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VFLW: Cats book top four berth

Geelong’s VFLW side has cemented their place in their first ever finals series after defeating the Casey Demons 8.5 (53) to 2.4 (16) at Casey Fields on Sunday afternoon.

Wet and windy conditions made for a tough opening quarter, with the Cats trailing the Demons by eight points at the first break.

But Geelong came out determined to gain control of the match and their spot in the finals in the second quarter, restricting Casey to scoring just one point for the rest of the match.

A goal in the opening minute of the second quarter to ruck Courtney Stevens in her first game since round two provided the Cats with the spark they needed, opening up a narrow seven point lead at halftime.

Geelong came out firing in the third term despite kicking into a strong wind, with Mia-Rae Clifford, Nina Morrison and Millie Klingbeil all booting goals to give the Cats a four goal lead at three-quarter time.

A downpour of rain failed to phase the Cats in the final quarter, with Jordan Ivey and Danielle Orr both kicking their first goals of the match in Geelong’s 37 point victory.

Geelong VFLW coach Paul Hood praised his side’s ability to adapt to the difficult conditions and seal their inaugural finals berth.

“It was a very strong breeze throughout the day and in the first quarter it took us a bit of time to adjust to exactly how it was affecting the ball,” he said.

“But once we had our first chance to all get back together at quarter time and talk about what the wind was doing the girls were just about faultless from there on in.

“To keep Casey to scoring just one point after the first quarter was an amazing defensive effort with some really good attack to go with it too, so it was a terrific team performance. We were really impressed with a lot of players today.”

Jordan Ivey starred for the Cats in just her fourth match back since rupturing her ACL last year.

“She did a great job ahead of the ball, keeping the ball in contest when we were kicking into the wind and played a big hand in us scoring a few goals,” Hood said.

“Then she kicked one of her own and was just really physical as we as some good ball use. It was just a terrific game from her.”

Geelong’s youngest players all impressed, with Geelong Falcons duo Nina Morrison and Olivia Purcell and Greater Western Victoria Rebels’ Georgia Clarke all being named among the Cats’ best.

“Nina Morrison did a great job in the half-forward line and wing for us. She had some really clean ball use and precision at times and then used her running ability to put some pressure on as well,” Hood said.

“We thought Olivia Purcell had a really good game around the ball too.

“Georgia Clarke did a great job down back. She played on an important player for Casey and kept her out of the game and then started to attack herself as well.”

Rocky Cranston was once again at her damaging best.

“Richelle was again so important in getting us started in the midfield and getting her hands on it, then sending the ball our way and some terrific tackling pressure from her as well,” Hood said.

Hood was also pleased with Kate Darby and Courtney Stevens’ shared work in the ruck.

“Kate was terrific, she doesn’t play ruck much but when she went there she played really well,” he said.

“Both her and Courtney Stevens fought really hard and to see Courtney get a goal for us while playing in the ruck was really exciting and got us going in that quarter.”

The Cats now face third placed Hawthorn in their final game of the home-and-away season. There’s still a lot to be played for, with a win giving Geelong a top two finish and a double chance in the finals.

“It’s going to be an interesting challenge against the Hawks, to have not seen them until the very last round of the year is quite unique,” Hood said.

“They’re in great form so it’ll almost be like a final before the finals. The opportunity to play for the double chance is one thing you can’t let slip, so it’s going to be a great contest.”

Geelong will face Hawthorn at Box Hill City Oval next Saturday at 11:30am in their round 16 clash.

 

VFL Women’s Round 15

Geelong Cats 8.5 (53) defeated Casey Demons 2.4 (16)

Goals: Clifford 2, Orr, Ivey, Darby, Klingbeil, Morrison, Stevens

Best: Ivey, Cranston, Morrison, Clarke, Darby, Purcell

Injuries: Nil

Reports: Nil

@ Casey Fields

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs