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VFLW Dons fall in thriller

Essendon VFLW fell to a five-point loss to Geelong in Colac. (Photo: Ben Johnstone)

Essendon VFLW has suffered another devastating loss, falling to Geelong at Central Reserve on Saturday.                                 

The Bombers dominated much of the game but missed several opportunities at goal in the final quarter, while the Cats held on in the frantic final seconds to claim the 5.9 (39) to 7.2 (44) victory.                   

Given the chance to respond to last week’s narrow loss, the Bombers brought fight and passion to the contest.   

Geelong secured its lead in the opening minutes as AFLW-listed talent Kate Darby booted three unanswered goals.     

Although it was the Cats who hit the scoreboard early, the Bombers’ defence did well to stem their momentum.    

Essendon came out for a fiery second quarter, while goals to Lori Stepnell and Arthurina Moreen saw the Bombers rewarded for their efforts.             

The Bombers were clinical in moving the ball forward and soon got the game back on their defensive terms.      

Kendra Heil and Eloise Ashley-Cooper impressed with their intensity and pressure around the ball, while Skipper Courtney Ugle’s run off the wing saw the Bombers’ claim a higher set-shot advantage.    

The Cats again broke away with an early goal in the third term, but the Bombers were not about to give up - their increased aggressiveness in the contests and second efforts standing out.

Rookies Moreen and Freda Puruntatameri were outstanding in the third quarter, with their back-to-back goals keeping the Bombers on the scoreboard.   

Essendon started the final term with momentum, while a quick goal from star recruit and debutant Ally Anderson (Brisbane Lions) brought it back to a five-point deficit.  

The Bombers proved their dominance, playing the majority of the final quarter on their terms, while their defensive pressure kept Geelong scoreless after three-quarter time.

Natalie MacDonald led from the midfield with high-intensity tackling pressure, while Simone Nalder dominated in the ruck.   

Lauren Ahrens and Molly Warburton did well to secure several forward entries in the final minutes of the game.             

The Bombers missed their opportunities in front of goal, while the Cats held on to claim the five-point victory.


The Bombers will be looking to get back on the winners list when they face Richmond at the Swinburne Centre next Saturday.       

Essendon    0.0      2.5     4.8     5.9 (39)
Geelong    3.1      5.1     7.2     7.2 (44)  


Essendon – Moreen 2, Stepnell, Puruntatameri, Anderson

Geelong – Darby 4, Benham, Ivey, Blakeway

Victoria Raptis is in the final year of her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) degree at RMIT University. As part of their strategic partnership, Essendon Football Club and RMIT University are committed to providing opportunities for students, staff, players and the wider community.