A devastating third-quarter blast has propelled St Kilda to an emphatic 29-point AFLW victory over an outgunned Geelong at Moorabbin on Friday night.
The first half was a defensive arm wrestle with neither side giving an inch, but the Saints burst clear after the main break, piling on five consecutive goals to open up a 37-point lead in the final term and put the result to bed.
Jacqui Vogt celebrates after scoring for St Kilda against Geelong on Friday night.Credit:Getty Images
Not even the loss of power from some light towers could stop St Kilda as star forward Caitlin Greiser (three goals) guided them to a 7.9 (51) to 3.4 (22) victory, which snapped a two-game losing skid and crucially kept them in touch with the top six.
Meanwhile, the Cats’ finals hopes are all but cooked as they remain winless after four rounds and anchored to the bottom of the ladder nearing the halfway mark of the season.
Greiser enjoyed strong support from the likes of Tilly Lucas-Rodd, Rosie Dillon, Tyanna Smith and Georgia Patrikios who all got plenty of the ball, while Rhiannon Watt had another superb game in the ruck.
St Kilda coach Peta Searle was pleased with the way Greiser responded after a quiet first quarter.
“I thought Meg [McDonald] probably got on top of her a bit in that first quarter,” Searle said.
“This was really good for Caitlin. She also did her finger so she was working through the finger, she was working through the fact that she was owned a bit by Meg and then to be able to come back and show resilience, fight through it and then impose herself I think is going to be a really pivotal moment for her I think going forward.”
Rebecca Webster (24), Amy McDonald (21), Olivia Purcell (19) and captain McDonald (18) stood out for the Cats with 82 touches between them.
St Kilda comfortably won the disposal count 234-201 and were ultimately hungrier than the Cats, coming out on top in the contested possessions 105-89.
Geelong dominated play early, but broke down when entering their forward 50 and missed shots on goal from Olivia Barber, Richelle Cranston and Madeleine Boyd ensured their third goalless first quarter this year.
Greiser gave the Saints the quarter-time lead against the run of play when she ran into an open goal following a terrible Cats turnover in the middle of the ground.
It became apparent in the second period that this was a contest between two bottom-eight sides as a raft of turnovers from both teams saw the game played largely between the arcs.
But St Kilda flicked the switch in the third term, booting 3.6 to no score as they completely overwhelmed their opponents.
The Saints more than quadrupled Geelong for inside 50s for the term (13-3) as Geelong’s defence, which had been resolute in the first half, failed to withstand the onslaught and collapsed under the pressure.
There were shades of Waverley Park 1996 late in the third quarter when the main light towers went out. Luckily, the temporary lights remained on and saved the day. Thankfully, it was only a fleeting loss of power, and they were switched back on in time for the start of the final term. St Kilda’s men’s team was involved in a similar incident 25 years ago against Essendon. Only this time, there was no need to return to the ground on Tuesday night to complete the game.
SHIERLAW STUNNER SHOCKS CATS
St Kilda co-captain Kate Shierlaw sparked her side into action after half-time with the first of five consecutive goals for the Saints – and what a beauty it was. After gathering the loose ball out the back 40 metres out on the boundary line, Shierlaw went for a run, arched her back, burnt her opponent, steadied and slapped the Sherrin on her right foot from 25 metres out for a sensational snap.
MAGIC McCARTHY MOMENT
Saints vice-captain Kate McCarthy left the ground in the first term to undergo concussion-testing after a heavy tackle from Sophie Van De Heuvel. But she was able to return to the game in the second half and, after having a quiet game, put the icing on the cake when she snapped truly from the pocket late in the final term and celebrated with a double fist pump.
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