Chaotic season comes to a fitting end

A what at times has been chaotic season of the VFL Women’s competition came to an end over the weekend, and with the home and away season now concluded, the finalists have all been confirmed.

In the sole game yesterday, Casey finished its season on a high with an upset 10 point win over Port Melbourne.

In a very strong defensive game, the Dees came back from a slow start to deny Port Melbourne an inaugural Minor Premiership.

Port was quick to get the ball out of the centre at the beginning of the game, and was inside its forward 50 within 30 seconds of the quarter beginning.

However the early territory dominance did not prove fruitful for the Borough as the Casey defence held strong and thwarted any potential Borough attempt on goal.

With defensive pressure from both sides up high, scoring proved a difficult task.

The first goal did not come until half way through the 11th minute when Britney Mueck finally slotted one through for the Borough. Mueck then had her second a few minutes later to give the Borough a very handy buffer.

Between Borough goals, Casey certainly had ample opportunity to score, but the Borough defence was proving too tough to get past for the Dees.

This saw the Borough take a two goal lead into the first break after keeping the Dees scoreless in the opening 20 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for the Dees to begin the second term when Niamh O’Neil went down with what appeared to be a rib injury. However, the rest of the quarter belonged to the Dees.

Both sides had plenty of opportunities early to score, but with defences still holding strong, goals still proved hard to come by.

The first goal of the quarter eventually came eight and a half minutes in, and it was Casey’s thanks to the boot of Ciara Burke.

With another goal two minutes later from Siobhan Sheerin, Casey was suddenly in front as all momentum had shifted to the visitors.

Sheerin’s goal proved to be the final one of the term though, and as such it was Casey that took a two point lead into the main break.

Momentum again swung in the third term as Port reasserted control on proceedings.

Goals again proved rather difficult to come by early in the second half, as defences again held strong.

The first goal of the quarter finally came via a lovely running goal from Mueck to see her slot through her third major of the game.

Its second goal for the quarter did not come until two minutes to go in the quarter, when Federica Frew slotted one through to ultimately give the Borough a 10 point lead heading into the final change.

Casey did not take long to start its comeback, with another goal from Burke after only a minute.

Belinda Woolcock slotted Casey’s second goal for the term through two minutes and with that the Dees had taken the lead.

One further goal from Teagan Williams helped seal the win as the Dees kept the Borough scoreless in the final term and dominated the term to take the win.

In other results:

  • Williamstown booked a spot in its first ever finals with a 14 point win over Geelong.

The Seagulls did the damage in the middle two quarters – kicking four goals to none – so by the time Geelong finally staged a fightback in the final term, it was too little, too late.

Sarah Cameron and Olivia Cicolini each booted three majors for their respective sides.

  • Carlton also booked its maiden finals berth with a 67 point win over Darebin.

Carlton did the damage in the first half, and kept the foot on the gas as Darebin finally got some goals in the second half.

Christina Bernardi starred in front of goals for Carlton with five majors, while four of the top five ball winners in the game were all Blues (the lone Falcon was again Angelica Gogos).

  • Essendon’s title defence is still alive after defeating the Bulldogs to book a place in the 2023 finals.

The Bulldogs actually led at three quarter time, but the Bombers rallied and kept the opposition goalless in the last term to win by 13 points.

There were several multiple goal kickers on the ground, with Megan Ryan, Olivia Manfre, Mia-Rae Clifford and Mary Sandral all booting two majors each.

  • Hawthorn also booked a place in the finals with a 17 point win over the Saints.

Although there was only one goal scored between the sides in the first half, things did not improve from there for the Saints as they went goalless all game as the Hawks held on for the win.

Five of the top six ball winners on the ground were all Hawks – led by Matilda Van Berkel, while the leading ball winner for the Saints was Gabriella De Angelis.

  • Collingwood secured the minor premiership with a win over North Melbourne, defeating the Kangaroos by 33 points.

The Magpies kept their hosts goalless in the first half, and kicked away again in the last term to put the icing on the cake.

Monique DeMatteo booted four goals for Collingwood, while Nyakoat Dojiok booted two. Meanwhile for the Kangaroos Audrey Rhodes booted two goals.

2023 VFLW Week 1 Finals Fixture

Saturday, July 8 
Second Elimination Final,
 Box Hill Hawks (4th) vs. Essendon (5th)
Box Hill City Oval, 11:00am

Sunday, July 9
Qualifying Final,
 Collingwood (1st) vs. Port Melbourne (2nd)
Victoria Park, 11:00am

First Elimination Final, Williamstown (3rd) vs. Carlton (6th)
DSV Stadium, 4:30pm

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