The undefeated Port Melbourne proved to be too strong against the Bendigo Bank Cats in their VFLW clash on Saturday.
Geelong fought hard all afternoon but Port Melbourne made the most of their opportunities in the 6.3 (39) to 3.5 (23) defeat.
Maddie Boyd worked hard in the ruck, while midfielder Annabel Johnson was named best-on-ground for the Cats.
A strong breeze made scoring difficult in the opening quarter, as the visitors kicked the only goal of the term just before the quarter-time siren sounded.
Steph Williams opened the Cats’ scoring early in the second quarter with a clever goal, but Port Melbourne kicked consecutive majors in the physical contest to lead by 14 points at the main break.
Geelong controlled much of the play in the third term and looked dangerous but couldn’t capitalise on the scoreboard, managing just three behinds to trail by 17-points at three-quarter time.
Michelle Fedele was electrifying in the final term to kick two goals as the Cats looked to fight back, but the top of the ladder Port Melbourne showed their class to run out the 16-point victory.
Geelong VFLW Coach Andrew Bruce credited Port Melbourne’s skill in the contest.
“They were a very good opposition. I just thought that they took their opportunities in front of goals where we didn’t and that they were just a bit cleaner with the football when we tended to turn it over a little bit,” Bruce said.
“Our pressure was there, but we just didn’t take opportunities in front of goals.”
The Cats will be looking to improve their composure in pressure situations.
“A lot of the time we were under pressure and we try and train for that, but until it’s match day you don’t know exactly where it’s at,” Bruce said.
“But we’ll definitely work on that, and we’ll definitely work on having a bit more pressure when we’re doing our goal kicking at training to ensure we’re used to that ground ball pick up and score type of situation.”
Annabel Johnson played a standout role in the midfield in the tough contest, while the experience of Maddie Boyd also shone through.
“I thought Annabel was outstanding, I think that’s probably her fourth or fifth game of football in her life and she was best on ground for us,” Bruce said.
“She worked really hard, used the footy really well and marked the footy in a contested manner quite well.
“Maddie Boyd in the ruck just gave us effort all day long and took a lot of marks and she was outstanding.”
German product Theresia Meissner continued her strong start to the year, while skipper Michelle Fedele also impressed.
“Theresia was fantastic down back where she has been all year, she just reads the footy so well,” Bruce said.
“In the last quarter Michelle Fedele kicked two great goals for us when we really needed her to stand up for us as a captain and her effort was outstanding. She got a couple of opportunities and took it, leading by example which was fantastic.”
Geelong will look to bounce back for their third win of the season next Saturday against the Western Bulldogs at VU Whitten Oval.
VFL Women’s Round 4
Geelong Cats 3.5 (23) def by Port Melbourne 6.3 (39)
Goals: Fedele 2, Williams
Best: Johnson, Boyd, Meissner, Fedele, Clarke, Pratt
Injuries: Pearce (ankle), Smith (ankle)
At Deakin University Elite Sports Precinct