The VFLW Bendigo Bank Cats have recorded a one goal win against Hawthorn at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Geelong led all match and managed to hold off the fast-finishing Hawks, who kicked two goals late in the final quarter in the close encounter.

The 4.8 (32) to 4.2 (26) victory sees the Cats remain in firm contention for a top-two finish, with one round left in the home and away season. 

Jess Foley and Maddie Boyd impressed in defence, with the experienced duo combining to be named Geelong’s best players.

VFLW Rd13 Julia Woollett in action against Hawthorn. Credit Arj Giese.

The Cats started strongly to control much of the play in the first quarter. Jaime Woollett kicked the opening goal late in the term as Geelong kept Hawthorn scoreless, establishing an 11-point lead.

Laura Gardiner extended the margin to 17 points early in the second quarter, before Hawthorn managed their first goal of the afternoon. Darcy Moloney booted Geelong’s third goal after the half-time siren, giving the Cats an even three goal lead at the main break.

A physical third term saw both sides kick a goal apiece as Paige Sheppard added her name to the scorecard, with Geelong holding a 17-point lead at three-quarter time.

Hawthorn threatened to snatch victory late in the final term but Geelong managed hold off the home side, recording their tenth win of the season.

Geelong VFLW Coach Andrew Bruce praised his side’s work to start the game, but said that there are areas to focus on ahead of next week’s clash with Collingwood and the finals.

“I really loved the way we moved the footy in the first quarter. We weren’t scared to take the footy off the line and we used it really well without over possessing, which gave our forwards the opportunity to get some one-on-one contests which they won and won quite well,” Bruce said.

“Then as the game went on we tended to over possess the ball quite often and gave the ball back to them. When we did get it forward it was too delayed, so we’ll definitely work on that.”

VFLW Rd13 Maddie Boyd in action against Hawthorn. Credit Arj Giese.

Maddie Boyd enjoyed a strong game in defence, while Jess Foley also showed her class in the backline.

“Both players took some really telling marks for us and obviously both are really experienced,” Bruce said.

“It was the first time that Boyd’s played back this year within our group, and we were really impressed with her game and think that she gives us a different dynamic down there. She reads the football well and she’s a beautiful kick of the footy so we trust it in her hands.

“Jess reads the football really well with her experience, and it can be really valuable for us.”

Annabel Johnson and Olivia Fuller also impressed for the Cats.

“Annabel worked really hard throughout the game and became quite contested as the game went on, she was really good,” Bruce said.

“We really liked Liv Fuller both in the ruck and as a forward, we thought she gave us a real contest.”

Geelong will travel to Victoria Park to face the undefeated Collingwood next Saturday in a top of the table clash.

VFL Women’s Round 13

Geelong Cats 4.8 (32) def Hawthorn 4.2 (26) 

Goals: Woollett, Sheppard, Gardiner, Moloney

Best: Foley, Boyd, Johnson, Fuller, Garing, Gardiner

Injuries: Nil

At Box Hill City Oval