The top 20 moments of AFLW S7: 20-16

MELBOURNE saluted for its maiden AFLW premiership, Ally Anderson bolted to take home the AFLW best and fairest and Brisbane got its home Grand Final at its new Brighton Homes Arena base.  

Season seven – the second AFLW edition in one year – proved to be full of highlights in an action-packed four months, with all 18 clubs participating for the first time.

After a lot of spirited debate, we've come up with our top 20 moments for the season, inclusive of the trade and draft period (but not counting season six earlier this year).

We'll be counting down the top 20 across a four-part series, starting with 20-16, so stay tuned to for the full reveal.

Top 20 moments of AFLW S7: 20-16

01:40 Dec 9. 2022. 9:09 AM

There were plenty of special moments in season seven of the AFLW, and we're counting down the 20 biggest stories

20. Retirees lead the way

It was a double chair-off in Fremantle and Hawthorn's final game of the season, with two inaugural stars in Kara Antonio and Jess Duffin hanging up the boots.

The pair have long been part of the fabric of the AFLW, with Antonio named the Dockers' first AFLW skipper, while Duffin is a former All-Australian and key player at both ends of the field with Collingwood, North Melbourne and the Hawks.

The pair kicked two goals apiece – with Duffin closing the gap late as the Hawks pushed for a win, ultimately falling short – to finish their careers on a high.

So far, we've also said farewell to newly named All-Australian key forward Courtney Wakefield, Tanya Hetherington and Ashlee Atkins.

Jess Duffin and Kara Antonio are chaired off after Fremantle's clash with Hawthorn in round 10, S7, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

19. Scoring power on show

Several scoring records were broken, or almost broken, throughout season seven with a number of sides finding a bite in attack not previously seen. 

Geelong and Sydney combined for the largest aggregate score in an AFLW game in round 10, kicking a shared 129 points to beat out Fremantle and Melbourne's 126 points of last season. As part of that game, the Cats became just the second side in history to break past the 100-point barrier. 

Eight different sides registered their highest ever score throughout the season, four of which were expansion clubs, but the other four were already existing clubs including Adelaide's impressive 97 points in round five. 

Going hand in hand, 20 per cent of games featured a team score of 60 or more points, the third-highest rate of any season and the highest of a season in which four or more expansion teams featured. 

The Bombers also hit the competition with a splash, kicking the highest score for a side in its first season with 84 points in round three, and averaged the fifth-highest score of any team in its inaugural season. 

AFLW S7 Highlights: Geelong v Sydney

05:31 Oct 29. 2022. 7:50 PM

The Cats and Swans clash in round 10 of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

18. Ham and Hurley's draft nom shock

The Victorian portion of the draft pool was turned on its head when two top prospects in Montana Ham and Sofia Hurley opted to nominate for New South Wales.

With Sydney holding the first five picks in that section of the draft, it meant the players were effectively assured of going to the expansion side, with Ham continuing to live in Victoria while she completed year 12 and flying up on the weekend.

Tall midfielder Ham ultimately was selected with pick No.1, and would have been in the running for the first selection in the Victorian pool (No.2) regardless, alongside Jasmine Fleming, while silky outside midfielder Hurley went to the Swans with No.5.

Montana Ham poses for a photo during the 2022 NAB AFLW Draft. Picture: AFL Photos

17. Ashanti's time to shine

Forward Ashanti Bush had shown flashes of brilliance in her previous six AFLW games, but saluted with a Goal of the Year winner against Greater Western Sydney in round 10. 

The 20-year-old showed breakneck speed away to pull from Jodie Hicks, while her composure to steady herself and slot a superb goal was also impressive.

Bush won the award ahead of Akec Makur Chuot and Danielle Ponter.

Lion Ruby Svarc also provided a stunning one-woman highlight, taking two bounces down the wing from defensive 50, before continuing to push into attack after handing the ball off. She followed up with a tackle near the goalsquare to win a free kick. 

Bush brilliance bags Goal of the Year

04:23 Nov 22. 2022. 9:41 PM

Gold Coast's Ashanti Bush becomes a worthy recipient of the AFLW Goal of the Year after a stunning finish on the burst

16. Coach's 'please explain'

Western Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke's frustrations with umpires boiled over at the conclusion of his side falling just short of Collingwood in the elimination final.

He ultimately received a 'please explain' from the AFL for his conduct, having crossed paths with the umpires as they were leaving the field and giving them a pointed look.

Burke had hurled what appeared to be a pen in the direction of the umpires' dugout at Ikon Park the week prior while celebrating the Dogs' last-gasp win over Carlton, sending them into the finals.

Nathan Burke reacts during round nine, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos