Surprises are abundant as players leave it all on the park

ACROSS the VFLW over the weekend as players pushed hard to impress ahead of this week’s draft, some teams dished out quite the surprise results.

In the opening game of the round Geelong came from behind to pinch a narrow one point win over Carlton.

Carlton should have won the clash, but will rue missed chances to put the game away early.

Carlton dominated territory and possession early, but just could not make it count on the scoreboard.

It shot wide left, it shot wide right, and even nicked a post or two, but could not for the life of it slot a major.

Geelong also could not capitalise on its chances either, although very few and far between.

With the minutes ticking down and both defences holding up strong, it was looking more and more likely that the quarter would ultimately be a goalless one for both sides.

Enter Madeleine Di Cosmo for Carlton, who with about a minute and a half left in the term finally slotted the first major for the quarter.

Di Cosmo’s goal was ultimately the last score of the quarter, so Carlton’s lead was sat at a handy 10 points at the first break. 

In a complete reversal from the first quarter, it was Geelong who did all the attacking in the early stages of the second term but could not convert.

That was until Olivia Cicolini marked and converted truly to bring the margin back to a mere three behinds.

Ella Firth then soccered through off the line Geelong’s second to see the Cats take the lead halfway through the term.

Firth’s goal was ultimately the last one of the term, but a late behind to the Blues saw the margin sit at two points at the main break.

The scoring chances in the third term were drier than a Melbourne summer afternoon as much of the play was between the 50m arcs and neither side really had any kind of scoring opportunity.

Carlton did manage to score one behind early on in the term, so as the teams turned for home the margin was a mere point, and the game all to play for in the last 20 minutes.

Scoring remained dry early in the last quarter, but two behinds to Carlton in the opening eight minutes saw it first level up proceedings and then take the lead after dominating the territory battle.

Ashlee Thorneycroft then finally got a major on the board for the Blues, scoring the first goal of the game since halfway through the second term in the 14th minute of the final term.

Sophie O’Dea then countered for the Cats a mere 30 seconds later, and with five minutes to go it still truly was all to play for.

Geelong then levelled things up a minute later, but kept pushing for the outright lead, taking it with its second behind for the term.

As the seconds ticked down, Geelong’s defence held strong, denying Carlton the opportunity to shoot at goal and ultimately held on for a narrow win.

Some of Geelong’s major ball winners included Charlotte Simpson (24 disposals) and Abbey McDonald (18), while Di Cosmo (24 touches) and Amelia Klingbeil (21) among Carlton’s biggest ball winners.

In other results:

  • Box Hill survived quite the tussle with the Western Bulldogs to ultimately prevail by one point.

Despite the Bulldogs being the only ones to score in the last quarter, they ultimately fell agonisingly short of their first win since 2021.

Sarah Perkins was the only multiple goal kicker on the ground with two majors to her name, while Sarah Skinner (28 disposals), Jordan Mifsud (27 disposals), Tahlia Meier (24 disposals) and Charlotte Baskaran (23 disposals) among the top ball winners for the game.

  • North Melbourne remains undefeated in 2023 after it accounted for Williamstown by 11 points.

The Kangaroos stopped scoring in the third term, but still lead at every change to take the win.

Audrey Rhodes (23 touches) and Marianna Anthony (20 touches) were the main ball winners for the Roos, while Emily Paterno (two goals) starred up front.

Meanwhile for the Seagulls, Lori Stepnell, Teagan Brett and defender turned forward Sharnie Whiting were their goal kickers, while Ruby Tripodi and Emily Eaves were the top ball winners.

  • Port Melbourne have opened its account for 2023 with a shock 37 point win over Collingwood.

After the game eventually got underway, the Borough restricted the Magpies to a goalless first half, which set up the win.

Four different players kicked two goals for Port Melbourne in the win – Laura Wright, Isabella Stutt, Amelia Peck and Federica Frew, who was making her debut for the Borough. Meanwhile for Collingwood Nyakoat Dojiok and Monique DeMatteo were the two goal kickers for the Magpies.

Eliza Morrison (22 touches) was everywhere for the Borough, while Jessica Bates (31 touches) was a ball magnet for the Pies.

  • Casey mercilessly destroyed Darebin, thrashing the Falcons by 122 points.

The Dees were on from the get go, utilising their AFLW talent perfectly in a ruthless display.

Megan Fitzsimon finished with four goals for the Dees, while Ciara Burke and Alyssa Bannan finished with three each, and Niamh O’Neill and India Lehman each kicked two.

Meanwhile for Darebin, Sally Lynch was the sole goal kicker, while Karly McNiece topped the disposal count for her side with 24 touches.

  • The Southern Saints have avenged their 2022 Grand Final loss and handed Essendon its first loss in over a year in the process, downing the Bombers by 25 points.

The Bombers actually lead at quarter time, but did not score a goal after quarter time as the Saints pulled away.

Winnie Laing and Sera Kaukiono both kicked two majors for the Saints, while Caitlin Sargent kicked both of Essendon’s goals.

Meanwhile Gabriella De Angelis (28 touches) and Alana Barba (24 touches) were the top ball winners for their respective sides.

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