IF there were a word to describe Paul Hood’s mixture of pride in his players and the disappointment in the final result, the Geelong AFLW coach would have used it following Sunday night’s loss to Adelaide.
The Cats fell 11 points short of upsetting the reigning premier having been as close as five points twice in the second half, including when Rocky Cranston snapped truly 12 minutes into the final quarter.
However, Geelong was unable to find the goal to put them in front, with a questionable free quick for a deliberate rushed behind inside the final minute against Maddy McMahon putting paid to the Cats’ hopes of a first win for the season.
“I’m gutted for the players,” Hood said of the result. “I feel really disappointed for them because they played a fantastic game.
“It might be the best game that Geelong’s AFLW team has ever played today – they were terrific.
“And Adelaide played some amazing footy themselves. In the end, we were on the wrong end of the scoreline.
“It’s really hard for me to be too upset with the playing group (with) how they played today.
“If there’s a word for a cross between disappointed and proud, that’s where I’m at.”
Hood was diplomatic about the decision against McMahon, which removed any chance Geelong may have had to steal a late goal.
“I’m not sure whether it was the right call or not,” he said. “There’s not much I can do about it, so that’s what I make of it.
“There’s not much I can about umpiring decisions; we’ve just got to get on with it.
“But, I thought Maddy had a great game, and that’s what she should focus on.”
With their win-loss record now 0-3, Geelong will now need to go through the remainder of the eight-round season to replicate the finals appearance of its debut season.
However, for Hood, that is not a focus.
“We think about getting better every single week; that’s what we’re aiming to do – improving our football,” he said.
“I think we’ve made giant strides today on the previous two games.
“They had some patches in those games where we looked good, but today was a pretty consistent performance for four quarters.
“So, that’s what we’re trying to do. And we’ll try and do the same the week after and the week after, and the rest of the season will look after itself.
“All we can control is what we put out the very next time we play.”
All-Australian defender Meg McDonald made a solid return from a broken finger, with the Cats appearing to get through the game unscathed.
However, draftee Madi Maguire, who was dropped for the clash with the Crows will undergo scans on a knee injury suffered in Geelong’s VFL practice match against Williamstown on Saturday.