CAPTAIN Kara Donnellan inspired West Coast to a thumping victory against Fremantle in the first women’s football derby at Domain Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Donnellan gathered 22 possessions as the hard-working midfielder led by example in the Eagles’ 65-point win in a game that featured West Australia’s best female players.
After an even opening quarter, West Coast steadily asserted its authority in a bruising women's exhibition match that proved an entertaining curtain-raiser to the Eagles-Dockers AFL clash.
The Eagles moved the ball with far more system and always looked dangerous with marking options up forward.
Kira Phillips capped a superb return from an injury-interrupted pre-season by booting five goals in an eye-catching display of strong marking. The Peel Thunderbirds sharpshooter is sure to be in the West Australian team to be selected from players from both teams. And that combined line-up will be a tough test for the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on June 5.
West Coast broke open the contest with four unanswered goals in the second quarter. Forward Aimee Schmidt converted from a free kick after running down Dockers defender Ashley Brayshaw and then followed up with a fine goal on the run.
Eagles midfielder Chelsea Randall provided a great highlight with her pulsating four-bounce dash down the outer wing in the third quarter. Randall's 100-metre gallop was reminiscent of West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr's similarly stirring run-and-bounce effort in a Derby several years ago.
Earlier on Saturday, in the first of three women’s exhibition matches this weekend, the Sydney Swans defeated the GWS Giants by 29 points at the SGC. American import Kim Hemenway booted three goals for the Swans, including the game’s opening two.
WEST COAST 1.4 5.7 7.9 13.10 (88)
FREMANTLE 1.4 2.4 2.5 3.5 (23)
West Coast: Phillips 5, Schmidt 2, Randall 2, Miller 2, Angel, Sprylan
Fremantle: Lewis, Dilello, Wuetschner
West Coast: Donnellan, Phillips, Angel, Edwards, Randall
Fremantle: Antonio, Forth, Mascall, Fredrick-Traub