Nature

Freo stuns North Melbourne to book preliminary AFLW final spot




An efficient Fremantle upset North Melbourne by 38 points in their AFLW elimination final to earn a place in the preliminary final against minor premierships Adelaide.

North had more inside the 50s (31-28) but squandered in attack as the Dockers were clinical, highlighted by an unanswered five-goal run in the middle quarters to stage the 11.3.69 triumph at 4.7.31 at Arden Street Saturday afternoon.

Dockers captain Hayley Miller was exceptional with 21 possessions, six tackles and a crucial goal in the second term, while she was also heavily involved in multiple goal chains.

Gabby O’Sullivan added 18 eliminations with four tackles and a goal, while AFLW’s best and fairest Kiara Bowers worked the game with 21 touches and three tackles.

Kangaroo player Ash Riddell, who had an AFLW record 42 eliminations last week, had 23 touches but struggled to make an impact while Emma Kearney had 22 possessions for North.

The win was only Fremantle’s second win in the AFLW Finals.

Saturday’s other playoff final between Brisbane and Collingwood has been postponed due to a COVID outbreak within the Magpies squad.

The league is expected to make a decision on that game on Monday and may be forced to push back the preliminary finals for a week.

North topped the first term against the Dockers with 10-3 in the 50s but failed to capitalize, with either side Ellie Gavalas and Roxy Roux on either side meaning the Kangaroos held a three-point lead.

Fremantle improved their game around the contest in a see-saw second quarter and goals from Gemma Houghton and Miller in the final two minutes opened up a nine-point half-time lead.

The Dockers took the lead in the third with unanswered goals from Mikayla Hyde, Bianca Webb and Aine Tighe, the last two on the scoreboard, making it five goals in a row.

North injected star Kearney into midfield in the final quarter and she set up Jasmine Garner’s goal to offer some hope, but Kara Antonio immediately responded with her own middle finger to smother that, before Hyde seals it after a 50m penalty.




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