Fremantle’s hopes for a 2021 AFLW premiership were literally and figuratively blown away at Casey Fields on Saturday as Melbourne ran out 17-point winners in the qualifying final.
Melbourne adjusted well to the hot and blustery conditions in the do or die clash, as Freo only mustered short periods of dominance in the 5.10 (40) to 3.5 (23) loss.
Recently crowned AFLCA champion player of the year Kiara Bowers toiled bravely for Fremantle with a game-leading 20 possessions and 17 tackles.
After trailing by three goals at half time, Ashley Sharp provided Fremantle with a boost with a long-range goal from outside 50 that started a mini-run for Freo, who added two more before the final break through Sabreena Duffy and Gemma Houghton.
But Melbourne sailed home with the wind in the fourth to kick the only goal of the final quarter to put Freo’s 2021 hopes to bed.
Stephanie Cain and Matilda Sergeant (14 disposals) worked hard while Mim Strom had an admirable performance in the ruck with 12 hitouts, 12 disposals and five tackles.
The Dees will face Adelaide next week, with the victor to line up in the Grand Final.
More to come.
MELBOURNE 1.2 3.3 4.3 5.10 (40)
FREMANTLE 0.2 0.2 3.5 3.5 (23)
Melbourne: Scott 2¸ Bannan, Tarrant, Gay
Fremantle: Sharp, Duffy, Houghton
Melbourne: Paxman, Scott, Gay, Mithen, Cunningham
Fremantle: Bowers, Miller, Sergeant, Cain, Seth