10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 8

Coming in at number eight in our countdown of the 10 best AFLW matches of 2017 is undoubtedly the biggest upset of the season.

Entering round five, the GWS Giants only had a draw to their name and, while having periods of competitiveness, looked a step behind the competition at times.

The Giants celebrate their maiden AFLW win. Image: Brendon Thorne/AFL Media

On the other hand, the Melbourne Demons were flying. Having stumbled in the first round in the wet against Brisbane, the Demons had looked all-conquering, and a trip to New South Wales looked like it would surely result in another four points on their way to making the Grand Final.

But to kick off round five in front of a passionate-but-small following of Giants fans (nice job scheduling the game at 5pm on a Friday, AFL), and in the rainy conditions at Blacktown International Sportspark, the Dees would again stumble in the wet.

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This game was a great example of why a match doesn’t have to be high scoring to be thoroughly entertaining.

Though there were only four goals kicked between the two teams, the story that played out on the field was captivating.

It looked as though Melbourne had things in hand in the first quarter thanks to the continued dominance of Karen Paxman, but a quick transition forward allowed Jacinda Barclay to kick the first goal for GWS well against the run of play.

The match officially became and ‘upset alert’ when Aimee Schmidt got her boot to the ball to give GWS a 12-point lead at quarter time.

The Giants then displayed their sensational defensive pressure by holding the Demons goalless in the second term, but it seemed inevitable that Melbourne would eventually grasp the contest and claim victory in the second half.

But when Rebecca Beeson blew the margin out to 16 points from a free kick goal after the half-time break, it quickly became hard to image that Melbourne could come back.

Finally, Catherine Phillips would put Melbourne on the board with a goal, opening the door for a possible final term comeback.

Another goalless quarter would occur in the final term, but it was perhaps the most enthralling quarter of footy all season, as Melbourne went agonisingly close on multiple occasions to tying the scores up or taking a lead.

There was no better chance than when Ainslie Kemp gathered the ball off a pack and threw the ball on her boot from close range, but missed the middle of the big sticks.

With the ball up their end in the closing moments, the Giants made sure the upset would stand, claiming their first ever AFLW win.

You can watch all the highlights from the GWS’s upset win over Melbourne below!

Match report: Giants hold off inaccurate Demons for maiden AFLW win

GWS: 2.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2 (20)
Melbourne: 0.1, 0.3, 1.4, 1.9 (15)

Goals
GWS: Jacinda Barclay, Aimee Schmidt, Rebecca Beeson
Melbourne: Catherine Phillips

Leading disposals
GWS: Jess Dal Pos (19), Emma Swanson (15), Alex Williams (10)
Melbourne: Karen Paxman (24), Daisy Pearce (22), Elise O’Dea (15)

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