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VFLW: Cats continue impressive form

Rocky Cranston was named best on ground against the Hawks. - Geelong Cats
Rocky Cranston was named best on ground against the Hawks.

Geelong’s VFLW side has secured its third consecutive win after defeating Hawthorn in a thrilling contest at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The match was played in perfect sunny conditions as both sides fought hard all day, but it was the Cats who claimed the 4.7 (31) to 3.6 (24) victory.

The Hawks made the most of their opportunities in the first quarter, kicking two goals to establish a 13 point lead at the opening break.

A momentum switch to the Cats early in the second quarter saw their hard work rewarded with a goal to Breanna Beckley. Rocky Cranston handed Geelong a one point lead at half-time after kicking a goal in the final minute of the quarter.

The physical contest continued after the main break, and with scores level at three-quarter time the game truly went down to the wire.

Geelong came out firing in the final quarter, as Cranston kicked a beautiful goal from a seemingly impossible angle to secure her side’s seven point win in a high quality display.

Geelong VFLW coach Natalie Wood credited her side’s ongoing improvement as a group in the tightly contested win.

“We didn’t structurally do anything different, I think we’re just getting better at being able to control the ball,” Wood said.

“To now be getting more continuity, more experience under the players I think we’re just able to put in place what we’re trying to do just that bit better.”

Wood was pleased with the extra efforts that each player put in throughout the match.

“We had a really big focus on the one percenters today,” she said.

“We had a number of new players in today and we wanted to have a real emphasis on all the one percenters that happened away from the ball.

“I was really impressed with how the group embraced that. They were the ones that spoke pre-game about what they look like, and how to acknowledge them and really celebrate them on the field.”

Maddy Keryk continued her impressive form and once again demonstrated her ability to play across the ground.

“She’s played as a midfielder most of the time, but we’ve actually played her down in defence for the last three weeks,” Wood said.

“We’ve given her the opportunity over the last couple of weeks to keep building her craft in that space so she has two options from a positional point of view.

“Her reading of the play and her transition across the field in that last quarter was exceptional.”

Geelong remained composed in the final quarter and it was the versatility of the playing group that secured the victory.

“Some of our defensive transition in the last quarter was outstanding,” Wood said.

“Just some really big efforts in that last quarter and the way they’re embracing different roles that they know is going to grow and expand them as players.

“Then when they’re pulling off some pretty exceptional displays of some really good characteristics in those spots is pleasing for us as a coaching group.”

For Wood, the victory is a testament to her side’s continued development.

“You want the players to get some reward and get some joy from out of what they’re doing, so to get a hard fought win on the road, that’s the reward for the players,” she said.

Geelong will return home next Saturday to play the second placed Southern Saints at Deakin University.

VFL Women’s Round 9
Geelong Cats 4.7 (31) defeated Hawthorn 3.6 (24)
Goals: Cranston 2, Beckley, Van de Heuvel
Best: Cranston, Boyd, Rankin, Maguire, Keryk, McDonald
Injuries: Nil
Reports: Nil
@ Box Hill City Oval

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