The Brisbane Lions have put on a stellar display, at Norwood Oval in front of a crowd of 15,000, defeating a dominant Adelaide Crows outfit and claiming outright top spot on the AFLW Ladder. The 5.3-33 to 4.6-30 victory puts the Lions 1 game clear, and puts a home Grand Final in sight, with 2 rounds to play.
The Lions came out firing and had the first half of the first quarter played almost entirely in their half of the field. Sam Virgo was part of a Lions wall that did not let the Crows have any release on the pressure the Lions were applying, with Virgo seeming to be the preferred option when delivering the ball by foot for the Lions. The opening goal kicked by Emily Bates (below) gave the visitors some reward for their effort. The Crows however were able to wrestle back momentum, and get a goal of their own back before quarter time.
The second quarter started with both teams locked at a goal a piece, but after being dominated almost entirely by Adelaide, the Lions looked to be feeling the pressure and it felt like the dam wall could burst at any point. However the Lions, being the best defensive team in the competition, were able to hold strong and only concede 1.3 to a solitary behind for the quarter.
Adelaide held an 8 point lead going into the main break but that didn't last long, with speedster Kate McCarthy kicking a goal to kick off the second half and put Brisbane right back in the game. A big third quarter from the lions midfield came with Emily Bates taking control at stoppages and forcing Brisbane into attack at every opportunity. A 3 disposal chain for Bates through the midfield before delivering to former devils teammate Kate Lutkins to set up a goal was one of a few highlights in her 17 disposal, 4 tackle, 1 goal best on ground performance.
Emily Bates kicks the Lions first.
The final quarter was tough and contested but with 13 minutes to go the Lions leading goal kicker again stepped up and produced another great running goal to put Brisbane in front by 5. The Crows were only able to score 2 behinds from this point on wards with Brisbane shutting the game down and showing again why they are the best defensive team in the competition, and sit 1 game clear on top of the ladder.
Emily Bates starred with 17 Disposals, 4 Tackles and a Goal, and continues to lead the Lions disposal count for the year. Kate McCarthy's 2 Goals put her second on the overall goal kickers list for the AFLW, 4 goals behind Carlton's Darcy Vescio. Sam Virgo had 7 touches, all kicks and used the ball extremely well off half back as she seems to have cemented herself as one of the elite kicks in the game and the preferred kicker out of defense for the Lions. Both Bates and McCarthy were named in the best in the AFL match report which can be found below.
Brisbane's next match is on Saturday March 11 at 10:05am AEST at South Pine Sports Complex against the Western Bulldogs. If you can't get down to the game in person you can watch this game on Fox Footy (Channel 504) or stream it free at www.afl.com.au.