GOLD Coast forward Kalinda Howarth has booted four goals to lead her side to a convincing 25-point AFLW win over West Coast at an empty Mineral Resources Park in Perth.
The Eagles managed just a solitary behind in the first half of Sunday’s match but threatened to launch a comeback in the third quarter with several promising forays forward.
But when West Coast ruck Parris Laurie missed a set shot from 15m out, the Suns moved quickly to put the game to bed.
And it was Howarth who stepped up to the plate, booting two goals in two minutes to set up the 5.3 (33) to 1.2 (8) win.
Howarth couldn’t even get a game last year for Brisbane, but her star power was on full display against the Eagles.
Gold Coast’s second win of the season lifts them into fourth spot in Conference B.
They are just one win and percentage adrift of third-placed Brisbane with two rounds to play.
The top three teams from each conference advance to the finals.
West Coast was on track to post the AFLW’s lowest total after having just 0.2 (2) to their name midway through the final quarter.
But they avoided that unwanted record when Hayley Bullas converted from 25m out.
Both teams suffered big injury scares when midfield stars Emma Swanson and Jamie Stanton collided heavily in the second quarter.
Stanton stayed down on the ground for several minutes before being helped off, but both players were able to return to the fray later in the quarter.
The news wasn’t as good for West Coast’s Grace Kelly, who injured her left leg late in the term and didn’t reappear after halftime.
West Coast won the inside-50m count 29-26 for the match, but their inefficiency up forward proved costly.
Eagles star Dana Hooker was sensational in a losing cause, tallying 31 disposals and six clearances.
© AAP 2020
GOLD COAST 1.2 2.2 4.3 5.3 (33)
WEST COAST EAGLES 0.0 0.1 0.2 1.2 (8)
Goals: Gold Coast: K Howarth 4 J Hickey. West Coast Eagles: H Bullas.
Venue: Mineral Resources Park.