A sensational three-goal burst in the final quarter has seen Fremantle fight back to defeat Carlton by four points at Princes Park in an AFLW classic that put the Dockers on top of the ladder.
- Carlton led Fremantle by 21 points after the first quarter, restricting the Dockers to just one point
- Three goals in just over a minute of game time in the final quarter gave Fremantle the lead for the first time with just four minutes remaining
- Fremantle has returned to the top of the ladder, although staying there relies on Collingwood losing to Brisbane
The 6.9 (45) to 6.5 (41) result has all but ended the Blues’ finals hopes as they are now two games and percentage outside the top six with just two home-and-away rounds remaining.
When Nicola Stevens put Carlton up by 15 points with her second goal early in the final quarter, the hosts looked home.
But a pair of goals from Sabreena Duffy in the space of a minute got the Dockers to within four points.
Gemma Houghton’s long-range set shot shortly afterwards put the visitors ahead for the first time and they held on until the final siren.
The star for Fremantle was Kiara Bowers, who amassed 28 disposals (15 contested), 11 tackles and nine clearances.
Duffy and Jasmin Stewart slotted two goals apiece for the visitors.
For Carlton, captain Kerryn Harrington (21 touches) was impressive, as were ruck Breanna Moody (18 and 22 hitouts), Maddy Prespakis and Stevens.
The Blues absolutely swamped the Dockers in the first quarter, dominating the inside 50s (16-2) and contested possessions (35-16).
After conceding just 16 points on average per game this season, the Dockers had already leaked 3.4 before the second term began.
Five Fremantle players failed to touch the ball in the opening stanza.
The visitors turned the tide after the first change, ending Carlton’s run of three consecutive goals with three of the next four majors to cut the deficit to four points late in the third quarter.
Carlton seemed to have withstood the Fremantle surge, with goals from Georgia Gee and Stevens either side of three-quarter time putting them 15 points to the good.
But the Dockers had other plans as they completed an incredible fightback, snatching the Blues’ finals destiny from their grasp.
Brisbane hands Collingwood its first defeat of the season
Collingwood’s unbeaten AFLW run has been ended by Brisbane, who hung on for a tense three-point win to move to second spot on the ladder.
The Lions built an 18-point lead in windy conditions at Whitten Oval on Sunday but were made to sweat as the hosts surged late in a 4.11 (35) to 4.8 (32) victory.
It ended a run of six wins for Collingwood, while the Lions (6-1) jumped from third to second, narrowly behind new ladder leaders Fremantle on percentage.
The Lions defied the game’s last-minute move from Brisbane to Melbourne after the latest COVID-19 scare and, despite a goal in the opening minute from the Magpies, started the better of the sides.
A 2.8 opening term meant they didn’t have the points to show for it, but the Lions’ pressure remained and they were able to keep in-form Magpie Chloe Molloy without a disposal for most of the first half.
Injuries to Jordyn Allen (ankle) and Lauren Butler (hamstring) made the task tougher for the Magpies, with Catherine Svarc’s running goal in the third term pushing the visitors out to what appeared a safe buffer.
But Aishling Sheridan kicked her second goal of the match to start the final term, sneaking it through from a tight angle before Joanna Lin’s snap from 50 metres took a wicked bounce to create a five-point game.
Dakota Davidson’s set shot missed for Brisbane, leaving the door ajar in the final three minutes for Collingwood.
Maddie Shevlin’s soccered effort just rolled wide though, while her follow-up from the pocket was also caught in the wind for another behind and the Lions were able to run down the clock.
Brittany Bonnici was clean with her game-high 28 disposals for Collingwood, while Alexandra Anderson (26 disposals) and Sophie Conway led the way for the Lions.