GWS have notched their first win of the AFLW season, beating Collingwood by 13 points.Greater Western Sydney have kept their slim AFLW grand final hopes alive with a thrilling 13-point win over Collingwood at Olympic Park.
The Magpies led by five points early in the last quarter on Sunday but couldn’t withstand a late blitz by the Giants, who recorded a 7.6 (48) to 5.5 (35) victory in front of 3600 fans.
Former Magpie Alicia Eva was outstanding against her old side with 23 possessions in the Giants’ first win of the season, while Aimee Schmidt, Courtney Gum and Phoebe McWilliams each booted two goals.
“I’m delighted for the girls,” coach Alan McConnell said.
“We’re a bit like Dad’s Army – we come from everywhere and we’ve got a whole lot of girls who were told they were no good (elsewhere).
“So for them to get some reward for all of their effort is absolutely fabulous.”
Winless Collingwood slumped to the bottom of the ladder and are all but out of contention for the grand final.
It seemed an unlikely scenario after the home side’s bright start.
The Pies led by 14 points at the first break but the Giants found their rhythm in the second term.
The visitors peppered the goals without capitalising until Schmidt bobbed up with two late goals in as many minutes to give GWS a two-point lead at halftime.
With his side under siege Pies coach Wayne Siekman would previously have put numbers behind the ball to stem the flow.
But he stayed true to the guidelines contained in the AFL’s contentious memo sent to clubs after a low-scoring start to the season.
“Our football club, since the memo came out from the AFL, (tries) to play the numbers wherever they are,” Siekman said.
“We didn’t want to put numbers behind the footy and try to soak it up … that last two minutes probably hurt us and they got all of the momentum.”
After a quiet start, recalled Collingwood forward Moana Hope imposed herself on the contest, setting up a goal to Jess Duffin then slotting a stunning effort of her own from deep in the pocket.
The home side led by five points as the final term got underway but GWS quickly put themselves in the driver’s seat after Gum opened with back-to-back goals.
Hope added her second after a contentious 50m penalty but the Giants finished the stronger side, with McWilliams converting a free kick to seal the win.
Pies midfielder Sophie Casey will come under scrutiny for an errant elbow in the second quarter that left GWS forward Cora Staunton with a suspected broken nose.