Published on September 22, 2019 1:59 pm

Magpies fly to VFLW premiership

Collingwood claimed its first Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s premiership in defeating the Western Bulldogs by 37 points in Sunday’s ‘Love the Game’ Grand Final.

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The Magpies finished the 2019 AFL Women’s season with the worst record of the competition’s 10 teams but have been a force across their two seasons in the VFLW, winning consecutive minor premierships and now the 2019 flag.

Senior coach Penny Cula-Reid’s outfit avenged a loss to the Bulldogs – who finished third after the home-and-away rounds – in a semi final two weeks ago, overwhelming them with a combination of attacking class and defensive toughness in the 7.10 (52) to 2.3 (15) triumph at Ikon Park.


An inaccurate Collingwood opened up a 17-point lead by quarter-time and, while the Bulldogs fought back to reduce their deficit to five points in the second term, the match was won in the third stanza when the Magpies booted three unanswered goals to gain some reward on the scoreboard for their dominance in general play.

There were 12 AFLW-listed players on the ground for Collingwood and one of the most pivotal was key defender Stacey Livingstone, who was awarded the Lisa Hardeman Medal for best-on-ground. Livingstone had 25 composed disposals and took 10 telling marks for the Magpies, continually denying the Bulldogs as they moved the ball forward with her intercept marking and rebounding ability.

Fellow Collingwood AFLW stars Jaimee Lambert (game-high 28 disposals and two goals), Brianna Davey (22 disposals) and Chloe Molloy (16 and one goal) also showed their class, while Mikala Cann (eight and one goal) has now played in back-to-back VFLW premiership wins after representing Hawthorn in last year’s decider.

Maddie Shevlin (14 disposals), Gemma Lagioia (14 and one goal) and Sophie Alexander (10 and two goals) were other Magpies to star, causing plenty of problems for their opponents in the attacking half. Meanwhile, Grace Buchan helped lead Collingwood to victory from the back line as the team’s co-captain.


The Bulldogs had made a habit of absorbing the best their opponents had to offer and counter-attacking with potency during the finals, but senior coach Sean Kavanagh’s team couldn’t sustain the effort in their first VFLW Grand Final appearance.

Among their six 2018 AFLW premiership players to take the field, Bailey Hunt (equal-team-high 19 disposals), Kirsty Lamb (14 and six tackles) and Brooke Lochland (13 and 11 tackles) were all prominent. Ashleigh Guest, Hayley Wildes and Simone Ruedin were also brave for the Bulldogs in an under-siege defence, while Ellie Gavalas racked up 19 touches in defeat.

The Magpies lost their semi-final encounter with the Bulldogs by 12 points despite recording three more scoring shots and were similarly wasteful in front of goal in the first quarter on Sunday. They controlled the early territory battle but could only manage six behinds until Lambert stamped her authority on the match.

The VFLW’s leading goalkicker for 2019 scored the game’s first major following a free kick after 18 minutes and added her second little more than a minute later with a snap in traffic to see Collingwood out to an early advantage.

The second stanza played out as almost a mirror image of the first. The Bulldogs gained the upper hand behind the ball and kept it in their forward half enough to hold the Magpies scoreless for the term, while goals to Sophie Molan and Emma Mackay reduced the margin to less than a kick by the long break.

Things looked ominous for the Bulldogs when Collingwood scored through Molloy shortly after the resumption of play, however, and a pair of majors to Alexander in the last five minutes before three-quarter-time was effectively the hammer blow that delivered the Magpies their first flag in a women’s competition.



WESTERN BULLDOGS   0.1   2.1   2.1   2.3 (15)

COLLINGWOOD   2.6   2.6   5.9   7.10 (52)



Western Bulldogs: S. Molan, E. Mackay

Collingwood: J. Lambert 2, S. Alexander 2, C. Molloy, G. Lagioia, M. Cann



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