Women’s Footy – AFL: Melbourne v Brisbane

Melbourne has cruised past Brisbane by 71 points in their Women’s AFL Exhibition match at the MCG.

The Demons dominated from start to finish with their overlapping run and confident attack but the big story of the day was the domination of Australian cricketer Jess Cameron, who kicked a Women’s AFL record six goals to win Melbourne’s Best on Ground Award.

In the first quarter, Melbourne’s multi-pronged forward set-up blew the Brisbane defence away to see them take an overwhelming 40-point lead. Geelong tall Maddy Boyd kicked two as Cameron and Melbourne Uni’s Alicia Eva roved and found space to superb effect. Further afield, Melbourne Uni midfielder Ellie Blackburn was beginning a four-quarter effort in which she took total control of the stoppages on the way to a game-high 25 possessions.

A 47-point buffer at the main break meant the Demons had the match in their keeping in the second half, but several notable contributors still stood out. Darebin star Melissa Hickey generated clearances with her close-quarter agility, as did Melbourne Uni defenders Brooke Lochland and Nicole Hildebrand. For once, Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce was content to take a backseat role as she set up and executed many of her side’s damaging launches forward without dazzling.

However, it was all about Cameron come the final quarter. Having marked strongly for a small forward, the Diamond Creek star’s sharp-shooting in front of the big sticks meant that she turned even the smallest opportunities into goals. Many Aussie kids dream of dominating the hallowed turf of the MCG as either a cricketer or a footballer. Jess Cameron may be the only one to have both achievements under her belt.

Seemingly shell-shocked at first, Brisbane steadily worked their way into the contest after quarter time. Shaleise Law put her side on the board with a snap on the run halfway through the second quarter and Selina Goodman was tireless in the ruck. Although defenders Megan Hunt, Maddy Roberts and Danielle Wall unflinchingly fought all day, they were under siege too often to hope to win. Midfielder Kate McCarthy, who was awarded her side’s Best on Ground Award by coach Craig Starcevich, gave the Lions something to cheer about in the last quarter with a pair of long goals.

It was a day out for players who had come to Women’s AFL from other sports. Apart from Cameron, Melbourne boasted netballer Jess Hosking, state league basketballer Lauren Pearce and former javelin thrower Cecilia McIntosh.

Hosking, renowned for her attack on the ball at Seaford, was particularly outstanding in the first half as her drive out of defence set the tone for much of the match.
Pearce has improved week to week at Darebin as a ruckman and was used primarily as a tall forward against Brisbane, converting a goal in the second quarter.
In her return to AFL following an ACL injury twelve months ago, 36-year old McIntosh was one of the day’s great stories, as was Northern Territory recruit Angela Foley, cheered on by a well-travelled squad of around 20 family and friends.

The only blemish on the Demon’s day was an ankle injury to key defender Danielle Hardiman. The Cranbourne player limped from the field after a clash with Brisbane star Tayla Harris late in the last quarter.

Melbourne         6.4          8.5      10.7        14.7.91
Brisbane              0.0          1.0          1.1          3.2.20
Best – (M) Cameron, Blackburn, Hickey, J Hosking, D Pearce, Lochland.
– (B) McCarthy, Goodman, Law, Hunt, Koenen, Wall.
Goals – (M) Cameron 6, Boyd 3, Eva, Foley, D Pearce, L Pearce, Kemp.
– (B) McCarthy 2, Law.


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About Callum O'Connor

Here's to feelin' good all the time.


  1. Paul Spinks says

    Thanks, Callum. Great to see the women’s game building.

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