AFLW Round 5 – Fremantle v Collingwood: The one that got away – losing sight of Hope in the final minutes…
10.35am, Saturday 4 March
Rushton Park Mandurah
We would have caught the train to Mandurah if we were going to the match live but we are home in Victoria so it is the TV for an early afternoon watch.
Let’s get to it! It is mid-morning at Rushton Park and the Fremantle ladies are quick out of the blocks. Freo get a goal early, Captain Kara Donellan with a clean delivery from Ash Sharp, putting it through the big sticks.The play seems a little scrappy in the first few minutes.
Good skills from Collingwood impress early even though Fremantle seem to be moving the ball back inside their 50 fairly easily. Fremantle’s Ebony Antonio gets the ball to Stacey Barr who is developing into a dangerous forward she shoots for goal but misses nine minutes in.
Following the moral boosting win last week for Collingwood are obviously keen to prove it was not a one off. Mathematical they can still make the final! Nicola Stevens from Collingwood stirs things up and Stacey Livingstone for Collingwood gets the ball to White and their first goal results.
As we watch the camera pans back we see Hayden Ballantyne wing, homage to the local Fremantle AFL bloke, a star in his home town. He might be playing next but that doesn’t really matter right now as Freo reply with another goal from Kira Phillips.
Some of the Collingwood players are wearing white zinc cream to protect their noses. It is a hot day gradually warming towards the mid-30s. The zinc matches their uniform. Houghton again gets the ball into Fremantle’s forward line and a missed shot by Gabby O’Sullivan results.
Stevens is on the move and when Antonio fails to mark, Moana Hope, the Marquee Magpie, gains possession and after some passes and fumbles gets Collingwood’s second goal. It’s a one point game.
In the final moments of first quarter the Magpies Celicia MacIntosh dips the confidence of the Dockers’ home crowd, which is finally gradually building, with another goal. Freo is five points behind, the many more entries into their 50 not showing on the scoreboard. The kicking from Collingwood is just more efficient.
As the second quarter starts, it becomes apparent the WA recruit to Collingwood Emma King is winning in the ruck consistently. Kirby Bentley and Tayla Bresland are doing their best to play keepy off with Hope in the back line. Freo are again in their forward line when Stevens spoils.
Another good entry is stuffed up by Freo half way though the quarter. No score as yet! With four minutes of the quarter remaining Jessica Cameron goals, doing a lot of work to get the ball and get it through. The players are slowing a little in the 30 degree plus heat. Towels on necks the minute they interchange off.
Dana Hooker and Lara Filocamo have been working hard for Freo and Hooker wins a contest forward line. A shot on the siren by Freo is not fruitful. The score is Collingwood 25, Fremantle 13. Clean ball delivery is logically favouring Collingwood. Their set plays seem to be coming together.
In the third quarter Collingwood set the pace but Docker Hayley Miller gets the ball down into Freo’s forward line about nine minutes in Houghton goals. Yay! Freo is now in striking distance only five points behind.
I’m thinking as the ground fills our home ground advantage might be coming to fruition. Freo hit the front with a goal from Amy Lavell. I feel the momentum shift to the Dockers. They are up by a point. I feel a win is possible for Freo, this would be significant for the competition closing Collingwood’s window to the final.
Barr lands and hurts her knee, she is helped off the ground. It’s tough play, Hooker lands a good tackle and Collingwood Melissa Kuys lays a good tackle not long after. She has been doing it all day! Collingwood seem to suddenly get the momentum back and Alicia Eva kicks a goal.
Freo’s Akec Makur Chuot is knocked on the head; she has already had a concussion this season. Pies lead by five points as the siren sounds for the final break. Freo has had double the inside 50s of Collingwood but the Pies are kicking better and shooting more accurately.
Both Freo’s injured players are declared ok to play on. At the start of the final quarter Freo’s Bresland springs out of backline and a minor score results. It then starts to rain points… not goals for Freo. Bentley Kirby gives away a 50 metre penalty which luckily doesn’t result in a score.
Hooke who has had a fair share of the ball for Freo misses a shot on goal one more point. Frustrating… this is painful to watch.
Houghton scores another point for Freo. They are edging closer and closer. reo get a free kick on the Ballantyne wing. This could be it. Bentley has the ball, a shot on goal and another point!
One point the difference.
The Magpies are chipping it around, less than a minute to go, I’ve lost Hope well she is playing for the other team and is now down back for Collingwood! Getting in the way to ensure we don’t get a final kick.
The siren sounds. Still no four points for Fremantle. The unluckiest days for the Dockers. I’m sure lessons to be learned. I’ll turn off the TV now.
For Fremantle this was the one that got away. Only two weeks to get a win on the board, can they do it?
Fremantle 2.1 2.1 4.2 4.7 (31)
Collingwood 3.0 4.1 5.1 5.2 (32)
GOALS Collingwood: White, Hope, McIntosh, Cameron, Eva
Fremantle: Donnellan, Phillips, Houghton, Lavell.
BEST Collingwood: Kuys, Stevens, Eva, King.
Fremantle: Antonio, Filocamo, Houghton, Hooker.
UMPIRES Adams, Jones, Kirk-Williams.
CROWD 3,000 and building to the JLT blokes match
OUR VOTES: Stevens (Collingwood) 3, Kuys (Collingwood) 2, Hooker (Fremantle) 1.