Day two of our countdown of the AFLW’s best matches of 2017 features two teams that struggled to find their feet early on in the inaugural season, but their round five clash was certainly memorable.
The winless Fremantle was struggling without some key West Australians in the squad, and Collingwood had lost its first three games of the season before breaking through for a maiden victory against the Bulldogs the week prior.
With the slim hopes of each club making the Grand Final already hanging by a thread, the Dockers and Magpies put on a sensational show at Rushton Park, entering our countdown at number nine.
10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 10
10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 8
10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 7
10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 6
10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 5
10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 4
10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 3
10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 2
10 best AFLW matches of 2017: Number 1
You got the feeling that this one was going to be a corker when Dockers captain Kara Donnellan was on the end of a perfectly placed Ashley Sharp handball to kick the opener, and the Magpies’ first goal – a smart snap from Bree White after some incredible forward pressure – confirmed those suspicions.
It looked as though Fremantle had found its groove for the first time all season in the early going, but a hungry Collingwood outfit was determined to continue its winning ways, taking a lead into quarter time and not looking like relinquishing it.
If only it was that straight forward for the Magpies.
Despite getting out to a two-goal lead at the half, Fremantle burst out of the blocks with two goals early on in the third term to take the lead by a point, but Alicia Eva’s blistering speed ensured Collingwood would be in front at the final break.
Though they were down by five points, Fremantle managed five scoring shots to one in the final term, which would result in a victory on any other day.
Instead, the Dockers could not find the big sticks despite having five opportunities, the worst missed chance funnily enough coming from Ashley Sharp, who did so well to set up the game’s opening major of the match but casually butchered a chance to level the scores.
With less than 40 seconds left, Moana Hope took a pack mark across half-back and pulled the classic ‘my back hurts so I can’t get up’ routine to allow the majority of the remaining seconds to tick away, leaving Fremantle to rue what should have been.
Against all odds, Collingwood held on for a one-point victory.
All the highlights from Fremantle and Collingwood’s round five meeting can be viewed below!
Fremantle: 2.1, 2.1, 4.2, 4.7 (31)
Collingwood: 3.0, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2 (32)
Fremantle: Kara Donnellan, Kira Phillips, Gemma Houghton, Amy Lavell
Collingwood: Bree White, Moana Hope, Cecilia McIntosh, Jessica Cameron, Alicia Eva
Fremantle: Lara Filocamo (21), Dana Hooker (20), Gemma Houghton (15)
Collingwood: Nicola Stevens (18), Melissa Kuys (17), Jessica Cameron (12), Alicia Eva (12)