Not everything goes to script in week one of the finals

WEEK one of the 2022 VFLW finals has come and gone, with a few surprises being dished up in terms of the final results.

The Bombers fly up, up to take care of the Hawks

Essendon 8.12.60 defeated Hawthorn 1.1.7

Essendon is one win away from an inaugural VFLW Grand Final, after it comfortably took care of Hawthorn in the Qualifying Final.

In a match plagued by both sides not really making the most of their opportunities, a stellar third quarter from the Bombers really set up the win.

Essendon had all the attacking momentum early in the opening quarter, and got its reward inside the opening two minutes when Natalie MacDonald kicked truly from the pocket.

Essendon continued to have much of the attacking play for the remainder of the opening quarter, but struggled to put the majors on the board.

Despite being inaccurate in front of goal, at least the Bombers were scoring, unlike Hawthorn who was not even having shots at goal, let alone missing them.

Macdonald’s goal ultimately proved to be the only major of the term, as the Bombers went into quarter time with a 10 point lead.

The wind really began to pick up in the second term, which made kicking for goal up the Nicholson Street end of the ground, which was now the Bombers end.

After a few failed attempts by her team mates, Joanne Doonan eventually converted from in front to kick the Bombers’ second of the match.

Hawthorn almost responded straight after the restart, but unfortunately could not quite get the ball over the line.

Although the Bombers continued to dominate possession and attacking play throughout the second quarter, they really were not making their dominance pay on the scoreboard. This was due to a combination of the wind and an increased Hawthorn defensive pressure.

The Bombers only put four more behinds on for the quarter, so at half time their lead was out to only 20 points but the Hawks still had a mountain of work to get back into this game.

The Hawks finally got on the board with the first goal of the third term, which they scored through Jordan Mifsud.

Their hard work did not avail to much as MacDonald kicked two in the space of a minute to extend Essendon’s lead out past four goals.

Alana Barba kicked the Bombers’ third major for the term, and all of a sudden it was really getting out of hand for the Hawks.

As the teams turned for home, the margin was out to 33 points in favour of the home side.

The Bombers continued to pile on the scoreboard pain in the final term, as Cecilia McIntosh and Federica Frew both finally got on the board.

Courtney Ugle added one last layer of icing to the cake for the Bombers with one final goal and it was party time for the home side.

Many of the usual suspects were among the main ball winners for the Bombers. Amelia Radford finish with 21 touches, while Eloise Ashley-Cooper and Barba both finished with 19 each.

Meanwhile for the Hawks, Katelyn Cox, Abbey Holmes and Nadia Von Bertouch all finished with 16 touches.

Saints hold firm to upset Cats

Southern Saints 4.2.26 defeated Geelong 2.6.18

The Southern Saints caused a bit of an upset down at Deakin Uni, beating Geelong to keep their season alive.

Despite early Geelong dominance, the Saints made better use of their chances with the wind in blustery conditions to ultimately be the ones to come home smiling.

Geelong was able to lock the ball in its 50 for much of the opening half of the first quarter, but was not really able to get the reward for effort.

Although the ball may have been spending plenty of time in the Cat’s forward 50, the Saints defence was holding up so well that they were not even really getting an opportunity to shoot, let alone actually put a major on the board.

That was until about seven minutes in, when Carly Remmos booted it straight through from about 50 out to finally get the Cats on the board.

Geelong continued to pepper the goals, with the breeze proving quite the hazard to overcome for the Saints as they tried to transition out of defence.

This issue with the breeze continued for the rest of the quarter for the Saints, but luckily for them Geelong was not making the most of their chances in front of goal and were very inaccurate.

At quarter time the Cats were only two goals in front, but could have been further in front if they had been more accurate.

The Saints certainly made quick advantage of having the wind advantage in the second term and in general took better advantage of the wind then the Cats had.

It took them just over a minute to get on the board when Hannah Stuart kicked truly and cut the margin in half.

They continued to pepper the goals but took another eight minutes to get their second on the board, which they did via Tayla Kearns to level things up again.

Chanelle Slater booted the Saints’ third just in the shadows of half time to see the visitors take an eight point lead into the main break.

Scoring was again hard to come by in the third term.

Geelong locked the ball inside its forward 50 for much of the opening minutes of the term, but just could not put any score on the board.

It took either side just over 14 minutes to put any score on the board, and it was finally the Cats who put their second goal on the board after Keeley Hardingham was the beneficiary of a 50m penalty.

Hardingham’s goal proved to the sole goal of the quarter so as the teams went into the final change, the margin sat at a mere two points and it was all to play for for both sides.

Unfortunately for Geelong, its scoring dried up like a farm in a famine in the final term, and it did not put any further score on the board.

Kearns kicked her second to put an added layer of security on for the Saints, and despite the Cats testing the Saints’ defenders late, the Saints’ defenders held strong and the visitors emerged victorious.

Both sides had a number of players that were particularly impressive.

For the Saints, it was Grace Buchan off half back and the likes of Stuart, Gabriella De Angelis and Kayla Ripari through the middle.

Meanwhile for Geelong, Chloe Scheer and Paige Scott were impressive through the middle, while Chloe Leonard was a rock across half back and Remmos was also impressive even after she kicked the goal.

Demons raise hell on reigning premiers

Casey 7.3.45 defeated Collingwood 1.4.10

The Casey Demons are now just one win away from an inaugural VFLW Grand Final, after they comfortably beat Collingwood and avenged last year’s Elimination Final loss at the same venue.

It was a tight affair for much of the game, but Casey kicked away late to take the win.

The first quarter was just about as dead even as you can get.

Collingwood had all the attacking play for much of the quarter, but just could not put up a decent scoring attempt, much less any actual score on the board.

Casey had a few forays forward that did not amount to much, and it was looking like neither team was going to put any score on the board.

Enter Zoe Mitchell, who put the first goal of the game on the board for Casey with about four and a half minutes left in the quarter.

Casey had a few more attacking plays late in the term but could not muster up any more score, so at quarter time its lead sat at a single goal.

It did not take anywhere near as long for either side to get on the board in the second term, after Cara McCrossan booted the Dees’ second only about three minutes in.

Collingwood finally got a score on the board minutes later, but it was only a behind.

Scoring remained hard to come by for much of the second term as much of the play was between the forward 50 arcs.

Casey had the vast majority of the attacking play, but could not get anything on the scoreboard to show for it.

That was until about the 14 minute mark, when Monica Harasimiuk soccered one through off the deck to give Casey their third major of the afternoon.

Katie Angelis then kicked truly minutes later and suddenly Casey had build a very handy buffer for itself.

The margin ultimately sat at 23 points in the Dees’ favour at half time.

The third term was the tightest quarter of the match yet.

Again all the play was between the 50m arcs, with very few attempts at goal from either side.

For a long time it looked like the Dees were going to win the quarter two behinds to one, but in the dying final 10 seconds of the quarter, Monique DeMatteo got finally got Collingwood on the board with a goal, so at the final change the score was back down to three goals.

Collingwood had an early opportunity in the last tighten the margin even further but ultimately squandered it.

McCrossan then kicked her second with only about eight minutes left and things were looking pretty good for the Dees.

Alison Dowler then joined in on the scoring fun and things were looking even better for the Dees.

McCrossan then got her third on the board in the shadows of the final siren just to add that extra layer of icing to the Demon cake.

For the Dees, Tahlia Gillard had a stellar game in defence, while Melanie Hogg had a stellar game playing through the middle and in the forward line.

Meanwhile for the Pies, Marla Neal was a workhorse through the middle, finishing with 15 touches and a whopping 14 tackles and eight clearances.

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