action.
The Kangaroos will need to upset Southern Saints and hope Collingwood loses to Geelong while making up a 16.72 per cent deficit – equating to about 88 points between the two games.
Eliza Vale was terrific for the Bulldogs with 22 disposals, 10 marks and six rebound 50s, while Lucy Schneider (21, five marks) put in another excellent display, Jaimee-Lee Morrow had 18 hitouts and seven clearances and Mikayla Barnes laid eight tackles.
CARLTON 5.1 (31)
CASEY DEMONS 9.12 (66)
CASEY Demons retained hope of pinching the double chance after an Eliza West masterclass saw them overwhelm Carlton by 35 points at Ikon Park on Saturday.
The Demons had the match won by quarter-time after kicking five goals to one, and while the Blues managed to break even after that, they were never able to make a dent in the deficit as West dominated the contest with 30 disposals, nine clearances, nine inside-50s and six tackles.
Captain Sammie Johnson (19, five inside-50s, one goal), Megan Fitzsimon (18, two goals), Lucy Wales (15, 24 hitouts, one goal) and Shelley Heath (14, eight tackles, one goal) also impressed for the visitors, who can pinch a top-two spot by beating Essendon if Hawthorn suffers an upset loss to Williamstown (the Demons would need to win by 110 points to overturn their percentage deficit to the Bombers).
Lily Goss continued her strong season for Carlton with a team-high 20 possessions, six clearances, five inside-50s and a goal, with Jennifer Lew (18, six marks, nine tackles), Jorja Borg (15, 25 hitouts), Bryannen Gurr (15, seven rebounds, six tackles) and Madi Di Cosmo (nine tackles, one goal) also able to hold their heads high.
WILLIAMSTOWN 2.5 (17)
GEELONG 8.4 (52)
GEELONG wrapped its own spot in the 4th v 5th elimination final against Southern Saints by blowing Williamstown away in the second half to win by 35 points at Williamstown on Sunday.
The Cats led by just two points at half-time having had three less scoring shots than the Seagulls, but Mia Skinner kicked her third goal just 22 seconds into the third term and her fourth 29 seconds before the siren before Tamara Smith kicked three majors in the last to blow the final margin out.
Smith’s last-quarter assault put her in the frame for best-afield honours along with her 21 disposals, four marks and six tackles, while dual Adelaide AFLW premiership player Chloe Scheer starred with 27 touches, 12 clearances, eight inside-50s and eight tackles, Paige Sheppard continued her terrific season with 22, eight marks and seven tackles, Carly Remmos had 21, six clearances and and seven tackles and second-gamer Kalani Scoullar won 28 hitouts.
Williamstown was led by Ella Baxter’s 17 disposals and five clearances, with Ruby Tripodi (15, six clearances, seven tackles) and Tayla Dinuccio (eight tackles) also tried hard.
HAWTHORN 9.11 (65)
DAREBIN 2.0 (12)
HAWTHORN all-but locked away the double chance after a 53-point win over Darebin at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday.
The Falcons matched their more highly fancied opponents early, being within four points at the 13-minute mark of the second term and holding the Hawks to just one behind for most of the third, but three late goals just before half-time and another four in the last 11 minutes of the game blew the result out.
But it was a rearguard action from Darebin which kept the scores in check, with Hawthorn having 87 more disposals, 30 more inside-50s and 34 more marks as Grace McRae (19 disposals, five inside-50s, one goal), Jordan Mifsud (18, nine tackles, one goal), Isabelle Porter (19, five marks), Kristy Stratton (16, two goals) and Jessie Williams (three goals) led an even team performance.
Nicole Callinan was once again Darebin’s best with 17 disposals and eight tackles, with no other Falcons winning more of the ball than Emma Mackay’s 12 touches and six tackles.
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).
NEXT WEEK: June 4-5: Pre-finals bye
THEN: June 11-12: Qualifying/Elimination Finals
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