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.
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.
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Source: AFL NEWS ABC