Essendon's VFLW side has extended its unbeaten run to eight games and stayed in second position with a commanding 46-point win over Carlton at the NEC Hangar on Saturday.
The Bombers were dominant from the outset, keeping the Blues goalless in the first three terms to cruise to a 7.19 (61) to 2.3 (15) victory that could have been more lopsided if not for inaccurate goalkicking.
SEE THE BOMBERS FLY UP, UP! ❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/ZakpNBZ22z— Essendon VFLW (@essendonfcw) April 9, 2022
It was an emotional win for the Bombers, who wore black armbands and held a minute's silence for the late Ann Rulton, who passed away last week.
A true women's football pioneer, Rulton had a close connection with several Bombers players, particularly Mia-Rae Clifford, who spent time with Rulton at St Kilda Sharks - a club Rulton helped to establish.
Clifford made her dear friend proud with a game-high three majors, looking to the heavens after her first in an emotional tribute.
Special moment from our skip.— Essendon VFLW (@essendonfcw) April 9, 2022
Fellow co-captain Georgia Nanscawen was also sensational, collecting game-highs in disposals (31), tackles (12), inside-50s (nine) and tackles (seven) as the Bombers smashed the Blues in disposals (308-181) and inside-50s (54-9).
Debutant Maykaylah Appleby had extra reason to celebrate with a goal to her name, while recruits Amelia Radford (27 disposals) and Jordan Zanchetta (25) continued their ball-winning ways.
The Bombers will have a week off before hosting sixth-placed Collingwood at the NEC Hangar on April 23.
ESSENDON 2.3 2.10 4.14 7.19 (61)
CARLTON 0.1 0.1 0.2 2.3 (15)
Goals: Clifford 3, Ayre 2, Appleby, Dicker
Disposals: Nanscawen 31, Radford 27, Zanchetta 25, Anthony 20, Ayre 19