After being outplayed for most of the match, the Western Bulldogs have escaped with a thrilling one-point victory in their AFLW season opener against a very wasteful Adelaide at Norwood Oval.
The Crows will be wondering how they let the match slip on Saturday as they had more disposals (198-163), contested possessions (89-76), marks inside 50 (8-3), tackles (51-48), clearances (25-9), hit outs (30-12) and scoring shots (12-8).
Jenna McCormick had the chance to put the Crows in front with 32 seconds left, but her shot on goal from 25 metres out bounced the wrong side of the goal post, following the theme of the night as the Dogs triumphed 2.6 (18) to 1.11 (17) in the battle of the competition’s first two premiership-winning clubs.
It was the second quarter that the Crows would rue the most.
They really should’ve killed off the contest but let the Bulldogs off the hook by failing to convert any of their goalscoring opportunities into majors, instead having to settle for six straight behinds.
The Crows were made to pay for that inaccuracy by Bulldogs superstar Katie Brennan, who booted her side’s only two goals of the match in a three-minute burst to give the visitors a two-point half-time lead.
Adelaide star Chelsea Randall was left to rue her side’s profligacy.
“I think over the entire game we didn’t obviously take our opportunities when we had them,” Randall said post-match.
“That’s unfortunate but it’s obviously something we’ll go back and have a look at the game and review it and go from there and take on Carlton next week.”
Bulldogs defender Lauren Spark was a colossus in the backline with 11 marks and 14 disposals while Ellie Blackburn (18 disposals) and Hannah Scott (18) were also influential.
Adelaide were well-served by usual suspects Ebony Marinoff (25 touches and 10 tackles) and Erin Phillips, who had 18 disposals, while Anne Hatchard (19 touches) was also a valuable contributor.
The momentum shifted dramatically after three-quarter time as the ball was almost permanently parked in the Bulldogs’ forward half. And despite no goals being scored in the final term by either side, the Dogs’ two behinds proved decisive.