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Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 06:25 pm ACST

Blues sink Pies again in AFLW season opener

Australia

AFLW Round 1  Carlton vs. Collingwood

Venue: Ikon Park Date: 2/2/18 Time: 7:45pm

The AFLW season opened once again with the clash of arch rivals Collingwood and Carlton. The match was held at Ikon Park, the home of the Carlton Football Club on a Friday night with an offical attendance of 19,852.

Image Source: Twitter @CarltonFC

About two hours before the match the crowds poured into the ground in their thousands and about 20 minutes before the first bounce the ground was almost full. The atmosphere at the ground was building with fans coming in their thousands. The Pies started the match by kicking to the eastern end of the ground and the Blues to western (Legends Stand) end of the ground.

Collingwood had a lot of the ball and ascendency in the first quarter but were unable to make the most of their opportunities when they had possession. In the first quarter Jasmine Garner for the Pies kicked the first goal of the match and she has now slotted through the first goal two years in a row against the Blues.

Former Wimbledon Hawk player Kate Shierlaw kicked truly for the Blues first goal to even things up. It was a tight opening term. Carlton have now gained some of the ascendency back in the game. The Blues were also cleaner in their forward half towards the end of the first term with new star recruit Tayla Harris from the Lions who kicked the Blues second goal of the match.

Carlton had a lot of inside 50s towards the middle and end of the first quarter. Chloe Molloy in her first game played a bit in the middle but mostly in the backline for most of the night and was the best for the Pies along with Barden. Brianna Davey, Harris and Stevens were best for the Bues. On one of the rare times the ball came near to Darcy Vescio a big roar came from the crowd when Vescio grabbed hold of the ball in the half forward line and kicked for goal but it dribbled through for a point.

In the second term Alison Downie (#30) kicked truly for goal for Carlton. Molloy was holding up well in defence for her Pies, you would not think that she was playing her first match for the club. Barden for the Pies kicked for goal and gets it (something out of nothing). A goal separated both teams at half time.

Molloy and Harris began the second half as they finished the first leading the way for both their respective teams. S.D'Arcy was reported in the third term for kicking Sarah Hosking from the Blues after she had marked the footy midway through the third. Molloy continued to play well down back for the Pies in the third. It was a tight end to the third quarter with both teams playing well with neither team able to get ascendancy that quarter and capitalise with their possession of the ball.

At the start of the last Carlton continued to play well in the middle and Molloy continued to stand strong in defence for the Pies. Carlton were getting on top in the contest early on in the last quarter. Collingwood kept on fumbling the ball inside 50, but finally they were able to mark the footy inside 50 but they are unable to capitalise on the scoreboard. Molloy played really well in defence for the Pies and held up their backline well for majority of the night.

The contest tightened up again with both teams unable to gain free possession of the ball from out of the middle halfway through the final term. Carlton barely hung on to the lead in the final 10 minutes of play, as Collingwood were slowly pressing in their forward line with a lot of inside 50s. There a couple of minutes left in the game and Collingwood were still attacking and pressing trying hard to take the lead in the match and win after chasing all match. Carlton's midfield and defence played well all night and held up well to the Pies attacking play.

This match was tightly fought by both teams from start to finish with the Blues their noses in front at each break and at full time. Chloe Molloy was a standout in defence for Collingwood and also all over the ground in her first match. This may have come as a surprise to those who saw her tie the goalkicking in the 2017 VFL season, and was a good demonstration of her versatility.  She definitely did not let the "Molloy" name down at the Pies tonight she played very well racking up 20 disposals and leading the disposals for her team.

New recruit for the Blues Tayla Harris from the Lions played exceptionally well for her new team, as she applied immense pressure to the Pies players on and off the ball and her marking was amazing too when the footy was down in the Blues forward half. Brianna Davey was everywhere for the Blues this match ending the match with 16 disposals.

The Blues barely hung on to the lead in the last few minutes before the siren could sound for the end of the match, as Collingwood were doing all of the attacking for most of the last quarter. Unfortunately for the whole match Collingwood were unable to make the most of their opportunities when they had possession of the ball and their kicking inside 50 was scrappy and not clean.

Carlton were a lot cleaner and slicker with the ball and their skills tonight. This was what separated both teams when the siren sounded as the Navy Blues had a bit more polish and clean when required during the match. As a result the Navy Blues won over their arch rivals the Pies in a tight tussle. This match has been a nail biting start to the AFLW for 2018.  I hope that all the matches for the remainder of Round 1 will be tightly contested and fought out to the very end by both teams, as this match was.

CARLTON              2.1   3.1   3.4   3.4   (22)                  
COLLINGWOOD    1.0   2.1   2.1   2.2   (14)           

GOALS
Carlton: Shierlaw, Harris, Downie
Collingwood: Garner, Barden

BEST 
Carlton: Harris, Davey, Hardiman, J.Hosking, S.Hoskin, Stevens
Collingwood: Molloy, Chiocci, Lambert, McIntosh, Garner 

INJURIES 
Carlton: Nil
Collingwood: Duffin (strained adductor, replaced in selected side by Schleicher)

Reports: Sarah D'Arcy (Collingwood) reported for kicking Sarah Hosking (Carlton) in the third quarter 

Crowd: 19,852 at Ikon Park

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