A best-on-ground performance from captain Georgia Nanscawen has set up the Bombers for their third straight VFLW win in a 67-point victory over Darebin at the NEC Hangar on Sunday.
The Bombers adapted to the slippery conditions to keep Darebin goalless and claim a 10.10 (70) to 0.3 (3) triumph, moving into fourth position after round four.
Nanscawen led from the front with her clean possessions and tough tackles through the midfield, combining with second-gamer Grace Dicker to repeatedly drive the ball forward.
Mia-Rae Clifford was creative with her ball work to set up Felicity Theodore for the first major of the day, with Marianna Anthony and Alana Barba hitting the scoreboard shortly after.
The Bombers didn’t give their opponents any space in the second quarter and continued to extend their lead, with Dicker scoring her first goal as a Bomber. Theodore converted for her second, while Clifford and Natalie MacDonald followed soon after.
Following an early third-quarter goal from Jessie Davies, the Bombers’ pressure dropped off and allowed Darebin to come into the game, but Alex Morcom continued her consistent form to ensure the opposition didn’t capitalise.
In the final term, Anthony put her body on the line to lock the ball in the Bombers’ forward fifty and Barba was able to change the momentum with her second goal.
MacDonald was lively in the forward line, converting for her second major and finalising a 67-point winning margin.
Coach Brendan Major was impressed with his side’s win over Darebin, especially with Dicker’s performance and Nanscawen’s leadership.
“Grace Dicker, for a second game, played really well and I think our half-backs were playing well but Georgia killed it today,” Major said.
“She got a lot of the ball, structured up well, communicated, her defensive work rate was fantastic, so she was really good.”
At half-time the Bombers led by 47 points, with Major reminding his team of the need to focus on playing its style of footy, rather than focusing on the scoreboard.
“When we’re losing games, I talk to the playing group about not worrying about the scoreboard. That doesn’t change when we are winning. For us it’s about building what we’re trying to do and building the type of footy we want to play,” Major said.
“It’s great to get points and it’s great to be up but it’s more important for me how we’re playing.”
The Bombers will now turn their focus to next week’s game against league leader Port Melbourne, which Major sees as an opportunity to test his side’s structures against strong opposition.
“We’ve got a really tough side next week so we’re going to play Port Melbourne, they’re top of the table,” Major said.
“It’s a really good opportunity for us try out our systems while we’re playing a really, really strong opposition, so it’s going to be a big week for us.”
The VFLW Bombers will host Port Melbourne at the NEC Hangar in round five from 10:30am on Sunday.
ESSENDON 3.3 7.5 8.6 10.10 (70)
DAREBIN 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 (3)
GOALS: Theodore 2, Barba 2, MacDonald 2, Anthony, Clifford, Dicker, Davies
Best: Nanscawen, Anthony, Dicker, MacDonald, Barba, Morcom