The VFLW Bendigo Bank Cats have fallen to Carlton by nine points at IKON Park on Saturday afternoon.

Geelong led at quarter-time but the Blues proved too strong in the 3.4 (22) to 4.7 (31) defeat, ending the Cats’ seven game winning streak.

A leg injury to Olivia Barber in the second quarter further soured the loss, and will be assessed in the coming week.

The Cats remain second on the ladder with two home and away games left before finals, and will be looking to bounce back in a top of the table clash against Collingwood next week.

Georgia Clarke kicked the opening goal of the game in the sunny conditions, as a competitive first quarter saw Geelong lead by five points at quarter-time.

VFLW R12 Georgia Clarke in action against Carlton. Credit Arj Giese

Carlton kept the Cats scoreless in the second term and opened up an eight-point lead at the main break.

The Cats kept the ball locked in their forward half for much of the third quarter and were rewarded with a goal to Annabel Johnson with two minutes remaining in the term, to claw back the margin to four points at three-quarter time.

Carlton kicked the opening goal early in the last quarter, before Georgia Clarke kicked her second major to narrow the Blues’ lead to just three points. Geelong continued to work hard but a late goal to Carlton sealed the result.

Geelong VFLW Coach Andrew Bruce said that the biggest difference between the two sides was Carlton’s structure around the ground.

“I think that they had a lot more structure that they played to really well,” Bruce said.

“They obviously had a game plan that they executed really well and had numbers around the footy that they used and then were able to go forward, whereas we kind of went back into congestion the whole time, so it was a real battle that way.”

VFLW R12 Renee Garing in action against Carlton. Credit Arj Giese

Paige Sheppard continued her impressive season to be named Geelong’s best, while Renee Garing also showed her class.

“Paige was very good around the footy and was probably our better user of the day,” Bruce said.

“I thought Renee Garing was also really strong in the contest and tried to give us first use.”

Bruce said that he is confident his side will bounce back, and will focus on skill execution before the Round 13 clash with Collingwood next week.

“I think we can always get better at our skill level. A lot of our kicks today were shallow and just didn’t hit the mark, so skill execution is so important,” Bruce said.

“We worked really hard to get the footy a lot of times and just didn’t use it really well which was disappointing, but we know we’ll get better and we’ll work really hard to get better.”

Geelong will travel to Victoria Park to face Collingwood at 12pm next Saturday.

VFL Women’s Round 12

Geelong Cats 3.4 (22) def by Carlton 4.7 (31) 

Goals: Clarke 2, Johnson

Best: Sheppard, Gunjaca, Garing, Meissner, Johnson, Foley

Injuries: Barber (leg)

At IKON Park