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Hang out to your hats. The strong blustery conditions made it extremely difficult for either team to execute footy skills but nonetheless an entertaining match ensured for those brave enough to venture down to Casey Fields on Saturday.

Impressive Irish player Aine Tighe was a late withdrawal for Freo. Maddie Gay was also a late change, and she was replaced with 19 year-old Georgia Gall, the 6-foot ex Melbourne Stars BBL cricketer who has been impressing the coaches in scrimmage games.

Fremantle came to play, boosted in confidence by their impressive 24-point win against St Kilda the previous week.  

With total clearances at 30 each it was tough in the middle.

Fremantle possess a strong army of physical mids in Kiara Bowers, Ange Stannett, Dana East, and skipper Hayley Miller and were competitive all day.  

Despite our four-quarter efforts, the Dockers still managed to kick a goal in each quarter.  

The Demons are noted 4th quarter specialists and kicked 3 goals to 1 which was enough to run out comfortable winners in the end by 33 points.  

For the Dees, Paxy was ubiquitous with a game-high disposal count of 27 including 10 contested possessions.  Eliza McNamara (25, 10), Lily Mithen (20,7), Liv Purcell (20, 8), and Sinead Goldrick (19, 10) demonstrated the breadth of our contributors in the hard-fought win.

With 10 tackles and 20 disposals Westy is back.   Her efforts around the contest were awesome as was her crafty goal using the brute strength of West against (Dana) East.  

It was noticeable at ground level that Freo has many quick players and at times we looked slow in comparison.  They achieved a couple of running goals by breaking down our defensive wall.

Not as obvious on the telly but our well drilled side has several players who read the play so well and either regain possession via intercepts or half a contest with a tackle or create a stoppage.  

Goldie and Mackin typically do this so well, but Meggs wanted to praise Eliza McNamara for her efforts yesterday.  On numerous occasions she confidently inserted herself in the play for intercepts or tackles.  A very good game Lize.

Gillard continues to elevate herself to be our premier defender.  

Our leading scorers Eden Zanker and Kate Hore kicked 2 goals each and top the AFLW goalkicking table (20 and 19 respectively).

It was Shelley Heath’s 50th game and a banner celebrating her milestone had been jointly created by DeeArmy and the Melbourne players.
Unfortunately, due to the strong winds which would have ripped it to shreds, the raising was postponed.  

No matter, it was nice for Heathy to have a win and contribute well during her big match and she feistily laid 7 of her trademark tackles.

News of Brisbane’s loss to St Kilda at RSEA Park later in the afternoon was important for the Dees as we hope to lock in the $1m Dr McLelland Trophy prize.  

Meggs’ quick maths suggests even if the Pies thump Sydney and Richmond in the next 2 weeks and Melbourne is thrashed by Brisbane in Round 10, we would finish on top on percentage.

Adelaide plays North and West Coast and is expected to win both games, therefore the result of next week’s grand final rematch at Ipswich next Saturday evening will decide whether it’s the Crows or the Demons as Season Eight minor premiers.  

In terms of the game:

Q1 Freo wins the toss and kicks with the wind.
Fremantle wins the 1st clearance and Birch takes a nice defensive mark.  She then plays on, and the ball ends up coming straight back where Freo forward pressure wins a free in front of goal. Kauffman kicks the first of her three goals for the day.

It’s tough conditions but eventually Hanksy, ever the opportunist, makes something out of nothing with a great check-side goal.

The Dockers hit the post again and have not taken their opportunities with the wind.

¼ time: Dees 1.2.8 Dockers 1.3.9

Q2 We now have the wind. The game is being played in the Demons forward half, with Freo defending well.  

It’s only a matter of time until we score, and Kate’s poster is a highlight.

Then in the space of a few minutes the Dees pile on three quick goals to Zanker, Paxy and Westy. Three goals and six points for the quarter means we have not taken our opportunities.

Freo’s hard work is finally rewarded when they move the ball over our defensive wall and run with speed to kick a good team goal by Kauffman, who outsprints Wilson.

½ time: Dees 4.9.33 Dockers 2.3.15

Q3 Against the wind, Kate kicks a goal off the ground. Later in the quarter Goldie is surprisingly adjudged holding the ball and Freo’s Serena Gibbs converts from directly in front. A big quarter coming up.

¾ time: Dees 5.9.39 Dockers 3.4.22

Q4 Some untidy wind impacted play in the Demons forward line is finally rewarded via a long-range snap on goal by Blaithin Mackin. Brilliant B.

Kauffman then marks and goals from up throw up. Freo are not going away.

Some clever vision from Liv Purcell who long bombs into space to Sherriff who outruns her opponents cleverly taking control of the footy and giving to Kate Hore for a nice team goal.

A defensive kick in error sees Zanker mark and goal to take back her outright leadership of the AFLW goalkicking table.

And that’s that, a 33 point win.

Dees win 8.13.61 to Dockers 4.4.28

Coaches and next week

Melbourne Coach Mick Stinear was really pleased with the outcome in the end. It was challenging conditions against a tough, physical side. A good four quarters with 21 scoring shots. He highlighted our versatility. Tayla Harris and Aimee Mackin should be available next week and provide him with a selection headache. A massive test on the road next week.

Dockers coach Lisa Webb was disappointed they were not able to get the result but was particularly proud of their exceptional effort.  She noted Freo were down a couple of soldiers, namely Aine Tighe and Ebony Antonio.

Next week is the last round of Season Eight. The reigning premiers play a grand final rematch against Brisbane at the same venue, Brighton Homes Arena, Ipswich on Saturday evening November 4 at 7:05pm. 

Beat Brisbane and we finish minor premiers plus (if we make it that far) a home grand final at our fortress Ikon Park. 

MELBOURNE 1.2.8 4.9.33 5.9.39 8.13.61

FREMANTLE 1.3.9 2.3.15 3.4.22 4.4.28


MELBOURNE Hore Zanker 2 Hanks B Mackin Paxman West

FREMANTLE Kauffman 3 Gibbs


MELBOURNE Paxman West McNamara Fitzsimon Mithen Hore

FREMANTLE Kauffman Bowers Stannett East Lally MillerINJURIES



FREMANTLE Flynn (back)




UMPIRES Devenish Howard Talbot

CROWD 1,650 at Casey Fields


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