NORTH Melbourne has kept its undefeated Tasmanian record intact, knocking over Geelong on wet and slippery Friday night at UTAS Stadium in Launceston.
Geelong conceded its largest score of the season, with the Kangaroos claiming an 12-point victory, 4.4 (28) to 2.4 (16).
KANGAROOS v CATS Full match coverage and stats
The damage was done early in the game, where the Roos kicked the first four goals of the game through Sophie Abbatangelo, Brooke Brown and two to Irishwoman Vikki Wall.
It was North Melbourne's ability not only to adapt to the slippery, fumbly conditions, but a willingness to take chances inside 50. Kicks toward goal didn't always come off, but it created goals like Vikki Wall's second - a quick soccer off the ground. Geelong simply wasn't taking those chances in the first half, preferring instead to move the ball around to a better option and ultimately turning it over.
Jasmine Garner was involved in everything early, and Jenna Bruton had 25 disposals as she played a super consistent game covering plenty of ground. Meanwhile Emma Kearney was a wall in defence and Alice O'Loughlin laid eight tackles across the forward half.
In the third quarter, however, Laura Gardiner broke through for the Cats' – and her own - first goal by winning the ball in attack and simply taking a shot at the big sticks. It gave the Cats some much-needed momentum from which they controlled the remainder of the quarter.
Former Demon Jackie Parry backed it up for Geelong in the opening minutes of the final quarter, getting on the end of an impressive Amy McDonald forward drive and kicking truly for her first goal in the hoops.
McDonald starred through the middle with her elite evasion, alongside young star Georgie Prespakis. Between them they had 58 disposals and 15 clearances to give the Cats first use out of the middle. Captain Meg McDonald took an impressive seven marks in the wet, while Nina Morrison looked like she was playing with a dry footy.
With the result, both North Melbourne and Geelong sit with an even 2-2 ledger after round four.
Wet weather footy
It was a rainy, bleak day in Launceston in the lead up to the game, which caused wet and slippery conditions on the UTAS Stadium surface. With every step causing a splash, it was always going to favour whichever side who adapted faster. North Melbourne's awareness to gain ground any way possible, which often meant not taking possession but instead soccering the ball along the ground, put it in the box seat immediately as Geelong fumbled attempting to cleanly handball out of trouble.
Georgie in action
Older sister Maddy might have won the Rising Star and competition Best and Fairest in back-to-back seasons, but it's Georgie who is stealing the show this season. To half time Prespakis had already racked up a game-high 17 disposals, five clearances and 308 metres gained as she worked relentlessly to move her side into attack. Ending the match with a game-high 32 disposals, nine tackles, six clearances and 464 metres gained, she only keeps getting better each week..
Geelong is set to return home to GMHBA Stadium on Thursday afternoon where they will face fellow improvers St Kilda, while North Melbourne will take on the undefeated Bulldogs at Punt Road Oval on Friday afternoon.
NORTH MELBOURNE 1.2 3.4 4.4 4.4 (28)
GEELONG 0.0 0.2 1.3 2.4 (16)
North Melbourne: Wall 2, Abbatangelo, Brown
Geelong: Gardiner, Parry
North Melbourne: Garner, O'Loughlin, Bruton, Kearney
Geelong: Prespakis, A. McDonald, M. McDonald, Morrison
North Melbourne: Nil
Geelong: Crocket-Grills (head knock, passed concussion test)
North Melbourne: Ella Maurer replaced Sophia McCarthy (managed) in the selected side