The Western Bulldogs and Richmond maintained their perfect records for 2019 in Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s Round 5, while the NT Thunder, Melbourne Uni and Collingwood all won tight contests against stubborn opposition.
* Download the VFL app to see full match stats for each game.
* CLICK HERE to watch match highlights from VFL Women’s Round 5.
NT THUNDER 8.5 (53) d CARLTON 7.4 (46)
A see-sawing battle at La Trobe University in Bundoora ultimately saw the Thunder (7th on ladder, 3-1 record) rebound from a big loss to Collingwood in Round 4 and prevail over Carlton (11th, 0-4). Experienced heads helped NT hold sway for much of the match, though the gallant Blues led by seven points on two occasions in the third quarter and were level with the Thunder until Machaelia Roberts booted the game-winning goal for the visitors with less than three minutes remaining in the contest.
Dual Adelaide AFLW premiership captain Chelsea Randall starred for NT in her first VFLW outing since Round 1, racking up a game-high 31 disposals. Angela Foley (23 disposals, including 22 kicks) and Kristy Irvine (16, six tackles and two goals) were also important for the Thunder, while Carlton was well served by 2019 AFLW Rising Star Madison Prespakis (team-high 29 disposals) in her first VFLW match for the season as well as fellow AFLW Blues young gun Abbie McKay (19).
Both these teams now face undefeated rivals in Round 6, with NT hosting Richmond at TIO Stadium in Darwin on Saturday afternoon and Carlton taking on ladder-leaders the Western Bulldogs at Ikon Park that morning.
— NT Thunder (@NTThunderFC) June 8, 2019
MELBOURNE UNI 6.7 (43) d WILLIAMSTOWN 4.8 (32)
Melbourne Uni (5th, 3-2) needed to fight hard to defeat a plucky Williamstown (12th, 0-4) at Downer Oval. The Mugars returned to the winners’ list after losses to the Western Bulldogs and then Richmond, but only after trailing the Seagulls for much of the first half. A Katelyn Cox goal 14 minutes into the second term saw Melbourne Uni claim the lead for the first time, and despite falling 20 points behind during the third stanza, Williamstown was within five points of the Mugars with three minutes to play – before Melbourne Uni’s Katie Angelis finally put the game away with a late major.
The Seagulls were powered by prolific duo Moana Hope (game-high 39 disposals) and Melbourne AFLW speedster Aliesha Newman (22) as well as a second straight strong match inside 50 from Sharnie Whiting (2.3 from 14 disposals). However, the Mugars enjoyed even contributions from a range of North Melbourne AFLW-listers such as Jessica Trend (team-high 19 disposals and a game-high six marks), Daria Bannister (15, eight tackles and one goal) and Brittany Gibson (15 and one goal).
Melbourne Uni next meets the Southern Saints – fresh off a bye in Round 5 – at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Sunday afternoon, while Williamstown has a bye in Round 6 before facing the Darebin Falcons at Bill Lawry Oval in Round 7.
— Williamstown FC (@WilliamstownFC) June 8, 2019
WESTERN BULLDOGS 5.6 (36) d DAREBIN FALCONS 1.2 (8)
The Western Bulldogs (1st, 4-0) continued their perfect start to the season with a comfortable win against the Darebin Falcons (13th, 0-4) at VU Whitten Oval. The Bulldogs added Darebin to their scalps of Williamstown, Melbourne Uni and the Geelong Cats taken across the first month of the 2019 campaign, holding the Falcons scoreless until the fourth minute of the third quarter – by which time the ladder leaders held a match-defining 20-point advantage.
The Bulldogs received influential contributions from the likes of Ellie Gavalas (game-high 23 disposals and one goal), Bonnie Toogood (19 and a game-high nine marks), Sarah Jolly (18 and one goal), while Lauren Pearce recorded 22 touches and 23 hitouts for Darebin and teammate Reni Hicks laid a clear game-high 19 tackles.
Another winless team awaits the unbeaten Bulldogs in Round 6 when they meet Carlton at Ikon Park on Saturday morning, with the Falcons coming up against another strong opponent in Collingwood at Preston City Oval that afternoon.
RICHMOND 8.7 (55) d GEELONG CATS 5.3 (33)
Richmond (2nd, 4-0) blew the Cats (10th, 1-4) away with a big second term at the Swinburne Centre to maintain its unblemished record for 2019. Geelong dropped a third straight match, unable to stay with the Tigers when they piled on five goals in the 17 minutes following quarter time. Kodi Jacques booted two of those majors as Richmond turned a seven-point deficit into a 22-point lead at the main break – an advantage maintained throughout an even second half.
Monique Conti was the leading ball-winner on the ground with 29 touches for the Tigers, the club’s boom AFLW recruit ably assisted by Katie Brennan (22 disposals), Grace Campbell (16 and a game-high 11 tackles) and Jenna Colwell (12 and two goals). Olivia Purcell was a standout for the Cats with team-highs of 23 disposals and seven tackles – also kicking a goal – while Julia Crockett-Grills and Rebecca Webster each scored a major from 10 touches.
A flight north awaits Richmond, with the Tigers travelling to TIO Stadium in Darwin to meet the NT Thunder on Saturday afternoon. Geelong, meanwhile, has a bye before hosting the Casey Demons at GMHBA Stadium in Round 7.
Yellow & Black 😁🎶 pic.twitter.com/Ht7bw4OGni
— RichmondW (@RichmondWomens) June 8, 2019
COLLINGWOOD 5.5 (35) d CASEY DEMONS 5.1 (31)
A fourth straight win was sweet reward for Collingwood (3rd, 4-1) after the Magpies outlasted the Demons (6th, 3-2) in a tense contest at Casey Fields. The victors only took the lead for the first time midway through the second term when Sarah Dargan scored her second goal, but they didn’t relinquish that advantage for the rest of the match. Casey closed to within four points with under 10 minutes to play but couldn’t trouble the scorers again, ultimately suffering a second loss after starting the season with three triumphs.
Collingwood’s Brianna Davey enjoyed another strong outing for her new club, the former Carlton AFLW captain picking up a game-high 24 disposals. Senior teammate Steph Chiocci booted two majors from 13 touches, with Dargan and Mikala Cann each laying a team-high 10 tackles. Libby Birch continued her excellent season for the Demons with a team-high 20 disposals and game-high 13 tackles, while Casey co-captain Harriet Cordner recorded 15 touches, a game-high five marks and one goal.
The Magpies will now come up against the winless Darebin Falcons at Preston City Oval on Saturday afternoon and the Demons will have a bye before their clash with the Geelong Cats at GMHBA Stadium in Round 7.