AFLW Season 7 Finals preview: Melbourne vs North Melbourne (Preliminary Final 2)

MELBOURNE is one win away from its second successive AFL Women’s Grand Final when it takes on North Melbourne in the second preliminary final today. The Demons earned a week off and a place in the penultimate round with a qualifying victory over Adelaide, while for the Roos, they had to go the hard way coming from eighth spot to defeat Geelong and Richmond to get to the preliminary final.

  • Team
  • Melbourne
  • North Melbourne


The Dees come into this clash off a week’s break after they won the qualifying final a fortnight ago. North on the other hand has had to take the hardest way to reach the preliminary final, winning two cutthroat finals in a row to reach this stage of the finals series.


Today’s clash will be the sixth time these two have faced each other since North joined the competition in Season 3, and the ledger is not pretty reading for North fans. Although North won the first time they played the Dees, Melbourne has won the four clashes since. This includes the last time these two met, which was a two point win to the Dees back in Round 2 on the MCG.


Just like in the other preliminary final last night, both of these teams have got nice and short injury lists at the moment. Melbourne has noone on their short-term injury list, while Perri King, Cassidy Mailer and Erika O’Shea are the only ones left on North’s.



B: L.Birch 9 T.Gillard 17  
HB: S.Heath 30 M.Gay 3 S.Goldrick 23
C: S.Lampard 8 T.Hanks 5 B.Mackin 31
HF: A.Bannan 16 K.Paxman 4 K.Hore 10
F: D.Pearce 6 T.Harris 7
Foll: L.Pearce 15 O.Purcell 2 E.West 11
I/C: M.Chaplin 13 C.Sherriff 18 L.Mithen 14 E.Zanker 29 M.Fitzsimon 24  

North Melbourne

B: S.Wright 17 J.Ferguson 20 
HB: B.Brown 36 E.Kearney – C 9 N.Bresnehan 12
C: A.Smith 15 J.Garner 25 T.Craven 5
HF: V.Wall 13 T.Randall 16 I.Eddey 3
F: E.King 60 E.Gavalas 22
Foll: K.Rennie 26 J.Bruton 35 A.Riddell 7
I/C: H.Bowey 18 M.King 23 T.Gatt 8 A.O’Loughlin 6 S.Abbatangelo 1 


The midfield battle between these two teams is going to be a juicy one to watch.

On the Dees’ side you have the likes of Olivia Purcell, Eliza West and Karen Paxman at the feet of Lauren Pearce. While on the other side of the equation you have Kim Rennie tapping it down to the names such as Ash Riddell, Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton.


The match is going to be a tight affair, no matter who ultimately prevails. Battles between the two sides average a single digit final margin, and with the pressure of finals this is unlikely to change today. However, a number of factors do point to a victory to the Dees.

They do have the better historic record against North, have been one of the teams to beat all year and are well rested after a week off. North have had no breaks since the start of the season, and the intensity of having played two sudden death finals in a row is likely to have taken a toll on the Kangaroos.

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