Finals Week 1 Saturday 5 November

GMHBA Stadium
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    Roos bravely hold off Cats in titanic tussle to win thriller

    THEY say it's the hope that kills, and for so much of Saturday night's elimination final, Geelong was just one goal away from taking the lead.

    The Cats dominated nearly every facet of the game, but just couldn't find the middle of the sticks, and in the end, it was North Melbourne which triumphed by just two points, and the Roos now live to fight another day. 

    Shelley Scott – for so much of this season the hero in Geelong's forward line – blew a tough set shot with just 90 seconds left, and then again played on 30 seconds later, her kick just rushed over the line to wrap up the 2.4 (16) to 1.8 (14) result.

    CATS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

    It's a sad ending for Geelong, which has shown great improvement both between seasons and just in the past six weeks.

    It was a scrappy, high-pressure game, with neither side allowing the other much space around the contest.

    AFLW S7 Highlights: Geelong v North Melbourne

    05:34 Nov 5. 2022. 10:16 PM

    The Cats and Kangaroos clash in the elimination finals of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

    The Cats had 12-5 inside 50s in the first quarter, but the Roos took better advantage of their limited entries, and it was a buffer that held into half-time.

    Geelong owned most of the second and third terms, but struggled to put any scoreboard pressure on, thanks in part to some desperate Kangaroos defending from the likes of Brooke Brown and Jas Ferguson.

    Conversely, the Roos found the going tough when attempting to exit their defensive half, with Georgie Rankin and Annabel Johnson patrolling across the field, and the game was mainly a dour, ping-pong struggle played at the Cats' end.

    Last two mins: Cats can't break Roos' resistance

    03:20 Nov 5. 2022. 9:02 PM

    Enjoy the thrilling final moments of the elimination final between the Cats and Kangaroos

    Two top-tier midfields went head-to-head, with North Melbourne just edging Geelong in the clearance count despite a clear dominance in the ruck.

    Jasmine Garner was once again North Melbourne's best with 23 disposals, six clearances and eight tackles, and was well supported by Mia King and Jenna Bruton.

    Crafty Garner delivers stellar performance

    01:49 Nov 5. 2022. 9:37 PM

    Jasmine Garner shines in North Melbourne's elimination final victory

    Amy McDonald nearly broke the game open in the final minutes with her run and dash, and was a fierce fighter throughout, as were Nina Morrison and Mikayla Bowen on the wings.

    A welcome return
    North Melbourne skipper Emma Kearney missed last week with knee soreness, following a collision with powerful teammate Vikki Wall, but she made a huge impact after a week off. Playing with heavy strapping on her right knee, Kearney provided a cool head off half-back, directing the tempo of play. There was no more important moment than her low diving mark in the final 20 seconds, copping a late hit and taking a 50m penalty to ice the clock.

    Finals hits differently
    The two teams have developed reputations for free-flowing, high-scoring footy, but the opposite was on show at GMHBA Stadium. Controlled disposal chains were few and far between, as pressure from both teams resulted in bombs down the line and hack kicks out of packs. In the end, it was North Melbourne which held its nerve the longest.

    Sarah Wright reacts after North Melbourne's elimination final win over Geelong in S7, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

    Say what?
    "It was a tough loss. You play six weeks of really open, flowing football, with the scoring being really clear, and then you get caught in a game where it's four quarters of an armwrestle. The last quarter was the most open the game felt, from my perspective, with our ball movement. The stats say we had enough of the footy, enough inside 50s, but credit to the Kangaroos, they played a brand which denied us what we'd had the last five or six weeks." – Geelong coach Dan Lowther

    "Absolutely (we got away with it). But as I just said to the players, we've been probably on the wrong end of those results as well, having controlled large parts of the game, especially the territory side of things. I suppose in a final, it was nice to get one back. To Geelong's credit, coming into the game, we knew they were a big improver, and we'd have to be right up to our best. Fortunately, our contest was strong, our pressure was very good, but they'll definitely feel disappointed they didn't come away with the win." – North Melbourne coach Darren Crocker

    Up next
    It's season over for Geelong, while North Melbourne will face Richmond on the Tigers' home deck in a semi-final.

    GEELONG                               1.3     1.4     1.5    1.8  (14)
    NORTH MELBOURNE           2.1     2.2     2.3    2.4  (16)

    GOALS
    Geelong:
    Moloney
    North Melbourne:
    Abbatangelo, O'Loughlin

    BEST
    Geelong:
     A. McDonald, Morrison, Rankin, Bowen, Emonson
    North Melbourne: Garner, M. King, Bruton, Smith, Brown 

    INJURIES
    Geelong:
     Nil
    North Melbourne: Nil

    Reports: Nil

    Crowd: 4,338 at GMHBA Stadium

    Match stats will activate once the match has kicked off

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    Match stats will activate once the match has kicked off

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