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Saints beat Blues to boost AFLW finals hopes

St Kilda has a chance of booking its first AFLW finals appearance after claiming a thrilling 20-point win over Carlton.

Full of confidence after toppling competition heavyweights Brisbane last round, the Saints claimed their first victory in four meetings with the Blues, winning 7.4 (46) to 3.8 (26) at Princes Park on Sunday.

Stuck in a logjam of four teams with six wins, St Kilda needs Fremantle to beat fellow finals hopefuls Sydney in the last match of the round to claim the coveted eighth place by percentage.

Saints star Georgia Patrikios showed her class in the do-or-die match, collecting 25 disposals and eight contested possessions in a powerhouse display.

Her teammate Hannah Priest was a brick wall in defence with nine intercept possessions.

Abbie McKay worked overtime for the Blues to counter Patrikios in the midfield, but her side was outclassed across the park.

McKay racked 28 disposals and 12 clearances alongside Mimi Hill (30 disposals), while defender Keeley Sherar (17) toiled against a potent Saints attack.

Mia Austin kicked Carlton’s first goal in the opening quarter and was backed by Lily Goss in the second term, but that was the last time the Blues recorded a major until the final term.

The Saints broke away easily thanks to a blitz of goals from Nat Exon and Nicola Xenos (two each), Maddie Boyd and Ella Friend.

The Blues had a chance of closing in on the visitors but were dogged by wayward kicking, scoring 0.5 in the third term.

Ruck Breann Moody took matters in her own hands, winning the ball from a centre-bounce clearance before flaunting her speed and sending the ball through on the bounce from 50 metres to break the Carlton goal drought.

But J’Noemi Anderson cut the party short with goal of her own, sealing the win for the Saints.




Author: Russell White