Lions hold off Geelong in AFLW thriller, Crows post 14-point win over Demons

Adelaide Crows player Erin Phillips celebrates a goal with teammate Ebony Marinoff

The Cats have fallen just two points short of upsetting the reigning AFLW premiers the Lions, while Adelaide remains undefeated after claiming a 14-point victory over Melbourne at Norwood Oval.

The Brisbane Lions’ thrilling two-point victory over Geelong has been soured by another expected ACL injury to an important player.

Three weeks after losing premiership star Kate Lutkins, forward Gabby Collingwood went down clutching her knee in her first AFLW game for almost two years.

Collingwood looked shattered as she was helped off the field during the second quarter and the Lions confirmed she would be assessed by medical staff.

She missed the entire 2021 season, including the Lions’ grand final win against Adelaide, after rupturing her ACL late in the 2020 season.

The Lions were pushed all the way by the improving Cats at Maroochydore on Saturday, before falling over the line 3.9 (27) to 4.1 (25).

Brisbane had serious trouble breaking down Geelong’s miserly defence, with the Lions dominating the inside-50 count 38-12, but were unable to capitalise on the scoreboard.

After leading by just seven points at the final change, the Lions created a handy gap early in the last quarter.

But Geelong came again, with star Chloe Scheer missing a set shot to put the Cats in front with just minutes to go.

Rain started falling late in the game as the Lions hung on in the slippery conditions.

Irish flyer Orla O’Dwyer continued her outstanding start to the season, having a major influence on the contest with a goal and 14 disposals.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, Geelong’s pressure was phenomenal, but we just kept fighting,” O’Dwyer told Fox Footy.

“They played fantastic right to the end so we’re very lucky to get the win.

“I’m surrounded by a great group and we make each other great.”

But Emily Bates was the Lions’ best, impressing as former captain Emma Zielke unfurled Brisbane’s AFLW flag at their first home game of the season.

Despite remaining winless, Geelong are one of the AFLW’s most improved teams.

The Cats went 1-8 last year, finishing with a percentage of 40 due to multiple beltings, to narrowly avoid the wooden spoon.

Before the season, Geelong pushing the reigning premiers to two points would have been unthinkable.

Amy McDonald, Scheer (three goals) and Rebecca Webster were the Cats’ best in a losing cause.

Geelong will start warm favourites for their next game against West Coast at GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.

Phillips stars in Crows’ big win over Demons

Adelaide Crows player Erin Phillips celebrates a goal with teammate Ebony Marinoff
Erin Phillips (left) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammate Ebony Marinoff.(Getty: Mark Brake)

Adelaide superstar Erin Phillips has shown why she is the AFLW’s greatest player, spearheading the Crows to an ominous 14-point victory over Melbourne.

In what shaped as the match of the round, Phillips and the two-time premiers handed the previously undefeated Demons a significant reality check at Norwood Oval.

Phillips booted the first three goals of Saturday’s contest as Adelaide completely dismantled the visitors to run out 4.11 (35) to 3.3 (21) winners.

Melbourne did not score their first goal until the first minute of the last quarter — the longest period the Demons have gone without a major in their AFLW history.

Star recruit Tayla Harris broke the drought before skipper Daisy Pearce quickly followed it up with the Dees’ second goal.

Pearce popped through a set-shot after the final siren to put some respectability on the scoreboard.

However, Melbourne’s late charge, which they have made a habit of doing this season, was far too late against the experienced and powerful Crows.

It was Phillips’s day, kick-starting the Crows’ surge with two first-quarter goals to fire up the parochial home crowd.

Adelaide added just four behinds in the second term before Phillips’s third goal broke Demons spirits early in the third quarter.

The 36-year-old’s day out took her past Carlton Darcy Vescio as the AFLW’s all-time leading goalkicker with 46.

But the dominant performance could come at a cost, with captain Chelsea Randall failing to play in the second half after suffering another hamstring injury.

It was Randall’s first game back after sitting out last week’s win against West Coast due to a minor hamstring strain.

The Crows went into the match without Justine Mules, Stevie-Lee Thompson and Danielle Ponter, who all missed due to the competition’s COVID-19 protocols.

Adelaide joined Fremantle on top of the ladder with a 4-0 record but pipped the Dockers for top spot with a superior percentage.

The Crows’ defence has been miserly all season, conceding a combined tally of just 63 points across the first four rounds.





Author: Ivan Robinson