Joint best on ground medallist Ebony Antonio had a tongue in cheek take on the miracle goal that set the tone for Fremantle in a 28-point RAC Derby win at Fremantle Oval on Saturday evening.
During the first quarter Antonio crumbed the ball on the far flank on the 50m line before running 25 metres along the boundary and kicking it through with a check side snap.
She said the goal came in part due to her backing herself in to kick the goal instead of taking heed to wife Kara Antonio’s pleas to pass it.
“All I can remember is ‘Juddy’ screaming at me to kick it, kick it!” Antonio said.
“But I backed in my old legs, took a few more steps, threw it on the boot and I’m lucky it went in.”
With Fremantle starting the game kicking against a strong wind that reached 50km/h throughout the game, Antonio said Fremantle’s aim was to limit the damage in the opening term, but her miracle goal meant it was Freo who took a one-goal lead at quarter time.
“It was a really tough start. We knew that if they kicked with the wind we’d be up against it,” Antonio said.
“We felt that they would kick a couple goals early, so if we could get one on the board that would put us in good stead in the second quarter.”
That goal got Fremantle rolling as well as Antonio, who went on to kick three goals to go with her 12 disposals and five tackles.
“Just to get that goal, it gave the girls a lot of momentum into the second quarter,” Antonio said.
“It definitely got me up and about. Lucky enough I had one up on my opponent and I thoroughly enjoyed our one-on-one battle.”
Antonio’s efforts also managed to put a minor blemish on Kiara Bowers’ impressive RAC Derby record.
Bowers had three best on ground medals from the three RAC Derby clashes leading into the game. As a joint medallist in the fourth RAC Derby, Antonio is the closest anyone has come to stopping Bowers’ run.
“She had 17 disposals to half time, that’s incredible numbers for an AFLW game,” Antonio said.
“Turbo’s fantastic, the work she did during the pre-season was phenomenal. She’s an awesome player, won the top individual award last year with the W Award and I’m really looking to watching her for the rest of the season.
“I’m just happy to get the win. To get a medal is also great but to get the end result, that is just awesome.
“I don’t really like individual awards, a bit like Turbo herself.”