Bombers fly up, up to claim inaugural flag

AFTER being the team to beat all year, Essendon has topped off a remarkable season by winning the 2022 VFLW Grand Final, comfortably defeating the Southern Saints 6.6 (42) to 0.7 (7).

Lead by the likes of Lisa Hardeman medallist Alana Barba (18 touches, 18 tackles, seven clearances), Federica Frew and Renee Tierney (two goals apiece), the Bombers were just too strong all day, and had answers for absolutely everything the Saints threw at them.

The only sour note for the Bombers was a suspected anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury to skipper Georgia Nanscawen, who up until that point where she went down in the final quarter was also having a stellar game. The win also brings the illustrious career of Cecilia McIntosh to a fairy tale conclusion, who will now hang up the boots at the ripe old age of 42.

Despite the loss, the likes of Hannah Stuart, Madison Capsalis and Winnie Laing really stood up for the Saints in what was a tough battle at times.

The Saints certainly had their chances in front of goal, particularly in the first half, and for all the days for everything to go wrong the Saints would have certainly rather it not have been today on the biggest stage of them all.

Proceedings were at a high intensity one from the get go, and this certainly continued for much of the afternoon. Both sides had plenty of opportunities to score in the opening quarter, but the Saints could not capitalise on theirs.

Essendon scored the first goal of the match from the unlikeliest of sources in Simone Nalder, and also got a second that term through Tierney.

The second term was a very different story. Southern Saints did the vast majority of attacking, but just could not penetrate the staunch Essendon defence. Every time they would be looking like they’d have a chance to score, the Saints’ kicks would often fall short and the Bombers were able to rebound out of defence.

Joanne Doonan booted a major just on the cusp of half time to really punish the Saints, and things just did not get better from there for the Saints. 

It was a mere procession at times for the Bombers in the second half.

Not even Grace Dicker running too far was going to stop the all conquering Bombers, as it was just a matter of counting down the minutes until that final siren.

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