Notorious slow starters in their first three years under former coach Wayne Siekman, the Magpies have now won their opening two games in consecutive seasons under his replacement Stephen Symonds, who guided them to their first finals appearance last year.
And if their first couple of performances of 2021 are anything to go by, they should expect to feature in the post-season again. Meanwhile, the Cats have now lost 11 of 16 games since entering the AFLW.
Davey was instrumental in the result and produced a powerhouse performance in the middle of the ground, which saw her finish with 25 touches (11 contested), four clearances, eight inside-50s, four tackles, four marks and a goal.
She was well supported by Brittany Bonnici while Ruby Schleicher was superb in defence and Sharni Norder was influential in the ruck. Rebecca Webster and Olivia Purcell were Geelong’s best.
The Cats dominated the territory battle in the opening term, but undid all their hard work with a few squandered opportunities on the goal line that were compounded by silly 50-metre and double 50-metre penalties, which gifted Collingwood their first two goals.
The Magpies were the much stronger side in the second quarter, but despite enjoying nine of the first 12 inside 50s, including the first six of the period, they failed to capitalise, managing just 1.4 for the term, with a Chloe Molloy goal in the final minute before half-time going some way to make up for gettable shots on goal from Aishling Sheridan, Sarah Rowe and Norder that were off line.
Collingwood did all the attacking again in the third quarter, but again failed to make the Cats pay the price, managing just three behinds, while Molloy (twice) and Sophie Alexander failed to score from set shots, as the home team took only a 10-point lead into the final change, despite having double the scoring shots (10-5).
If it was going to be one player to put the result beyond doubt, it was going to be Davey and that’s exactly what she did when she roved the pack with aplomb early in the final quarter before ramming it home from 30m out to give her team an unassailable lead.
Close shave, but Barber joins first-kick-first-goal club
Geelong debutant Olivia Barber won’t forget her first AFLW goal in a hurry. After just 25 seconds of play, her teammate Richelle Cranston superbly smothered Collingwood defender Schleicher’s kick in the Cats’ goal square, and with the ball trickling back towards Geelong’s goal line, Barber was quick to pounce. However, after “fresh-airing” her first attempt at goal, the youngster lost balance but still managed to accidentally back-heel the ball through for a six-pointer on her way down. All that was missing was the Benny Hill music!
Dazzing Davey dudded at the death
Davey’s outstanding performance could have included a second goal, and what a goal it would’ve been. After collecting the ball on the half-forward flank in the second term, she ran rings around Sophie Van De Heuvel, selling candy to the spellbound Cat twice, before unloading from the boundary line. It was bouncing towards goal, but got rushed in the nick of time, denying her a spectacular goal of the year contender.
Mirror image Cats
After the Cats went scoreless in their opening three quarters last week against North Melbourne, before managing 1.3 in the final term, they started brightly against Collingwood with 2.2 in the first term, but could only manage another two behinds in the final three quarters.
RUTHLESS DEMONS MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF TOOTHLESS TIGERS
Melbourne 1.0, 3.1, 5.2, 7.2 (44)
Richmond 1.0, 1.2, 1.3, 2.4 (16)
Melbourne: Bannan 2, Hore 2, Cunningham, Scott, Paxman
Richmond: Frederick, Hosking.
Melbourne: Mithen, Hore, Paxman, Bannan, Goldrick, Hanks
Richmond: Conti, Brancatisano, Frederick, Hosking
Melbourne: Petrevski (hamstring)
Melbourne have sent out another warning shot to the rest of the AFLW after clinically disposing of an outclassed Richmond outfit by 28 points at Casey Fields on Saturday.
The Tigers had a crack in the first term, but the gulf in class between the two sides became very clear by the time the final siren sounded, as the Demons piled on seven goals in a row to clinch the 7.2 (44) to 2.4 (16) victory, a week after impressively dismissing the Suns up on the Gold Coast.
After years of near-misses in this competition, Melbourne resemble women on a mission as they look to finally break through for a maiden premiership in 2021.
But the result was soured for the Demons with teenager Krstel Petrevski appearing to suffer a serious hamstring injury in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Richmond remain winless from eight games since entering the AFLW last year, averaging a measly 18 points per game. They’ve kicked three goals in two games so far this season.
The Tigers didn’t struggle getting their hands on the ball, comfortably winning the disposal count 217-198 and contested possessions 119-101, but their lack of efficiency and poor decision-making brought about their undoing.
Melbourne duo Kate Hore and Alyssa Bannan each kicked two goals, and they all came at crucial times during the middle two quarters with the game still in the balance. Usual suspects Lily Mithen and Karen Paxman were also crucial to the win while Sinead Goldrick did a superb blanketing job on Richmond’s Katie Brennan.
Richmond’s Monique Conti finished with a game-high 27 disposals and her teammate Maddy Brancatisano did a brilliant tagging job on Daisy Pearce, restricting the Melbourne champion to just six touches.
Richmond burst out of the blocks and caught Melbourne off guard as the Demons struggled to come to terms with the Tigers’ red-hot pressure early.
But despite enjoying more control of the ball, Richmond still headed to quarter-time level with Melbourne and, predictably, the seasoned Demons made Richmond pay for not opening up a decent lead when they had the chance.
Despite kicking into the breeze, Melbourne booted two goals in as many minutes early in the second term via second-gamer Bannan and their rock-solid backline managed to hold firm despite the resurgent pressure levels from Richmond, who at one stage led the tackles inside 50 by 13 (14-1).
That’s as good as it would get for the Tigers as the Demons dealt with every shot Richmond fired their way in the second half, outscoring them four goals to one, and cruising to a comfortable victory as the visitors’ resistance evaporated.
Thigh and mighty
Casey Fields could very well have played host to history on Saturday with Melbourne ruckman Lauren Pearce potentially executing the first ever “quadding” in senior footy. What’s a “quadding” I hear you ask? Well, after Richmond’s Courtney Wakefield booted the ball forward from the wing, Pearce intercepted it but instead of using a conventional part of her anatomy, such as her fist, to send it out of bounds, she met the pill on the full with her inner thigh of all body parts!
Bannan announces herself
After a quiet game last week, the 2020 No.5 draft pick showed why she was taken with such a high selection. With her side needing a spark in the second term, she took an impressive mark 15m out from goal before converting the set shot. Only a couple of minutes later, she produced a carbon copy of her first goal, as she took another nice grab and split the big sticks shortly after.
Zanker sets up Hore
Hore kicked her first goal early in the third quarter courtesy of a very clever tap-on from Eden Zanker, who managed to precisely spot up Hore who was running past in the forward pocket and finished the job with a lovely check-side punt to give the Demons a 17-point lead.
Ronny Lerner is a Sports reporter for The Age.