AFLW powerhouse Adelaide remains on top of the ladder after edging a brave and fast-finishing Collingwood in a two-point thriller.
The Crows were overtaken by Melbourne, who smashed Fremantle by a record 88 points, as ladder-leaders on Saturday night.
But the two-time premiers ensured the positional switch was temporary, with Adelaide edging Collingwood 4.6 (30) to 4.4 (28) at Norwood Oval.
The Crows’ eighth win of the season did not come easy, as the depleted Magpies fought hard as they attempted to lock up their top-six spot.
Collingwood hit the front during the third quarter through back-to-back goals to last week’s Rising Star nominee Eliza James.
But the Crows were able to grab back the advantage through important forward Ashleigh Woodland.
However, the Magpies came again, and a goal from dynamic star Chloe Molloy cut the margin to two points with just two minutes to go.
Collingwood had multiple chances to pinch the lead in the dying stages, with the Magpies blazing away with several shots close to goal.
But the Crows were able to clear the ball out of their defensive 50 and hang on, even without captain Chelsea Randall.
Erin Phillips made an impressive comeback from a knee injury, gathering 17 disposals and kicking a goal.
Collingwood’s Ruby Schleicher stepped up brilliantly in the absence of star midfielder Brittany Bonnici, who ruptured her ACL last week.
The Magpies lost courageous Erica Fowler to a head knock during the second quarter.
Fowler was taken off on a stretcher after colliding with Adelaide’s Najwa Allen.
The incident will likely be scrutinised by the match review officer, with Allen making contact when Fowler had her head over the ball.
Lions win big against Kangaroos
The Brisbane Lions have produced a strong response to a difficult week after keeping themselves in the hunt for a coveted top-two position with a 36-point thrashing of the Kangaroos.
Severe flooding in south-east Queensland meant some Lions players had to fight to save houses in the days before their home game was moved from Maroochydore to Melbourne’s Whitten Oval.
The venue switch may have been a disruption but the reigning premiers rode a wave of emotion to post a convincing 7.8 (50) to 2.2 (14) victory.
Brisbane pair Emily Bates and Ally Anderson became the first AFLW players to reach 50 career matches and were key contributors in their side’s win.
Sophie Conway, Greta Bodey and intercept defender Natalie Grider were also prominent, with Conway’s two first-half goals critical in the Lions’ ability to break the match open.
The result means the Lions can still snatch a top-two spot on the ladder and earn direct passage to the second week of the finals with a win over the Western Bulldogs next Sunday.
But they must also rely on either Adelaide or Melbourne slipping up in the final home-and-away round.
Carlton v Gold Coast
Source: AFL NEWS ABC