Race at bottom of the VFLW top six tightens

LAST weekend garnered some very interesting results in the VFLW, and with only a fortnight left in the season, there are still many eventualities that could play out as to who makes finals, and who does not.

This week’s match of the round was between the top two sides, and the result befitted the contest fans got to enjoy all game.

After Essendon looked to have the game sewn up at three quarter time, Hawthorn produced a remarkable comeback to draw the match in a thrilling contest at Box Hill City Oval on Sunday morning.

The first quarter was a tight, congested battle which lived up to the top two billing of either side.

For the majority of the term, the ball was in Hawthorn’s forward line, but Essendon’s defence was just too strong and Hawthorn could not capitalise and make the most of its territory.

The opening goal did not come until the dying minutes of the quarter, and it was Essendon who goaled first through Natalie MacDonald.

That score ensured the Bombers took a one-goal lead into the first change.

Essendon’s forward line saw much of the early traffic in the second term, but it was the Hawks who nabbed the first goal of the period through Abbey Holmes, and suddenly things were back to the slimmest of margins.

For much of the quarter, Hawthorn had the possession and momentum, but just could not score. At the same time though, the defensive pressure was so high from both sides that they were also denying the Bombers any scoring opportunities too.

Holmes’ goal ultimately proved to be the only one of the term as the teams went into half time dead even.

The first half was also a bruising affair, with a number of players from both sides coming off injured in the opening half.

Early momentum in the third was all with the visitors, as Mia-Rae Clifford got the first goal of the second half to re-establish Essendon’s lead.

Courtney Ugle booted the Bombers’ second the term with about five minutes left in the term, and suddenly the lead was 14 points, which in the context of the game felt more like 50.

Federica Frew almost had Essendon’s third of the term, but a bad bounce denied her a spectacular goal.

At the final change the margin sat at 15 points in favour of the Bombers, which in a normal game is not a lot, but in a high intensity game like this one, it felt like a bit of a mountain to climb for the Hawks.

In the final term it was once again Essendon who kicked the first goal of the term, but it came from an unlikely source. Danielle Marshall had pushed forward and kicked the first goal of her Bombers career.

It was looking like the Hawks were done, but try telling that to Nadia Von Bertouch, as she kicked her first major of the afternoon for the Hawks to bring it back to two goals.

The Hawks then got another through Emma Humphries, with only three and a half minutes to go, and suddenly the result was not so clear.

Hawthorn then snuck home a third for the term through and all of a sudden the scores were dead even again.

The Bombers had one last opportunity after the siren to pinch the win but could not make it count, and so the match was drawn.

For Essendon, the usual suspects racked up plenty of touches, with Georgia Nanscawen racking up 29 and Amelia Radford finishing with 24 of her own.

Meanwhile for the Hawks, Isabelle Porter lead the way with 29 disposals, while Holmes finished on 23.

In other results:

Collingwood made its place in the finals that little bit more secure with a 10-point win over the Western Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs had a five-point lead heading into the last quarter, but they could not score in the last term as the Pies put home on two goals to steal the win.

For the Pies, Monique DeMatteo booted two majors while Matilda Zander finished with 19 touches.

Meanwhile, Lucy Schneider was a ball magnet for the Bulldogs, finishing with 26 touches.

A miracle finals run is looking less and less likely for the Darebin Falcons, who suffered another loss, this time to Geelong.

All of Darebin’s score came in the second term as Geelong piled on nine goals to take a convincing 52-point win.

For the Cats, Paige Scott booted five majors, while Mia Skinner chipped in with two of her own.

Meanwhile for the Falcons, Nicole Callinan again topped the disposal tally with 18 touches.

Williamstown got so close to nabbing its third win of the season, but fell short against North Melbourne.

The Seagulls were two points behind with a minute to go, but could not get it out of their defence and kick the goal they needed.

The win sees North push to only a win outside of the eight and the win kept their finals hopes very much in tact.

For the Roos, Brittany Gibson kicked three majors and Sarah Skinner booted two, while Ruby Tripodi kicked two of her own for the Seagulls.

Casey bounced back from a fortnight of losses in an emphatic way, comfortably beating Port Melbourne by 56 points.

The Dees kept the Borough scoreless for the first half, and kept them to only one score in the entire second half.

For the Dees, Monica Harasimiuk and Zoe Mitchell both booted two majors, while Samantha Johnson finished with 24 touches.

Meanwhile for the Borough, Olivia Barton finished with 24 touches, and Claire Dyett finished with 23 of them.

A three-goal to none first term set up a dominant win for the Southern Saints over Carlton.

Both sides were inaccurate, but the Saints just kept piling on the goals to take the win.

For the Saints, Tayla Kearns, Kayla Ripari and Chanelle Slater all booted two majors, while for the Blues Amelia Klingbeil and Madeleine Di Cosmo both finished on 16 touches.

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