Contributed by: Tash Gunawardana
In the inaugural Queensland women’s clash, Lions and Suns played out the AFLW’s fourth ever draw at Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon, in front of 4,233 fans.
It was a great battle of AFLW football.
Before the opening bounce Lions coach Craig Starcevich was a late out after falling ill and he was admitted to hospital on Friday morning, with the results still to be confirmed.
Daniel Merrett filled in as caretaker coach.
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Goal Coast Suns’ Kalinda Howarth starred with three goals in what was a career best.
Howarth kicked three of her teams goals.
Kate Lutkins from the Lions was best on ground and awarded the QClash Medal in the first Queensland clash with 22 disposals, 20 kicks and two handballs.
Lutkins was huge, as she was able to stop one attack after another from Suns in the second half and was the main reason Lions were able to stick with Suns.
Lions star midfielder Emily Bates was also influential through the midfield with 24 disposals, six tackles and 18 kicks.
It was a strong contested game of football.
For the Lions, Rheanne Lugg, round 2 rising star Jesse Wardlaw and Sophie Conway combined with four goals.
It was a tale of two halves with Lions controlling the first half and Suns were the team of the second half.
Lions booted through two goals and kept the Suns scoreless in the opening term.
Lugg on her birthday kicked the opening two goals of the Queensland clash.
In the second quarter, both teams slotted through two goals each.
Wardlaw kicked the first goal in the second quarter.
Howarth responded with two goals in a row and brought the margin back to seven points.
Conway nailed through a first-class goal and her teammates got around her with excitement, in what was the Lions second major of the second term.
The pressure from Lions was top notch in the first half.
Lions Belle Dawes applied an incredible rundown tackle on Sam Virgo.
Conway dominated the first half with her tackling, as she had six tackles.
The Suns were the team of the second half, as they did not allow Lions kick a goal.
Britt Perry kicked the only goal for the Suns in the third term.
A third quarter highlight was Dakota Davidson with a don’t argue on Serene Watson.
Emily Bates and Maria Moloney clashed with Leah Kaslar.
Kaslar came off second best from the tough contest in the final quarter.
It was desperate footy in the last six minutes of the match, as the Suns came hard at the Lions.
The ball was nicely kicked into the Suns forward line to Kalinda Howarth who levelled the scores up in the Queensland clash.
Lions were held goalless in the second half due to the immense defense showed from the Suns.
The Suns kept on pressing in the final term, as they had 12 inside 50s to Lions one.
They finished with a flurry, but just could not get that much needed goal.
With the draw, Lions remain undefeated and are top of the ladder and Suns have a draw and win in their first AFLW season and sit second.
The Suns will face North Melbourne away on Saturday twilight at Arden Street Oval.
Lions will host fellow Conference A team the GWS Giants on Sunday twilight at Hickey Park.
World Footy News