A poster from No.1 draft pick Nina Morrison has delivered a win for the Geelong Cats in their first ever AFLW match, defeating the Collingwood Magpies in front of 18429 people at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.
Morrison was tackled without the ball when scores were level late in the match and had a set shot from a kickable position, but perhaps feeling some nerves was only able to drive it into the post.
Collingwood pushed hard in the final minutes and had several entries into their forward 50, but were unable to get clean possession for a shot at goal.
Earlier in the match, it was Collingwood’s Sophie Alexander who kicked the first goal not only of the match but also the 2019 AFLW season.
The Magpies dominated the first term with 11 inside 50s to just three by the Cats, but Geelong seemed to find their mojo in the final minutes of the quarter.
A 50-metre penalty for Maddy Boyd pushed her into range of the goals and she made no mistake to kick Geelong’s historic first ever AFLW goal before the siren blew.
The Cats took that momentum beyond the break, dominating the second quarter early in the same way that Collingwood had the first.
Mia-Rae Clifford put through Geelong’s second goal to put the Cats ahead for the first time in the match, and then Boyd popped up again to kick her second and give them a handy lead.
Collingwood looked like they were in serious trouble at the start of the third quarter when Sophie Alexander went off the ground not to be seen again with a possible concussion.
But just when we were questioning where they’d find goals from, Sarah D’Arcy jumped up and put through their second.
D’Arcy then just a few minutes later passed one off to Jaimee Lambert, who scrubbed through a miracle goal along the ground which was the highlight of the match.
That was particularly remarkable as Lambert herself had been off the ground with concerns over her ankle just minutes prior.
The Magpies lead the match by a single point at the final change, and a disappointing miss by Geelong’s Jordan Ivy early in the final term left scores level.
While there wasn’t a goal in the final term, it was a tight and thrilling tussell that went down to the final seconds as Morrison’s poster and Geelong’s determined defence ultimately thwarted Collingwood’s attempts to snatch the win.
Geelong will revel in the joy of having won their first ever AFLW match, and have the likes of skipper Mel Hickey and proven goalkickers Richelle Cranston and Phoebe McWilliams to come back in the next few weeks.
Collingwood, on the other hand, have again missed the chance to get a Round 1 AFLW win and will turn their attention to a Round 2 clash with the Melbourne Demons next week.