A one-point win, a bag of five goals and an inaugural Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Dreamtime match headlined an action-packed round five. The Cats’ one-point win saw them soar to the top of the ladder, joining Collingwood and NT as the three remaining undefeated teams, as the Pies beat the previously undefeated Hawks.
Hawthorn 3.3 (21) defeated by Collingwood 4.4 (28)
By: Peter Williams
Collingwood handed Hawthorn its first loss of the season with an enthralling seven-point victory at Box Hill on Saturday. In a battle of two unbeaten sides, it was the Magpies who took home the four points, leading at every break and surviving a two goals to one final term by the Hawks to celebrate a victory. The Magpies move into equal first on the ladder with Geelong – a side Collingwood drew with a fortnight ago – however Northern Territory are yet to drop any points and have a superior percentage but are two points adrift due to their Round 2 bye. Hawthorn sits in fourth, percentage ahead of reigning premiers Darebin, and surprise packets Southern Saints.
The match marked the return to the VFLW of Chloe Molloy. The AFL Women’s Rising Star Award winner and Collingwood AFL Women’s Best and Fairest winner made her impact felt early, booting the first goal of the game, and just missing several chances to capitalise on more. The former Diamond Creek forward was one of a number of standouts on the day for the Magpies, joined by usual suspects Jaimee Lambert and Sarah D’Arcy. Hawthorn named Olivia Flanagan as its best, along with Chantella Perera and Pepa Randall.
Carlton 3.5 (23) def. by Darebin 11.6 (72)
By: Taylah Melki
The Darebin Falcons had a quick start to the game, scoring three goals while keeping the Blues to one. The Falcons applied plenty of forward pressure as Carlton struggled to move the ball out of its defensive 50. Darebin shared the goal kicking duties once again with seven individual goalkickers. The Falcons were able to capitalise on their opportunities in front of goal while Carlton struggled to convert.
For Carlton, the likes of Kate Shierlaw and Sophie Li were instrumental, scoring a goal each for the Blues and applying plenty of pressure. Li starred with her clean hands around the contest and good evasive skills. Caroline Hardeman worked hard all game, hitting the packs hard and creating a contest, while Tilly Lucas-Rodd was clean around the stoppages and showcased her pin-point accuracy by foot. Damaging midfielder, Sarah Hosking also starred for the Blues with her clean hands in close and ability to break away from the pack.
Hannah Mouncey was at her impressive best again, bagging three goals for the Falcons. She showcased her strong hands and ability to work in the ruck with her good leap and taps to advantage. Meanwhile teammate, Nat Exon had a blinder for Darebin, scoring a goal and winning plenty of the footy. She imposed herself on the contest through laying strong tackles and scrumming hard to win the footy. Maddy Guerin and Georgia Hammond also impressed for the Falcons, working hard in both defence and offence as well as gathering plenty of touches.
Richmond 8.6 (54) defeated Essendon 3.2 (20)
By: James Halley
The VFLW Tigers overcame Essendon on Saturday afternoon in the first ever VFLW Dreamtime curtain raiser clash by 34 points. Richmond played with spirit throughout the whole game, with intense pressure being a real highlight. Essendon kicked the first goal of the match then Richmond kicked the next two, and held that lead for the remainder of the game.
For the second match in a row Essendon could not capitalise on its possession dominance in the third quarter with goals to match. Phoebe Monahan was superb for Richmond, as she amassed 27 disposals and was the recipient of the Aunty Joy Murphy Award for the best on ground player. Lauren Tesoriero managed two majors for Richmond in a skillful display with the two goals being a highlight for the match.
Richmond’s tall forward line stretched the Bombers back line all day, which was an interesting battle of game plans. Natalie MacDonald played her best game for the Bombers in a promising sign of things to come. Defender, Courtney Ugle also displayed a four-quarter performance to be a shinning light for Essendon. She started countless attacks from the back half with her speed and drive.
NT Thunder 13.5 (83) defeated Western Bulldogs 7.5 (47)
By: Julia Montesano
NT Thunder continued its undefeated start to the season with a 36-point win over the Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs kept the Thunder to its smallest winning margin after a series of big wins to kick off the season.
NT captain, Angela Foley was on fire once again, making an impact wherever she went. She also added two goals to her name, and was joined by Kylie Duggan, who also scored two goals. Adelaide AFLW player, Anne Hatchard went two better, kicking four goals for the Thunder in her debut game in the VFLW. Hatchard worked well in the goal square, using her strong hands and applying strong body-work to make an impact. Sue Nalder was another one who displayed strong hands, as she was able to take marks of all kinds in Darwin. The best of them all was Adelaide AFLW young gun, Jasmyn Hewett. Hewett was extremely dominant in the ruck, was able to kick a goal, and took a Mark of the Year contender.
It was Bulldogs AFLW player, Naomi Ferres who led the way for the away team. Ferres worked hard in the midfield, laying some strong tackles and moving swiftly to get her team forward. She and AFLW teammate, Kirsten McLeod were the Bulldogs’ only multiple goalkickers, with each of them kicking two majors for the day. Reigning AFLW leading goalkicker, Brooke Lochland joined Ferres and McLeod for the first time this season and didn’t disappoint, displaying a high work ethic throughout the game with some hard running and good ball use.
Williamstown 5.7 (37) defeated by Casey Demons 8.1 (49)
By: Julia Montesano
The Casey Demons recorded their first win of the season with a 12-point win over Williamstown. The Demons led at every change, and put the game away with a four goals to none third quarter.
Kaila Bentvelzen had a day out inside 50, kicking five of the Demons’ eight goals on the day. She was complemented by Dandenong Stingrays forward, Brooke Struylaart, who got on the board with two majors. Casey Sheriff was named best on ground for the Demons and was joined by AFLW talents, Darcy Guttridge and Harriet Cordner. Taryn Orgill was able to back up her solid performance last week, playing a key role in Casey’s win. Lorianne Lowerson was another impressive player in what was a great team win for the Demons.
For Williamstown, debutant and former Western Jet, Emma Ludolff got on the board with a major. She was joined by Stacey Cross and AFLW star, Jess Duffin, who were both named in the best. Emily Paterno was the Seagulls’ only multiple goalkicker, booting through two majors on the day. New North Melbourne recruit, Jenna Bruton also had a good day out, joining the likes of Brodie Stevens, Georgia Harris and Shae-Lee Murphy-Burke in Williamstown’s best.
Melbourne Uni 4.3 (27) defeated by Geelong Cats 4.4 (28)
By: Julia Montesano
The Geelong Cats recorded a thrilling win over the Mugars at their home ground. The narrow one-point victory keeps their undefeated streak intact as they advance to the top of the ladder after round five.
Geelong forward, Kate Darby continued her wonderful goalkicking this season, adding two majors to the Cats’ total of four to bring her up to third in the VFLW’s leading goalkicker tally. She was complemented by Hannah Burchell and fellow Geelong AFLW recruit, Richelle Cranston, who both kicked goals and were named in the best. Darby and Cranston kicked the last two goals of the game to record a memorable come-from-behind victory, after the Mugars led at every change. Amy McDonald was the best of the lot, named as the best player by the Geelong coaches.
We saw AFLW best and fairest, Emma Kearney at her best on Sunday, as she kicked two goals and dominated across the park. She was complemented by captain and fellow North Melbourne recruit, Ashleigh Riddell, who worked in tandem with Kearney in the midfield. Bendigo Pioneers graduate, Aisling Tupper also had a solid performance, kicking a goal in the last quarter to take Melbourne University’s lead to 11 points. USA Freedom player, Katie Klatt and former Carlton defender, Kate Gillespie-Jones contributed well on the day.