LILY Mithen has booted a match-winning goal in the final minute of a dramatic AFLW semi-final to deliver Melbourne a three-point win over GWS at Giants Stadium.
The goal umpire hardly moved as Mithen marked in the pocket and calmly kicked her second goal, putting the Demons in front with just 25 seconds remaining on the clock.
The COVID-19 lockout ensured that screams of “SAVE THE GAME” from the Demons’ bench were then heard around the ground.
The Demons, who stormed home with three fourth-quarter goals and will face Fremantle or Gold Coast in a preliminary final, triumphed 4.5 (29) to 3.8 (26).
Shelley Scott and Sarah Perkins also kicked goals in the fourth-quarter comeback, the latter a sensational long-range effort from a tight angle.
Saturday was meant to mark the first time a club had hosted an AFLW-AFL double header for premiership points.
The coronavirus pandemic meant the stakes were even higher in the curtain- raising knockout AFLW contest played behind closed doors.
Irishwoman Cora Staunton and Jess Dal Pos, both members of GWS’s leadership group, stood up with goals in what looked to be a decisive third quarter of the topsy-turvy clash.
Staunton, who inspired teammates throughout her comeback season after breaking the tibia and fibula bones in her right leg, showed brilliant goal sense to snap truly after crumbing her own marking contest.
© AAP 2020
MELBOURNE 0.1 1.5 1.5 4.5 (29)
GWS GIANTS 0.2 1.4 3.7 3.8 (26)
Goals: Melbourne: L Mithen 2 S Perkins S Scott. GWS Giants: A Schmidt C Staunton J Dal Pos.
Umpires: Nic McGinness, Matt Baigent, Martin Rodger.
Venue: Giants Stadium.