AFLW Round 3 – Geelong v Adelaide: Heartbroken Cats denied a last chance to snatch points.

Geelong’s horror start to the 2020 Women’s season has continued after a controversial free kick for a deliberate rushed behind was paid against Geelong defender Maddy McMahon in the dying minutes of the final quarter. The result was a goal that all but sealed victory for Adelaide.


The rematch of last year’s preliminary final (that saw Geelong record only seven points) was a much closer affair this time with Adelaide  eleven point victors.


Adelaide’s Danielle Ponter stood tall in the forward line, kicking a game-high four goals, while Geelong’s Danielle Higgins kicked a team-high two goals to go along with her 19 disposals. Adelaide’s tackling pressure was evident throughout the match; Ebony Marinoff led the way with twelve tackles and twenty-five disposals while Meg McDonald was a pillar of strength in defence for Geelong, taking four marks to go with 19 disposals also.


Geelong got off to a flying start, Nina Morrison kicked a goal within the first two minutes of the game, only for Adelaide to respond after a free kick was paid in their forward fifty to Chelsea Biddell. She kicked truly. Geelong will rue dropping several marks in their forward fifty during the first and second quarters, while Danielle Ponter kicked two of her four goals in the first.


All goals scored in the second quarter of the match were achieved through free kicks inside forward fifty. Adelaide received two free kicks, with goals scored by Nikki Gore and Chelsea Biddell, while Geelong only received one which  led to Danielle Higgins kicking one major. Accurate goal kicking was a theme in the first half, Adelaide leading the way five goals to three (without blemish) at half-time.


Geelong lifted their intensity in the third quarter with their tackling pressure evident in defence and in the forward half. Danielle Ponter kicked a ripping goal for Adelaide, toe-poking it through whilst being tackled. Both sides marked strongly around the ground, Geelong’s Phoebe McWilliams grabbed one of the best with a strong contested mark on the wing. Goals to Geelong’s Maddie Boyd and Olivia Purcell narrowed the margin to five points.


In the final term both teams botched entries into their forward fifties. Geelong’s chain of good field kicking was let down by their last kick deep into the forward line, while Adelaide turned the ball over in their forward half consistently. For all of Geelong’s hard work throughout the quarter the ball got trapped in the Crows’ forward half and Eloise Jones kicked a goal as result. But Rocky Cranston replied quickly for Geelong; the margin back to five points and the local crowd on their feet. As the final minutes ticked down, Adelaide’s Najwa Allen lobbed a kick towards the goal square only for Maddy McMahon to gather the ball over the goal line and be pinged for deliberate. As Danielle Ponter lined up to take her kick, the local crowd booed the call from the umpire. In the end, it mattered for naught and Adelaide now sit 2-1 on the ladder while Geelong are 0-3.




GEELONG           2.0   3.0   5.2    6.2 (38)
ADELAIDE         3.0    5.0   6.1    8.1 (49)



Geelong: Higgins 2, McWilliams, Boyd, Purcell, Cranston
Adelaide: Ponter 4, Biddell 2, Gore, Jones


Geelong: Higgins, McMahon, Purcell, Ivey, A.McDonald, M.McDonald
Adelaide: Marinoff, Ponter, Hatchard, N.Allen, A.Foley, J.Foley


Crowd: 3,195




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  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks for your comprehensive report Courtnay. It sounds as though the Cats had their opportunities but didn’t make the most of them. What do you think they need to work on?

  2. Thanks for the report, Courtney.

    I for one thought that the “deliberate” call by the umpire was warranted.

  3. Courtney as a umpire ( and Crows supporter ) I certainly wouldn’t have paid the deliberate decision player under perceived pressure and clearly momentum in running towards goal definitely benefit of doubt imo
    The Jones free kick for tunnelling was worse this week we have had,Katie Brennan critiqued by Mark Robinson with,Mark being criticised for it for mine,Ebony Marinoff disposal is terrible and would be roasted if male,Ebony still needs to do hours and hours of basic kicking drills.Sarah Allen was vital in the Crows win composed and a v good decision maker thanks,Courtney

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