Geelong has used a fast start and a second-quarter burst to keep alive its hopes of a maiden AFLW premiership after overcoming Essendon by 18 points in this (Sunday) afternoon’s elimination final at GMHBA Stadium.
The Cats kicked three goals in the first eight minutes of the contest through Irish star Aishling Moloney, Jackie Parry and Chloe Scheer to lay the foundation for their first finals win in their third post-season appearance since joining the competition in 2019.
Moloney kicked her second goal as Geelong found four majors in the second term to put the contest – played in front of an impressive crowd of 6598 people – out of the Bombers’ reach.
Despite being held to just two behinds after the main break, the Cats had done enough in the first half to put the disappointment of last year’s elimination final loss to North Melbourne in the rearview mirror.
A shoulder injury suffered by Scheer took some of the gloss off the win, which earned Geelong a shot at the loser of the Melbourne-North Melbourne qualifying final in next weekend’s semi-final.
The Cats’ leading goalkicker was forced from the field during the first quarter and will be assessed during the week.
Georgie Prespakis provided the early impetus in the Geelong midfield.
She had ten disposals in the first quarter and nine in the second term, on her way to 23 for the contest, slightly shading sister Madison, who finished with 20 disposals and kicked two goals.
Half-back Becky Webster, one of three Cats to have played in the club’s first two finals, also finished with 23 possessions, while three-time best-and-fairest Amy McDonald had 21 and Nina Morrison 20.
Geelong wore black armbands in memory of captain Meg McDonald’s father, Gordon, who died suddenly last Sunday.
GEELONG 3.4, 7.7, 7.9, 7.9 (51)
ESSENDON 0.1, 2.1, 2.1, 5.3 (33)
Goals: Geelong: A. Moloney 2, C. Scheer, G. Prespakis, J. Parry, A. McDonald, J. Crockett-Grills
Essendon: M. Prespakis 2, S. Alexander, B. Toogood, E. Gamble
at GMHBA Stadium