Geelong has advanced to the second week of the AFLW finals with a comprehensive 18-point win over Essendon at Kardinia Park.
The home side took hold of the game early and were rarely threatened as they ran away with a 7.9 (51) to 5.3 (33) victory. Next week they will face the loser of this afternoon’s qualifying final between Melbourne and North Melbourne in a semifinal.
The Cats made up for a disappointing outing in last year’s finals series where they kicked just 1.8 (16) against North Melbourne in the elimination final.
Second elimination final
Geelong 7.9 (51) def Essendon 5.3 (33)
Second qualifying final
Melbourne vs North Melbourne
They matched their goal total from that game after barely 50 seconds against Essendon, as Georgie Prespakis won a clearance, setting up a mark to Chloe Scheer inside 50. She wheeled and kicked long to Irish player Aishling Moloney, who finished the move off.
Essendon’s defence was under fierce pressure early, and the Cats made it two minutes later, as some deft footwork from Moloney set up Jackie Parry.
The ball was coming inside 50 with worrying frequency for Essendon’s defence, and Scheer was on the end of another move taking a mark near the goalsquare to convert for Geelong’s third.
The Cats had a setback when Scheer was taken down to the rooms later in the first quarter, and was soon ruled out for the day with a shoulder injury.
Inside the final two minutes, the Bombers’ Amber Clarke was taken off on a stretcher after receiving a glancing blow to the head in a marking contest. She returned in the second half after passing a HIA.
Given the deficit of inside 50s (11-2) in the first quarter, Essendon was lucky to be down by just 3.4 (22) to 0.1 (21) at quarter time.
The Bombers lifted their game in the second term, but it took a couple of attempts before they got on the board, Sophie Alexander scoring their second major after a 50.
They couldn’t keep the momentum, however, and Nina Morrison set up Julia Crockett-Grills for a goal, before Moloney took a diving mark 30m out and slotted her second and Geelong’s fifth with eight minutes to go.
The home side were dominating possession, forward entries and scoring opportunities. Amy McDonald added another after grabbing a tap from Parry to kick one from the goalsquare, then Essendon answered through Maddy Prespakis a minute later.
But her sister Georgie delivered a big blow to the Bombers with 90 seconds left in the half, leaping high to spoil an Essendon mark, then regathered, steadied and drilled a brilliant goal.
The Cats led by 36 points at the main break.
The third quarter was a much closer affair, but neither side could convert, with Geelong kicking two behinds to no score to lead by 38 points.
The Bombers finished strongly, with goals to Maddy Prespakis, Bonnie Toogood and Ellyse Gamble, but the task of catching the Cats was too hard.
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Source: AFL NEWS ABC