K rock Football

Cats comeback falls short

Olivia Barber flies for a mark in Geelong’s VFLW loss to Collingwood. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

OLIVIA Barber has staked her claim for an instant recall to Geelong’s AFLW team after a three-goal haul in the Cats’ season-opening VFLW loss to Collingwood at Deakin Uni.

The Cats came from 22 points down early in the final quarter, with Barber kicking a goal with just over three minutes remaining to make the margin two points.

However, Geelong couldn’t find a match-winning major and lost 7.2 (44) to 6.6 (42).

“The girls never gave up and fought their way back and probably had an opportunity to sneak over the line, but Collingwood were too good on the day,” coach Andrew Bruce told bay93.9’s The Sideline View.

“(A) lot to learn out of it, (a) lot to like about it, but things to fix as well.”

After an even first quarter in which Collingwood held a one-point lead, the visitors skipped away to a 12 point buffer with a 3.0 to 1.1 second quarter.

That margin was pushed out to as much as 24 points in the third quarter before Geelong kicked into gear.

“Collingwood, certainly, were really hard at it in the first half, and we just couldn’t quite get our game together.

“The girls kept on trying to pressure, and that pressure brought the ability to win the footy, and as the game went on, we started to use it a whole lot more.

“I think it’s pretty easy for sides once they get to that 4-5 goals down to think that they’re not going to get over the line.

“But, our girls kept on pushing and believing and nearly got there in the end.”

As well as Barber, out-of-favour ruck Rene Caris and midfielder Laura Gardiner, who was dropped after making her debut last week, impressed out of the small AFLW contingent in the Cats’ line-up.

Georgia Clarke kicked two goals as she also looks to regain her AFLW spot.

Former Geelong Falcon Paige Sheppard, ex-Casey Demon Breanna Pratt and German debutant Theresia Meissner were best of the VFLW group.

Twitter: @tom_king79

COLLINGWOOD  1.2, 4.2, 6.2, 7.2 (44)

GEELONG  1.1, 2.2, 3.4, 6.6 (42)

Goals: Collingwood: K. Stratton 2, I. Barnett 2, M. Zander, B. Smith, M. Shevlin. Geelong: O. Barber 3, G. Clarke 2, D. Moloney.

Best: Collingwood: I. Barnett, M. Zander, M. Shevlin, G. Ricardo, J. Ferguson, E. Jackson. Geelong: R. Caris, P. Sheppard, B. Pratt, O. Barber, T. Meissner, L. Gardiner.