K rock Football

Cats in finals box seat

AFLW newbies Geelong have ground their way to the top of Conference B with two rounds to play, restricting Brisbane to the lowest score in the competition’s history in a 27-point win.

The Lions were left to rue wastefulness by hand and foot as they racked up possessions in the first half but couldn’t find go-forward on home turf.

A goal to Geelong’s Mia-Rae Clifford on the half-time buzzer and a quick brace in the following term killed off the Lions in a 5.5 (35) to 1.2 (8) win.

Kate Darby kicked three for the Cats, her first coming in peculiar circumstances that could turn out to be goal of the year.

Darby twisted and turned on the ground to somehow get boot to ball after being tackled when she opted to pick up the loose ball in front of goal.

“It was a bit scary being chased down from behind, I was glad I was able to pull it out of nowhere in the end,” Darby said post-game.

“It’s good to know we’re surprising people (with our results), but we’re not surprising ourselves.”

Brisbane’s Kate McCarthy kicked the host’s first to level the scores at 7-7 in the second quarter. But that was as good as it got for last year’s grand finalists, who lacked the composure needed to find clear space.

A nasty head knock to Shannon Campbell was more bad news for Craig Starcevich’s side, who are back to square one after a morale-boosting defeat of defending champions Western Bulldogs last week.

It was the Cats’ first win on the road as they improved to 3-2, ahead of the Lions (2-3) in second.

“When you’re working that hard you want some value for your work … but we didn’t take our chances,” Starcevich said.

“We are alive (and with a chance of playing finals), believe it or not … we’ve played some decent footy and some very ordinary footy.

“There will be some soul searching after this one.”

© AAP 2019

GEELONG 1.1 2.1 4.3 5.5 (35)

BRISBANE LIONS 0.1 1.1 1.2 1.2 (8)

Goals: Geelong: K Darby 3 M Clifford O Purcell. Brisbane Lions: K McCarthy.

Best: Geelong: K Darby M Clifford R Cranston R Garing O Purcell J Ivey. Brisbane Lions: A Anderson E Bates N Exon K Lutkins.

Injuries: Geelong: P McWilliams (dislocated fingers). Brisbane Lions: S Campbell (head knock).

Reports: Nil.

Venue: Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex.