The Crows will host the Brisbane Lions in next Saturday’s AFLW season decider at Adelaide Oval after both teams won their respective preliminary finals.
- The Crows earned the right to host the grand final after finishing the home-and-away season on top of the ladder
- They will face the Lions, who beat the Magpies in their preliminary final
- The Crows are chasing their third flag after winning in 2017 and 2019
The Crows, who are chasing a third AFLW flag, beat the Demons 5.3 (33) to 1.9 (15) at Adelaide Oval this afternoon.
The Lions, who lost to the Crows in the inaugural AFLW grand final in 2017, advanced following a tense 7.3 (45) to 6.5 (41) triumph at the Gabba.
It will be the Lions’ third grand final appearance.
The Crows’ victory, however, has been soured by a head injury sustained by Crows captain Chelsea Randall, who is set to miss the grand final because of the league’s strict concussion protocols.
Randall left the field in the first quarter after colliding heavily with Melbourne’s Eliza McNamara, who also took no further part in the contest.
The Crows earned the right to host the grand final after finishing the home-and-away season on top of the ladder.
Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard were pivotal for the Crows in the win over the Demons, with 35 and 27 possessions respectively.
The Demons, inspired by Karen Paxman and Tyla Hanks, were left to rue missed opportunities.
The in-form visitors, who were shooting for their sixth win in a row, had the upper hand for long periods of the first half but could not take their chances.
The Crows countered well, with Erin Phillips kicking a goal in the first and second terms to give her side a 10-point lead at half-time.
A notable increase in intensity from the Crows after the break allowed Chloe Scheer and Hatchard to hit the scoreboard, the home side leading the goalless Demons by 21 points at three-quarter time.
LoadingEloise Jones provided a highlight for the home crowd early in the final term with a brilliant tap and soccered goal.
Kate Hore booted one back to give Melbourne a glimmer of hope, but it was to be her side’s only goal of the afternoon.
Lions tame Magpies
The Lions were pushed all the way through to the full-time siren before confirming the result.(AAP: Dan Peled
The Magpies looked to be storming home after a strong third quarter, but final-term goals from Greta Bodey and Dakota Davidson were enough to secure the win for the Lions.
A captivating battle between Brisbane’s Catherine Svarc (11 disposals, eight tackles) and star Magpie Bri Davey (23 disposals) was a highlight, as was the forward presence of the Lions’ Davidson (three goals).
Ally Anderson was also strong for the home team with 24 disposals, while Brittany Bonnici (18 disposals) battled well for the visitors.
The Magpies poured on the pressure early in the match, scoring the first two goals in the opening six minutes.
Jaimee Lambert hit the scoreboard first with a precision drop punt from tight in the forward pocket, before Ruby Schleicher marked a rushed Lions clearance about 40 metres out from goal and kicked truly.
The home team hit the scoreboard against the run of play when livewire forward Jessica Wuetschner dribbled through a quick snap with the Lions first inside 50 of the match.
LoadingThe Lions were lucky to be only eight points down at the first break but flicked the switch in the second quarter, increasing their tackling pressure and contested possession numbers to score four straight goals.
Davidson provided the spark, scoring two goals and marking strongly to complement goals from Bodey and Orla O’Dwyer.
A goal to Collingwood’s Tarni Brown stemmed the damage, limiting the home team’s lead to 10 points at half-time.
The momentum swung back to the Magpies in the third quarter as they scored two unanswered goals to take a two-point lead into the final quarter.
The Lions came back strongly, kicking two more goals in the final quarter, before Collingwood brought the margin back to within a goal with less than a minute remaining in the last term thanks to a 45-metre bomb from Ashleigh Brazill.
But it was not enough to peg back the Lions, who are yet to tastes AFLW premiership success.