No weather concerns for the AFL IC17 Women's Grand Final. Under the closed roof of Etihad Stadium. Pre game both sides warm up with no worries of a torrential down pour as blighted the men at the MCG earlier this morning.
4:20 pm - The team photos taken pre game - the field is cleared. Umpires enter.
4:25 pm - Players and umpires assemble - national anthems played.
Canada kicking to the 'left of screen' - the Northern or Footscray Rd end. No noticeable breeze!!!
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First Quarter2:00 : GOAL Canada all the early attacking. Legault sends inside F50 - a free kick to Nicole Robertson (in the back) and a goal. Canada 1.0.6 Ireland 0.0.0
Fitzpatrick on top of Gomez in the ruck - but Canada winning the clearances. Ireland yet to get past CHF.
5:40: GOAL Repeated Irish inside 50 entries. After a mark from Keating the loose ball inside 50 is swooped upon by Moriaty who blind turns with aplomb and levels the scores. Canada 1.0.6 Ireland 1.0.6
Ireland warming to the task - attacking more now. Winning clearances and looking more dangerous. Moriaty continues to be important - but suddenly the Lights rebound via Legault clearance from D50 and Moreau on the burst through the centre. Stoppage Canada CHF.
9:30 : Moreau tackles Corrigan-Duryea deep forward pocket - kicks to hot spot in front of goal - Kirwan can't find space and is done for holding the ball.
12:00 :Legault is everywhere - another intercept mark and Canada goes forward. Corrigan-Duryea is happy to escort the ball over the line.
Nicole Robertson just too far out - shot drops short and skipper Corrigan-Duryea marks - Ireland repel again.
14:00 : BEHIND The battle of the captains again - Legault long shot is bouncing goalward - but Corrigan-Duryea is there to get hands to the ball and see it through for a behind. Corrigan-Duryea brings the ball back into play. Canada 1.1.7 Ireland 1.0.616:15 : Canada attacking again - Connelly has been getting busy up forward - a snap from Geraghty out on the full beside left point post.
17:00 : Breen for Ireland get's sandwiched in a Legault and Ireland tackle/bump combination.
Ireland early forward movement - stoppage just inside F50 near the logo. Gillespie and Breen getting busy - Canada under pressure.
2:00 : McCann chases down Canadian defender - draws a frew deep in the pocket on the boundary - shot goes out on the full on the near side.
3:20 :Legault again - sends ball forward - N.Robertson marks strong and kicks into space for Kirwan to run onto - but there's Corrigan-Duryea - a solid bump and the ball is safe out of bounds.
4:20 :Now it's Canadian skipper Legault again clearing from the D50 - a boundary throw in on the back flank and from the clearance it's Legault again on the run who delivers forward to Perry who kicks precisely inside 50 and it's Moreau on the lead marking and kicking deep towards the top of the square.
6:45 : GOALBall sent forward by Hilmi, and it's Legault crumbing the pack - dishes out to Charnelle Willis in space who marks the Irish pay. Canada 2.1.13 Ireland 1.0.68:30 : BEHIND Canada attacking - Irish under pressure - Legault goes goal ward but it's rushed through. Canada 2.2.14 Ireland 1.0.69:40 : GOAL Moreau hits up the top of the goal square - Corrigan-Duryea unlucky not to be paid - ball spills and Hainsworth is in the back of Rolfe who takes the free and can't and doesn't miss. Canada 3.2.20 Ireland 1.0.6
Canada on top but a couple of frees give the Irish the chance to control the ball - desperate to get back on the board - Quinn unlucky not to get the mark but draws the free at wide half forward - the pass to McGee drops short - throw in sharked by Moreau back towards the centre circle but it's Ireland with a quick kick marked by Behan.
13:30 : GOAL Inside 50 - contest 35m out - Gillespie runs onto it and left foot straight through the middle - massive goal for the Irish. Canada 3.2.20 Ireland 2.0.12
Ireland have a spark - Moriaty, Keeting and Behan in the play - Gillespie takes a mark but the stoppage kick is Gaelicesque in the extreme even if the word doesn't exist. Breen had a chance but fumbled and the eventual right foot snap went nowhere. Across the face and a stoppage in the Irish right forward pocket - only for guess who - Amiee Legault runs it out. Ball comes back in - but the Irish are messing around a bit - Cullen is pinged for holding the ball - and again Canada find Legault to clear the D50 - she IS everywhere - or there might be 4 of her out there.
Canada dominated the early part of that quarter - and kicked out to a 14 point lead. Ireland were nearing the point of no return and responded as should be expected and won the 2nd half of the quarter. Staying in touch - 8 points down at the main break. Legault has been covering more territory than the early explorers for the Northern Lights.
Canada:N.Robertson, Willis, Rolfe
Ireland: Moriaty, Gillespie
Surprise not - Legault sends Canada forward - but Breen takes a vital mark in the D50 from the Hilmi kick in. Ireland get out of trouble - Canada getting pressured and forced to concede ground on the wing - a ball 20m Irish side near the Toyota Logo and Gomez and Fitzpatrick resume hostilities of a duel that looks set to run all afternoon.
