Port Adelaide posts first AFLW win, Western Bulldogs defeat Hawthorn to stay unbeaten

Teenage tyros Hannah Ewings and Abbey Dowrick have combined with AFLW veteran superstar Erin Phillips to pilot Port Adelaide to a comprehensive, drought-breaking 66-point thumping of Sydney at Alberton Oval.

The Power’s 10.8 (68) to 0.2 (2) demolition job on Saturday was their first AFLW win and a fitting way for Captain Phillips, the most decorated player in the competition’s history, to celebrate her 50th game.

Dowrick (24 disposals, one goal, 14 tackles, one goal), Ewings (three goals, 19 disposals, eight tackles) and Jacqui Yorston (14 disposals, 12 tackles) were far too much for the Swans’ battered midfield to handle.

Phillips was in everything early as Port dictated proceedings in wet, wintry conditions, owning a marked edge in first-term inside-50s (14-1) and moving ahead 3.3 to nil when Brittany Perry goaled on the quarter-time siren.

The heavens finally cleared in the third stanza and Port ran riot with a five-goal term.

Kate Surman snapped truly ensure from a no-look Phillips handball, before emerging 18-year-old star Ewings, who missed her first four attempts at goal in her career,d her first six-pointer was one to remember, bombing spectacularly from outside 50 .

A minute later, fellow teenager Dowrick bounced one home from almost 60m, before Ewings converted a free kick on the three-quarter-time bell to put rampant Port in front by 52 points.

Ewings then nailed her third in the opening seconds of the fourth, before Perry iced it by jagging her second, set up by Phillips, who finished with eight score involvements and five assists in a milestone match to savor.

Young gun Montana Ham was easily Sydney’s best player, racking up 20 touches in a promising return from injury.

Bulldogs maintain winning form

A Western Bulldogs AFLW player holds the ball while a Hawthorn opponent attempts a tackle.
The Western Bulldogs’ Kirsty Lamb (left) attempts to free herself of Hawthorn’s Isabelle Porter.(AAP: Joel Carrett)

The Western Bulldogs moved to the top of the ladder after notching a convincing 30-point victory over winless Hawthorn at rain-ravaged Box Hill City Oval.

The undefeated Bulldogs (4-0) combined toughness with elite finishing to prevail 6.1 (37) to 1.1 (7) in trying conditions.

Kirsty Lamb (25 disposals, seven clearances, one goal) was best-on-ground in her 50th match, combining with captain Ellie Blackburn to feed off the ruck supremacy of Alice Edmonds and dominate the Hawks in the clinches.

Hawthorn’s 17-year-old sensation Jasmine Fleming (25 disposals, seven clearances) continued to blossom and was easily best for the hosts, who were also well served by the experienced Kaitlyn Ashmore.

After the first quarter finished in a scrappy, scoreless stalemate, the Bulldogs began to assert their authority in the second term before extending it in the third.

The gulf between the expansion Hawks and the experienced Bulldogs became more and more obvious as the afternoon’s slog wore on.

Blackburn broke the deadlock in the fourth minute of the second period with the first goal of the match, before Hawthorn quickly equalized when Ashmore converted after holding on to a juggling mark.

It would be the Hawks’ only moment to celebrate.

After Rylee Wilcox and Gabby Newton built on the Bulldogs’ advantage before half-time, the visitors continued to dominate in the third, as the relentless rain pelted down.

Back-to-back snapped goals out of stoppages from teen Heidi Woodley and Lamb made it five without a miss to the Bulldogs, an impressive strike-rate given the conditions.

Winger Isabelle Pritchard swung around on her left after a nifty hand-off from Eleanor Brown and nailed her maiden AFLW goal to start the fourth.

The Hawks refused to wave the white flag and kept charging to the finish line but they were outclassed when it mattered.

Dockers draw with Blues

A Fremantle AFLW player contests for the ball alongside a Carlton opponent.
Carlton’s Breann Moody (right) contests for the ball alongside Fremantle’s Mim Strom.(Getty Images/AFL Photos: Will Russell)

Carlton recorded a second straight draw, this time against Fremantle.

Six days after the Blues drew with the Power, scores were locked again at Fremantle Oval, with the match ending 5.2 (32) apiece.

Fremantle forward Aine Tighe — who was the only multiple goal kicker for the match — had a golden opportunity to secure the Dockers’ first win of the season, but kicked a behind from a set-shot following a free kick in the dying moments.

The Dockers led by 18 points at half-time and seemed certain to break their drought this season.

But the Blues stormed home through a blitz to open the final quarter, grabbing the lead through goals to Jess Good and Breann Moody.

Carlton’s resurgence came through outstanding midfield performances from Abbie McKay and Mimi Hill.

McKay was the clear best-on-ground with 29 possessions and 10 clearances.

After kicking the Blues’ first goal, Blues veteran forward Phoebe McWilliams failed to take to the field in the second half due to a foot injury.

Eagles hang tough against Giants

Earlier, West Coast stunned GWS in a high-pressure contest with a seven-point triumph at Giants Stadium.

The Eagles withstood a barrage of late attacks from the desperate Giants to hold on for a 2.4 (16) to 1.3 (9) victory on Saturday.

Skipper Emma Swanson led the way for the Eagles with 23 disposals and seven tackles, as the visitors looked determined to quickly bounce back from a thumping at the hands of expansion club Essendon last week.

The Eagles (2-2) held on in the early morning match despite suffering a blow just before half-time when Jessica Sedunary had to be helped from the field with a calf injury.

Mikayla Western hugs a teammate
The Eagles defended for their lives to keep the Giants at bay late.(Getty Images: Mark Evans)

GWS’s Cora Staunton ran out with a fractured nose and looked as imposing with the bandages wrapped around her head early, but was ultimately held scoreless after kicking four goals the last time the teams met.

The visitors were unable to make the most of their early chances as the Giants went into the first change leading 1.1 to 0.2 after Georgia Garnett opened the goalscoring.

But the visitors pressed their advantage around the stoppages in the second term with goals to Mikayla Western and Swanson while keeping the Giants scoreless.

A heavy shower at half-time tightened up the match even more as neither team hit the scoreboard in the third term, but the Eagles were able to dig in late to hold on for the win.

Kalinda Howarth hugs a teammate
Kalinda Howarth was one of Gold Coast’s best in victory over St Kilda.(Getty Images: Ian Hitchcock)

Meanwhile, the Gold Coast Suns recorded an upset 14-point win over St Kilda up in Mackay.

The Saints were hoping to move back into the top four, but ran into an impressive Suns side who were led by Kalinda Howarth (22 disposals, two goals) and Charlie Rowbottom (30 disposals).

Caitlin Greiser kicked two for the Saints, who were perhaps fortunate not to have lost by more considering Gold Coast’s innacuracy, the Suns running out 5.12 (42) to 4.4 (28) winners.



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