2021 VFLW wraps: Semi-Finals – Pies fly high as Cats claw back to victory

COLLINGWOOD became the first team into the 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s Grand Final after continuing its unbeaten record, knocking off Essendon in their semi-final, whilst the Bombers get another chance by taking on other semi-final winner Geelong in the preliminary final next week.

COLLINGWOOD 0.4 | 1.4 | 2.6 | 2.6 (18)
ESSENDON 0.3 | 0.4 | 1.4 | 1.5 (11)

Collingwood moved one win away from defending its VFL Women’s crown with a hard-fought, low-scoring seven-point win over Essendon at Victoria Park. The Magpies had eight scoring shots to six, but neither team was able to capitalise completely, kicking 3.11 between them for the match. The Magpies kicked the first major in the second term through Mikala Cann, with competition leading goalkicker Imogen Barnett putting another one through the big sticks in the third. Jessie Davies kicked the only Bombers’ goal of the match in the third term, with a late Alana Barba behind – along with some forward half possession for the Bombers – being the final score of the match.

Cann was impressive with 21 disposals, two marks, seven tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s, two rebound 50s and a goal, as youngster Olivia Meagher had an equal team-high seven clearances to go with 16 disposals, working well on the inside with Ebony O’Dea (18 disposals, seven clearances, eight tackles and three marks). Chloe Molloy had her usual impact with 16 touches, three marks, three tackles and three inside 50s, whilst fellow AFLW talents, Alana Porter, Lauren Butler, Joanna Lin and Amelia Velardo all featured heavily in the disposals. Ruck Sarah King (seven disposals, 34 hitouts and five tackles) and defender Jasmine Ferguson (11 disposals, three tackles) were among the top VFLW-listed Magpies.

The Bombers trio of Georgia Nanscawen, Georgie Prespakis and Barba took control in the midfield to share in 22 clearances between them. Nanscawen was a standout best on ground in the loss, racking up 29 disposals, two marks, 13 tackles, eight clearances, three inside 50s and four rebound 50s, while Prespakis (21 disposals, 13 tackles, seven clearances and two inside 50s) and Barba (18 disposals, 10 tackles, seven clearances and four rebound 50s) were both prolific. Eloise Ashley-Cooper (10 disposals, four tackles and three rebound 50s) and Ruby Svarc (13 disposals, four tackles, three clearances and two inside 50s) and Lauren Ahrens (22 disposals, three marks, six tackles and five rebound 50s) were also among the Bombers’ best in the loss.

Collingwood now advances through to the grand final, as the Bombers prepare to face Geelong in the preliminary final.

GOALS:

Collingwood: M. Cann, I. Barnett.
Essendon: J. Davies.

BEST:

Collingwood: S. King, C. Molloy, J. Ferguson, E. O”Dea, I. Barnett, K. Lee
Essendon: G. Nanscawen, G. Prespakis, E. Ashley-Cooper, L. Ahrens, R. Svarc, Z. Friswell

GEELONG 0.2 | 1.4 | 3.4 | 6.4 (40)
SOUTHERN SAINTS 1.2 | 3.3 | 3.3 | 5.3 (33)

Geelong kept its premiership hopes alive by accounting for the Southern Saints by seven points and advancing through to the preliminary final. In a contrasting game to the other semi-final, both matches ended with a seven-point difference and the home team booted three final term goals to secure the win. The game was evenly poised at three quarter time as the Cats lead by a solitary point, before booting 3.0 to 2.0 in the a high-scoring final term, which saw the Saints get within a point twice, but two of Georgia Clark’s four majors came in the term to win the game for her side. They had the two more scoring shots, and it was the five goals to two in the second half to secure the victory.

Clarke was named best-on four her four goals, also picking up 14 disposals, four marks and three tackles in the win. Paige Sheppard (19 disposals, five inside 50s and six marks), Rebecca Webster (21 disposals, eight tackles, six clearances and four inside 50s) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (18 disposals, six tackles, three clearances and four inside 50s) all found plenty of the ball. Annabel Johnson (17 disposals, three marks and five tackles) had her fair share of the pill, with teenager Chloe Leonard (14 disposals, three marks) holding her own in the win. Madeline Keryk (14 disposals, three marks, seven tackles and four rebound 50s) was also named in the best.

Alice Burke (23 disposals, two marks, two tackles and nine rebound 50s) was enormous in defence for the Saints, with fellow AFLW listed talent Tyanna Smith (18 disposals, eight tackles, five clearances, three inside 50s and two rebound 50s) busy through the midfield. Gabi De Angelis kicked a couple of goals with her 13 touches, four marks and four inside 50s to be voted the Saints’ best, with Alex Hynes (six disposals, 18 hitouts, four tackles and two marks) also impressing. Hannah Stuart (20 disposals, three marks and eight tackles) and Tara Bohanna (18 disposals, six hitouts and two marks) continued their consistent seasons for the red, white and black.

Whilst Southern Saints’ season came to a close at the end of the match, Geelong has a chance to reach the 2021 grand final when it takes on Essendon next week.

GOALS:

Geelong: G. Clarke 4, P. Sheppard, R. Webster.
Southern Saints: G. De Angelis 2, J. Matin, A. Peck, K. Ripari.

BEST:

Geelong: G. Clarke, P. Sheppard, R. Webster, M. Keryk, A. Johnson, C. Gunjaca
Southern Saints: G. De Angelis, A. Hynes, E. Vanderheym, A. Burke, T. Smith, H. Stuart

 

Picture credit: Essendon Twitter

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