Fremantle’s Gemma Houghton was among the goal kickers in the massive win over Gold Coast. (AAP: Richard Wainwright)
Fremantle has announced itself as the clear favourites for this season’s AFLW flag after pummelling Gold Coast by 70 points in today’s semi-final at Fremantle Oval.
- The Dockers thrashed the Suns 12.8 (80) to 1.4 (10) to set up a preliminary final against the Demons
- Lily Mithen kicked the Demons into the last four with a match-winning major against the Giants
- The Kangaroos beat the Magpies by just two points and will play either the Blues or Lions in the preliminary finals next weekend
Only three days after the AFL gave the green light for the women’s season to continue in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Dockers were never troubled in the 12.8 (80) to 1.4 (10) win.
The result sets up a preliminary final against Melbourne, with the Demons advancing after edging out GWS 4.5 (29) to 3.8 (26) at Sydney’s Giants Stadium.
North Melbourne pipped Collingwood 5.4 (34) to 5.2 (32) in today’s opening semi-final. The Kangaroos will meet the winner of Sunday’s semi-final between Carlton and Brisbane in the other preliminary final.
All three of today’s semi-finals were played at empty venues because of coronavirus, while the Demons-Giants encounter was meant to mark the first time a club had hosted an AFLW-AFL double header for premiership points.
The Dockers’ win over the Suns was the second largest in AFLW history, sitting just behind the 73-point win the Western Bulldogs posted against Carlton in 2018.
Best afield Hayley Miller (20 disposals, six clearances) was vital in helping Fremantle to win the midfield battle, while Kiara Bowers (22 disposals, 14 tackles) added important grunt.
Sabreena Duffy (three goals) and Gabby O’Sullivan (two goals, three score assists) were among the players to cash in, while forward Roxy Roux provided her usual spark.
The Dockers ended the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record and their performance against the Suns is sure to send a shiver through their flag rivals.
@NorthAFLW tweet: “Onto the preliminary final; we’ll take on the winner of tomorrow’s Carlton Brisbane clash.We can’t wait!”
North Melbourne was the other standout team during the regular season, but the Kangaroos were almost knocked out of the premiership race before just getting past Collingwood at Melbourne’s Princes Park.
Magpies star Chloe Molloy had the chance to win with a set-shot 90 seconds before the final siren.
But the kick from 40 metres out sliced off the outside of her boot and failed to score.
North Melbourne defended desperately in the dying stages and a match-saving mark from Jasmine Garner at centre-half back helped them to cling on to a two-point win.
Last-minute goal lifts Dees to win over Giants
Lily Mithen kicked the Demons’ match-winning goal against the Giants with just 25 seconds remaining.
The first goal of Mithen’s career came in the second quarter and put Melbourne in front, only for GWS to rally and build a 15-point lead early in the final term.
Demons Shelley Scott and Sarah Perkins kicked goals in the fourth quarter to build belief, the latter a sensational long-range effort from a tight angle, but it was Mithen’s clutch effort which triggered chaotic then jubilant scenes.
The goal umpire hardly moved as Mithen marked in the pocket and calmly converted her set-shot, completing a remarkable final-quarter comeback in the topsy-turvy semi-final.
“A pretty crazy game,” Demons captain Daisy Pearce said.
“Throughout the season, we’ve been able to score pretty quickly, so we had belief we could do it … Lily Mithen picked a good time to kick the first two goals of her career.”