GEELONG has defeated North Melbourne by 27-points in their Round 11 VFLW clash at Arden Street Oval on Saturday.
The Bendigo Bank Cats led from the outset setting up the 6.5 (41) to 1.8 (14) victory on the back of a dominant first half display.
Chloe Scheer got the Cats off to the perfect start with a clever finish from the pocket inside opening two minutes of the game.
Goals to Analea McKee and Keeley Hardingam followed as the Cats capitalised on their 7-6 inside 50 advantage to take a 17-point lead into quarter time.
Hardingham added another major as the Cats started the second term with back-to-back goals to extend their lead to 29 points, with the forwards capitalising on the midfield dominance which was led by Laura Gardiner (38 disposals, 4 clearances), Carly Remmos (22 disposals, 5 clearances) and Rene Caris (21 disposals, 17 hit-outs).
The momentum started to shift mid-way through the second quarter with Sarah Skinner getting North Melbourne on the board to cut the Cats lead to 24 points at half time.
The home team held the Cats scoreless in the third term but failed to make it count on the scoreboard as Geelong’s young defence stood tall in the absence of Maddie Boyd (hamstring) with skipper Bree Beckley leading by example.
Mia Van Dyke was another who played an important role down back, helping the Cats to a 22-point lead at the final change.
AFLW listed Cat Georgie Rankin kicked the only goal of the final term as the Cats powered home to record a 27-point victory and move a step closer to securing a VFLW finals berth.
Senior coach Andrew Bruce was pleased with his team’s performance, particularly their first half showing.
“I thought we started extremely well,” Bruce told geelongcats.com.au.
“We spoke pre-game about trying to get the ball to the outside and we did that really well and it gave us great scoring opportunities.
“Then North changed the game a bit for us with their numbers and we probably fell into their hands a little bit and didn’t use the football as well as we should of and got away from what we were trying to do, but I think the girls continually tried to get it right and even towards the end we got back on track but didn’t get the score that we wanted, but a pleasing game for us.”
When North Melbourne had the momentum Geelong's backline stood up well, particularly in the absence of Boyd (hamstring) who left the field in the second term.
"It left us inexperienced down there, but I thought Bree Beckley led extremely well and she just didn’t come off for the game, she held the group together."
"Mia Van Dyke in her third game for us is really playing a great role for us. It was really a bunch of Falcons players in essence and it was really great to see them embrace their role and [they] did it pretty well."
The Cats had five Geelong Falcons players in action including debutant Lizzie Dowling.
The victory takes Geelong to a 7-4 record and a step closer to securing a finals berth. The Cats next challenge coming on Saturday 14 May when they play Darebin at Preston City Oval.
VFLW Round 11
NORTH MELBOURNE 0.2 1.3 1.5 1.8 (14)
GEELONG 3.1 5.3 5.3 6.5 (41)
North Melbourne: Skinner
Geelong: Hardingham 2, Degiacomi, McKee, Rankin, Scheer
At Arden Street Oval, Saturday, 7 May 2022.