The Brisbane Lions have outclassed Queensland rivals Gold Coast by 36 points to prove they are still an AFLW premiership threat.
AFLW Saturday results:
St Kilda 7.6 (48) beat GWS 5.5 (35)
Geelong 6.11 (47) beat Fremantle 3.5 (23)
Sydney Swans 3.8 (26) beaten by Hawthorn 5.10 (40)
Gold Coast 3.3 (21) beaten by Brisbane Lions 8.9 (57)
Richmond vs Essendon
Rattled by an upset five-point loss to Collingwood last round, Brisbane regained their ruthlessness to blitz their closest rivals 8.9 (57) to 3.3 (21) and snatch their fourth consecutive QClash win on Saturday at Heritage Bank Stadium.
Plenty was on the line with the Suns able to leapfrog the Lions into the top four with victory.
A masterclass by 50-gamer Isabel Dawes (21 disposals) and Ally Anderson (27) put an end to those hopes, with the visitors boasting six goalkickers.
Rising powerhouse Charlie Rowbottom was typically prolific for Gold Coast with 22 disposals and four clearances, while Vivien Saad (14 intercept possessions) was prodigious in defence.
The electric Sophie Conway (two goals) set the tone with a superb goal less than 30 seconds into the opening term for Brisbane.
Claudia Whitford responded for the Suns, but only wayward kicking prevented their arch-rivals’ lead from being greater at half-time with Brisbane up 4.5 (29) to 2.0 (12).
The margin blew out in the third quarter, but Gold Coast remained true to their ‘never say die’ attitude with Jacqueline Dupuy (two goals) snapping truly to cut down a 31-point deficit.
Dupuy looked certain to get her third in a bid to keep the Suns’ hopes alive but shanked the ball across goal.
With Gold Coast tiring, a second major by Lily Postlethwaite in the final term sealed a Lions win.
The road to finals will not get any easier for Brisbane (5-2) with a clash against the undefeated Adelaide Crows slated for next round.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast (4-3) could bounce back when they take on 14th-placed Port Adelaide.
St Kilda push on towards AFLW finals
Jesse Wardlaw kicked two goals from 13 disposals against the Giants.(Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)
Elsewhere, St Kilda’s charge towards a maiden AFLW finals appearance has continued after they comfortably defeated struggling Greater Western Sydney by 13 points at Moorabbin.
Geelong beat Fremantle at Kardinia Park 6.11 (47) to 3.5 (23) and Hawthorn came from behind to beat Sydney 5.10 (40) to 3.8 (26) to record their first ever interstate victory.
The Saints coughed up the first goal of the match on Saturday, but responded emphatically with six of the next seven, including pairs to Jesse Wardlaw and Ashleigh Richards to open up a game-high 29-point lead early in the third quarter.
GWS kept fighting until the end with three of the last four majors but it ultimately proved too big a hole for them to climb out of, going down 7.6 (48) to 5.5 (35).
After a slow start to life as a Saint, Wardlaw continued her resurgence with 13 touches (11 contested), two goals and 14 hit-outs, while Tyanna Smith was also impressive with 17 disposals, eight tackles, six clearances and a goal.
For the Giants, youngster Zarlie Goldsworthy again showed why she is going to be a star of the future with 18 possessions, nine tackles and two goals, and she was well supported by Alyce Parker who registered 24 touches (14 contested), eight tackles and a goal.
St Kilda’s pressure was hot early but despite helping themselves to 14 of the first 17 inside 50s, and the last six shots on goal of the opening term, their dominance of play only yielded a nine-point lead at quarter time.
However, the hosts started to get more reward in the second period, and after Goldsworthy kicked the opening goal of the game, the Saints hit back with four of the next five to lead by 17 points at half-time.
The Giants (1-6) couldn’t capitalise on the strong breeze at their backs in the second stanza, as they struggled to cope with St Kilda’s overwhelming superiority in the clearances (20-10) and forward entries (26-7) in the first half.
After losing their first three games of the season, the result extended the Saints’ club-record winning streak to four games, and provisionally saw them enter the top eight. They will stay there by the end of the round if results go their way.
St Kilda will probably need to win at least two of their last three games to make the finals, and with fellow top-eight aspirants Fremantle and Carlton still to come, as well as premiership contenders the Brisbane Lions, they still have the task ahead of themselves.
Cats down Dockers
Chloe Scheer kicked a game-high two goals for the Cats.(Getty Images: AFL Photos/Dylan Burns)
Geelong have consolidated their spot in the AFLW’s top eight after powering past Fremantle, a club known by its Indigenous name of Walyalup for Indigenous Round, by 24 points at Kardinia Park.
The Dockers had competitive periods in Saturday’s match but goals either side of half-time proved vital in the Cats’ 6.11 (47) to 3.5 (23) victory.
After Fremantle fought their way back into the contest following a scoreless first term, Geelong star Rebecca Webster’s classy snap as the siren sounded to end the second quarter gave the Cats a huge confidence boost.
Geelong forward Chloe Scheer then put another dagger into Freo when she kicked a major within seconds of the third quarter starting.
Scheer booted her 14th goal of the season when she converted again late in the third quarter.
It was the usual suspects of Amy McDonald (30 disposals), Georgie Prespakis (25) and Nina Morrison (21) gathering plenty of the ball for the Cats and setting up goals.
“[I’m] really happy with how we went as a team,” Prespakis told Fox Footy.
“We were needing to get back on the board with a win.
“We came out today and played a consistent four quarters. [There’s] obviously still lots to improve on, but it’s good to get the win.”
The result snapped a two-game losing run for the Cats after they were smashed by reigning premiers Melbourne in round five, and were upset by Essendon in Warrnambool last week.
Geelong (4-3) are guaranteed to finish the round inside the top eight ahead of the last three weeks of the home-and-away season.
But they may have to take on Collingwood next week without Darcy Moloney, who could be in trouble with the match review officer following an incident with Fremantle veteran Ebony Antonio.
Moloney remonstrated with Antonio and her elbow appeared to make contact with her opponent.
Antonio scored one of the Dockers’ three goals, with Sarah Verrier slotting the first and being among the visitors’ best, while Aine Tighe kicked an impressive major in the final term.
Fremantle are 3-4 after an inconsistent campaign, struggling to put together consecutive victories.
Hawthorn upsets Sydney
The Hawks had to fight their way into the contest.(Getty Images: AFL Photos/Matt King)
A surging Hawthorn pulled off a 14-point upset of Sydney to grab their second win of the AFLW season.
With just two points separating the teams at half-time, the Hawks produced a stellar third quarter to set up a 5.10 (40) to 3.8 (26) victory at Sydney’s Henson Park on Saturday.
It marked the first time Hawthorn (2-5) had won interstate since joining the competition last season.
Kristy Stratton and Aine McDonagh were the heroes for the Hawks, kicking two goals each while Aileen Gilroy (18 disposals), Kaitlyn Ashmore (23) and Tilly Lucas-Rodd (18) were prominent in the midfield.
Laura Gardiner (27 disposals) shone for Sydney (3-4) and was well supported by co-captains Chloe Molloy (21) and Lucy McEvoy (29).
With the Swans eager to break away early, a monster effort by Molloy in the first term set up two quick goals from Rebecca Privitelli and Cynthia Hamilton in the opening term.
Stratton slotted a goal of her own to spark the sluggish Hawks, who were able to close the margin to two points.
Little movement was made on the scoreboard in the second term as pressure began to mount, with both sides getting only three behinds each.
Emily Bates worked overtime in the third quarter to get the Hawks territory, taking out 10 disposals and three clearances in that term.
Her work paid off and it was McDonagh who kicked truly to open the second half and finally end the goal drought.
With Sydney unable to find a response, majors by Stratton and Sophie Locke built the Hawthorn momentum.
Another by McDonagh in the fourth term sealed the win, making it five unanswered goals for the Hawks.
But the Swans were unwilling to go out quietly, and with 11 seconds left on the clock, McEvoy put boot to ball to get a consolation goal.
Hawthorn kick off next round with a clash against 10th-placed Richmond while Sydney take on the winless Western Bulldogs in an attempt to keep their finals campaign alive.
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Source: AFL NEWS ABC