Young Geelong star Georgie Prespakis has kicked the first two goals of her AFLW career, giving the Cats a four-point AFLW win over Richmond.
- Georgie Prespakis goals with seconds remaining to give Geelong victory over Richmond
- Former number-one draft pick Gabby Newton kicked two for the Bulldogs in a win over GWS
- Meanwhile the Lions were close to their best in a big win over Fremantle
Prespakis earned a free kick with less than a minute left and her shot from about 30m out sailed through to give Geelong the 2.3 (15) to 1.5 (11) win on Sunday at Kardinia Park to end round one.
The midfielder snapped the first goal of her career in the third term to put the Cats on the board.
The ease with which Prespakis kicked the match-winning goal was in stark contrast to the rest of the game, with only three goals kicked despite ideal football conditions.
For all the fierceness of the contest, the two sides put an extra player behind the ball and butchered a number of inside-50 opportunities in a grinding game.
The Tigers were left ruing four behinds in the second term, all gettable set shots.
Courtney Wakefield kicked their only goal in the first term.
Richmond finished 11th last season, one place higher than Geelong, and the two sides will struggle to break into the finals again this season unless they can dramatically boost their forward firepower.
The Cats suffered a blow in the opening term when Rachel Kearns was forced out of the game with an A/c joint injury.
She sat out the match with her right arm in a sling.
Prespakis, the number two pick in the 2021 draft, impressed with 16 disposals and eight tackles, while captain Meg McDonald was rock-solid in defence.
Richmond defender Eilish Sheerin was outstanding in her AFLW debut, racking up 19 disposals and five marks.
Sheerin looked to have made a game-saving tackle late in the last tackle in the Geelong goal line, only for Prespakis to be awarded her decisve free kick moments later.
Tigers captain Katie Brennan did not come up in time from her off-season foot surgery and acting skipper Sarah Hosking had a team-high 22 disposals.
Bulldogs on target for win over Giants
The Western Bulldogs have reaped the benefits of a firing new-look forward line to kick off their AFLW season with a seven-point victory over GWS.
The Bulldogs lost leading goalkicker Bonnie Toogood to Essendon over the off-season but comeback kid Gabby Newton and Celine Moody booted two goals apiece in the 6.5 (41) to 5.4 (34) victory at Princes Park.
Skipper Ellie Blackburn (21 disposals, nine clearances) was typically brilliant while Isabelle Pritchard (18 disposals), ruck Alice Edmonds (28 hitouts) and defender Eleanor Brown also excelled.
Giants vice-captain Alyce Parker (25 disposals, six clearances and a goal) was outstanding while veteran forward Cora Staunton sparked GWS with three goals.
Lamb dobbed the Dogs’ first goal just over a minute into the clash but the Giants hit back through 18-year-old Jessica Doyle and led by a point at the first change.
The Bulldogs lifted at the start of the second quarter when former number-one draft pick Newton caught Georgina Fowler holding the ball and dobbed her first career goal.
Newton was making her return after missing all of last season due to a double shoulder reconstruction.
She kicked her second from a tight angle shortly after.
Staunton sparked the Giants when she coolly fended off Isabella Grant and goaled.
But the Bulldogs got a massive let-off just before half-time when Haneen Zreika kicked her close-range set shot into the player on the mark.
Staunton got the Giants within a point at the start of the third term but two Moody goals handed the Bulldogs a two-goal lead at the final change.
Late in the fourth quarter, Staunton took the ball out of the ruck and found Parker, who snapped the Giants back within a goal.
But a moment of brilliance from Richelle Cranston sealed the deal.
Cranston forced herself between two Giants to prevent a simple intercept mark, then followed up her own work, brilliantly toe-poking a bouncing, trickling goal home.
Staunton jagged her third but the Giants couldn’t pull off a late miracle.
Lions blitz Freo at the Gabba
The AFLW comeback of Brisbane defender Lily Postlethwaite has ended in heartbreak after the 20-year-old injured her right knee in the 49-point win over Fremantle at the Gabba.
Postlethwaite, playing her first AFLW game in 553 days after recovering from a knee reconstruction, went down in innocuous fashion late in the opening quarter of Sunday’s 11.10 (76) to 4.3 (27) win.
The 20-year-old was clearly in pain as she was carried off the ground by two trainers.
Postlethwaite will now undergo scans to determine the extent of the damage.
Her injury put a damper on an impressive win by Brisbane, who lived up to their premiership favouritism by dominating the Dockers.
The Lions’ forward line feasted on a lopsided inside 50m count that read 45-17 in Brisbane’s favour.
Orla O’Dwyer dominated with two goals from 20 disposals, Greta Bodey kicked 2.3, Courtney Hodder was a constant threat at ground level and finished with 2.1 from 15 touches, while Jesse Wardlaw (two goals) was dangerous in the air.
Lions midfielder Alexandra Anderson tallied a team-high 23 disposals.
For Fremantle, Hayley Miller (15 disposals, one goal) and Kiara Bowers (17 possessions) battled hard in a losing cause.
The Dockers sorely missed injured duo Ebony and Kara Antonio, who are set to miss the bulk of the season, while the departures of Gemma Houghton (Port Adelaide) and Stephanie Cain (Essendon) were also keenly felt.
The Dockers were lucky to be on level terms at quarter time after Brisbane dominated the opening.
The Lions finally broke the game open in the second term with three unanswered goals.
The game appeared over when two goals in the space of a minute to O’Dwyer extended the lead to 38 points early in the third term.
Fremantle hit back with three quick majors to give themselves a sniff, but a goal-of-the-year contender from Bodey quickly ended the Dockers’ comeback.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC