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VFLW: Cats fall short

Melissa Hickey played her first VFLW game for the club on Saturday. - Geelong Cats
Melissa Hickey played her first VFLW game for the club on Saturday.

Geelong’s VFLW side has fallen to an experienced Melbourne Uni team at Deakin University on Saturday afternoon, going down 4.6 (30) to 7.2 (44).

Melbourne Uni capitalised on a strong breeze to kick the three opening goals of the match, putting them on the front foot early. A classy goal to Sophie Van De Heuvel late in the first quarter steadied the scoreboard however, as the Cats trailed by just 11 points at the first break.

Madisen Maguire kicked a goal in the opening minute of the second quarter to continue Geelong’s momentum. The home side controlled play for much of the term and was rewarded for effort, as Maguire booted her second goal after the half-time siren to give the Cats a one-point lead.

The damage was done by Melbourne Uni in the third quarter however, as the visitors piled on three unanswered goals to make a Geelong victory difficult.

The Cats worked hard in the final term but neither side impacted the scoreboard, as Melbourne Uni claimed a 14 point victory.

Geelong VFLW coach Natalie Wood said it was Melbourne Uni’s experience and class that proved to be the biggest difference on the day.

“We got outplayed and beaten by a more mature and more experienced team today,” Wood said.

“I thought our first twelve minutes after half-time were really good, we played the ball in our front half a fair bit against the wind which is what we were really trying to achieve.

“But then they got some fast ball movement and kicked another couple of goals.”

Rocky Cranston and Kate Darby were Geelong’s standout performers, both impacting across the ground.

“Kate Darby, in Rene Caris’ absence, stepped in and played 80 percent of the time in the ruck and I thought she competed really well,” Wood said.

“She’s fresh off a couple of weeks break so she really competed well in the air and down at ground level.

“And again, Rocky, she’s built a really consistent month of football and she was great as a midfielder and then also as our second ruck today.

“Obviously she’s also really powerful on the ground, but she’s got a really good leap so she’s quite hard to play against as a ruck as well.”

Geelong’s loss was further soured by injuries, with Olivia Purcell (shoulder) and Emily Ramsay (knee) both going down during the match, and will be assessed during the week.

The Cats will look to return to winning form when they travel to face Williamstown next Sunday.

VFL Women’s Round 14
Geelong Cats 4.6 (30) def by Melbourne Uni 7.2 (44)
Goals: Maguire 2, Clarke, Van De Heuvel
Best: Cranston, Darby, McDonald, McEvoy, Maguire, Keryk
Injuries: Ramsay (knee sprain), Purcell (shoulder)
Reports: Nil
@ Deakin University

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