GEELONG is daring to dream of a finals berth after recording an emphatic win against the Brisbane Lions at Moreton Bay Sporting Complex on Saturday.
The Cats kept the Lions to the lowest ever recorded AFLW score while soaring to the top of the Conference B ladder.
Geelong dominated the contest from the beginning, as Kate Darby shone with three goals in leading the Cats to a 5.5 (35) to 1.2 (8) win in windy conditions.
Darby had a point to prove after being dropped for last week’s game against Carlton, and her strong performance in a VFLW practice match against the Western Bulldogs earned her a recall.
Darby notched up nine contested possessions and was a focal point of the Cats forward line, in her best performance of her short AFLW career.
“We really back ourselves in the contest,” Darby said.
“We’ve got a really good running team, and we knew that if we got it in the contest we could get it on the outside,”
The Cats, who were without experienced bigs Aasta O’Connor and Maddie Boyd due to suspension, welcomed debutant ruck Rene Caris from the Greater Western Victoria Rebels and the 19-year-looked more than comfortable at AFLW level.
Caris and ruck Erin Hoare formed a formidable duo in the middle, nullifying their opposition and giving midfielders Liv Purcell and Richelle Cranston first use to get the ball into the Cats forward 50.
Geelong is beginning to look more and more settled with each week that goes by, and captain Mel Hickey spoke of the huge belief the Cats would gain from their win.
“For this club, (a win away from home) it’s huge,” Hickey said.
“We know we’re a really strong contested side,” she said.
“We knew if we could slow them down and put it on our terms it could go our way.”
A large part of the Cats success this season has been Meg McDonald, who stops everything that comes her way in defence with her strong intercept marking skills.
McDonald blanketed Lions spearhead Sabrina Frederick-Traub, who failed to take a mark.
“You’re not going to win unless you take the game on, and we’re growing as a team together,” McDonald said.
“We just keep backing ourselves.”