3 scoreless minutes - another stoppages - Moreau can't clear and is shut down quick smart but the ball spills again to Legault. Still no one marking clear head way - being played within a 30m radius of the Toyota logo - but then a free to Moreau and Canada is able to work the ball inside F50 -eventually a throw in 30m around from the left point post.
5:20 :Still no score - right foot snap from Moreau doesn't make the distance - boundary throw in around from the right point post for Canada - spills to Hilmi who shoots across goal and another stoppage. Canada not able to hit the board despite minutes spent deep forward.
Nearing 8 scoreless minutes - both teams having chances but fumbles and mistakes are thwarting clean movement. Both sides seem to be tiring -
9:00 : GOAL - suddenly it's Ireland who get the ball inside F50 and against the trend of play the ball bounces kindly for Connolly to run onto it and put Ireland right back in the contest on the scoreboard. Canada 3.3.21 Ireland 3.0.1811:00 :Ireland looking dangerous but the delicious irony of Canada's Ireland marking in D50 and clearing to repel this particular foray.
12:20 : Canada back inside F50 after a free against Flannery - stoppage again - Legault kicks towards the hot spot - 25m out from goal - eventually it's Moreau who has a high kick to the top of the square - ball ends up over the line for a throw in beside the right point post. This is Canada's trouble this quarter - plenty of F50 time but nothing to show for it.
14:15 : Corrigan-Duryea gets the clearing kick and finds Behan on the wing - pressure off - after another stoppage - it's a mark to Keating - and Ireland inside F50 - a mad scramble as the ball works towards the boundary near the intersect with the arc. Another stoppage and no one is going anywhere quick. Nearing last minute and a half.
17:00 :Donnelly draws the hold from Willis - kick attacks the goal square where Moreau saves the day - clearing kick as the quarter ticks down - play is paused as Roarty is down for the Irish - the siren sounds as the trainers arrive.
Roarty is okay to start - but there's an infringement that delivers Canada a free from the centre and the kick inside F50 is marked by - Roarty for the Irish who clears back into the centre square. Canada send it back in though and this time the pack contest and the ball goes to ground. Ball up - Kirwan handball out to Rolfe but it's Mulcahy who repels for Ireland. Willis sends Canada back inside F50 where Moreau has a chance but can't connect.
2:00 :Corrigan-Duryea concedes free for high contact on N.Robertson for Canada - but the distance just too far - ball falls short and Kelly handball allows Corrigan-Duryea to clear the danger zone.
Canada again having the ball in their forward half for most of the first 4 minutes - Hilmi puts them inside F50 - just - ball spills for the Irish but near the boundary and Corrigan-Duryea can't keep her kick in play - out on the full - the kick back in though is marked by Quinn for the Irish and an attempt is made to switch play to the city side - eventually via a handball out to Corrigan-Duryea who sends the clearing kick to the AFL house wing.
5:15 : BEHIND Ireland force it forward and the Connolly again gets in space but her shot goes left for a minor - the first blemish for the Banshees but also the first score of the quarter. Canada 3.3.21 Ireland 3.1.197:15 : GOAL Now it's Irelands turn to camp the ball inside forward 50 - Corrigan-Duryea has pushed forward to help out and her ruck work knocked the ball toward the goal square where Colleen Quinn is able to grab the ball and throw it on the boot to put Ireland in front for the first time today. Canada 3.3.21 Ireland 4.1.258:45 :Boom crash....and down goes Breen, met heavily after her kick - play is stopped - the free comes back for Ireland and again it's Corrigan-Duryea who gets on the end of it to clear the zone by foot.
11:00 :The good players are getting involved for both sides - but a couple trying just too much to make something happen - but no one clears and it's a stoppage midfield - now it is Legault again who clears but it's Breen who takes the saving mark for the Irish. Then it's Kirwan who gets the ball, runs her measure and kicks inside F50 for Canada - mark to Moreau - kick near the top of the square but a field of green shirts on the green field of Etihad.
13:30 :MOREAU you beauty - a big mark - but about 40 out - just too far, runs around on the mark and still the shot falls just short - goes wide - out of bounds right forward pocket. The Irish defender panics a little and puts it out on the full. But still too far out. Another clearing kick and marked by Nguyen - her kick forward finds Hilmi - but again outside her range.
15:30 : Entering last 2 minutes - ball still inside Canada half - city side flank - the scrimmage moves inside the F50 and a free for Canada - they go deep into the pocket where all but 2 players are inside the F50 for Canada who trail by 4 points.
16:45 :The kick forward - Robertson in good position but Kelly spoils for Ireland. Another stoppage, Hilmi can't get a clear kick - time is running out and siren goes - Ireland have regained the trophy and taken revenge for 3 years prior.
The Irish were behind for most the day but in front when it counted. They defended grimly and made it very hard for the Northern Lights forwards - no space was left available. For Canada - Legault couldn't have done much more and with 6 scoring shots to 5 - the Canadians gave themselves every opportunity.