K rock Football

Cats book grand final berth

Geelong coach Paul Hood speaks to his players following their 14-point preliminary final win over Collingwood. (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

GEELONG has set-up a mouth-watering VFL Women’s Grand Final meeting with Hawthorn after beating Collingwood by 14 points in the preliminary final at North Port Oval, 5.12 (42) to 4.4 (28).

After holding the Magpies to just one goal through the opening three quarters to take a 27-point lead, the Cats had to see off a mini-challenge from the minor premier to advance to next week’s decider at Etihad Stadium.

“We were terrific behind the ball, and those players at the ball were fantastic, too, with the pressure they put the Magpies under,” coach Paul Hood.

“It was hard for them to get too many clear looks at goal, and we did a good job stopping their run and being able to surge the ball forward.

“I was really pleased with the way the day panned out.”

An early goal from Maddy McMahon got Geelong off the perfect start, and the Cats were never headed from that point on.

However, the Pies did kick three of the last four goals of the contest to give Hood some nervous moments late.

“Collingwood was always going to go down swinging,” he said.

“They threw the kitchen sink at us in the last quarter, and it was hard to stop everything.

“Cassie Blakeway kicked a vital goal halfway through the last quarter, which really steadied the nerves.”

Hood was full of praise for McMahon, who assumed the ruck role after first-choice big Erin Hoare failed to recover from a foot injury suffered early in the previous week’s first semi-final against NT Thunder.

“She had a super game,” Hood said.

“She was giving away a couple of inches in the ruck. But, as she does, she just fought hard, and around the ground, she was really dynamic.”

Anna Teague also impressed in her role in defence.

“A few huge tackles, some nice marks, spoils, and was really good around the ball,” Hood said.

Richelle Cranston also continued her outstanding season, while Maddie Keryk, Maddy Boyd and captain Bec Goring also played key roles.

Hood says Hoare was “touch-and-go” to play against Collingwood, giving Geelong hope she will be right to take on the Hawks.

“We’ll see how she heals this week,” he said.

“If she can get up and not put herself at any risk (of further injury), we’ll be really excited about her coming back into the team.”

“I think we’ll know pretty early with her mobility on the foot.”

Geelong Falcons graduate Nina Morrison is also set to return after sitting out the game due to school commitments.

Twitter: @tom_king79

GEELONG        1.5, 2.5, 4.9, 5.12 (42)

COLLINGWOOD        0.0, 1.0, 1.0, 4.4 (28)

Goals, Geelong: M. McMahon, J. Ivey, K. Darby, M. Boyd, C. Blakeway

Collingwood: J. Lambert, S. Livingstone, J. Edwards,  S. Alexander

Best, Geelong: M. McMahon, A. Teague, R. Cranston, M. Keryk, M. Boyd, R. Goring

Collingwood: S. D’Arcy, K. Stratton, J. Lambert, B. Bonnici, E. Grant, K. Lee

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