An Irish appearance in this season’s AFLW Grand Final is guaranteed after the knockout stages of the AFLW got underway this weekend.
Orla O’Dwyer’s Brisbane Lions secured their place in the Preliminary final with a 39-22 win over Richmond in an exciting qualifying final.
O’Dwyer made 14 disposals to help Brisbane take a huge step towards AFLW glory, who will now have a two week break as the league winners secured their spot in the preliminary final.
As it was a qualifying final as both sides finished in the top four, Richmond will get a second opportunity when they face Vikki Wall’s North Melbourne, who squeezed past the Geelong Cats 16-14 in their elimination final.
Mayo’s Rachel Kearns scored a disposal for Geelong, but it wasn’t enough for Geelong as their season came to an end after an extremely tense affair. Erika O’Shea missed the game through injury, but should be available for the semi-final against Richmond.
When we chatted with @vikki_wall on our Podcast last week she said that she was getting to know the @northmelbournew song a bit more every week. We reckon she’s got it down after today🎵
Congrats Vikki & @northmelbournew
PRELIMINARY FINAL INCOMING🙌#AFLW pic.twitter.com/BrD4hZHxZh
— AFLW Ireland (@aflw_ireland) November 5, 2022
On the other side of the draw, Blaithin Mackin put in a huge display for Melbourne as they defeated rivals Adelaide 48-27 to reach the preliminary final.
Mackin made 15 disposals and 10 kicks, while Sinead Goldrick also featured as Melbourne came from behind to defeat Adelaide with a huge performance in the final quarter.
Niamh Kelly made nine disposals for Adelaide, but last season’s champions must now find a way past Collingwood in the semi-final, who defeated the Western Bulldogs 40-35.
Despite the Bulldogs threatening a late fightback, Collingwood held on for the five point victory. Sarah Rowe and Aisling Sheridan both featured for Collingwood, with Sheridan praising her teammate Eliza James who scored four goals in a remarkable performance.
"It's hot out there but it's also a hot game, the pressure is definitely there!"
Hear from Sherro at half time: pic.twitter.com/cTj1ky2361
— Collingwood AFLW (@CollingwoodAFLW) November 6, 2022
“She has so much confidence and she knows we all back her and you can see the scores she kicks in so many games and we all know so can do it and it’s great to see that it’s all paying of today.”