Collingwood tame Blues in AFLW opener

Collingwood have stunned arch-rivals and premiership fancies Carlton by six points in a physical opening match of the AFLW season.

The Magpies held off the Blues at Ikon Park for the second year in a row, producing a scintillating four-goal run in the second quarter to set up the 5.3 (33) to 4.3 (27) victory.

A shell-shocked Carlton fought back from a scoreless opening half with three quickfire third-quarter goals.

But the damage had already been done and the comeback ultimately proved in vain as a capacity crowd of 6712 watched on in the first ticketed match in the competition’s history.

Blues captain Kerryn Harrington kicked a goal after the fulltime siren to sum up their second-half dominance.

Led by the electric Chloe Molloy, Collingwood were all over the Blues – who failed to score until seven minutes into the third quarter.

The Magpies dominated general play in the first quarter, with Brittany Bonnici starring in the middle, but only had one behind to show for it.

But once Irish speedster Aishling Sheridan kicked the first goal, the floodgates opened.

Star Molloy slotted two majors in as many minutes, with the first being booted out of the stadium and onto the Princes Park walking track.

But the real dagger came just before halftime when former Blues captain Brianna Davey kicked an exciting running goal in her first game as Magpies co-captain.

Collingwood defender Stacey Livingstone again had the better of her duel with All-Australian forward Tayla Harris.

Their match-up was eagerly anticipated after Livingstone last year labelled the Blues spearhead “useless” in an explosive post-game interview.

League best-and-fairest Madison Prespakis performed strongly while Darcy Vescio, Jess Hosking and Nicola Stevens kicked a goal each for the Blues.

The Magpies’ performance will give them confidence of backing up a promising 2020 season, in which they just missed out on finals for the first time.

“We certainly want to be an attacking style team. I know the last quarter we defended a lot but that’s certainly not the brand we want,” Collingwood coach said Steve Symonds.

“Carlton are a great side and we’ve got great respect for them so we’re very happy.”

The Blues have plenty of soul searching to do after being anointed as equal premiership favourites with Fremantle this week.

“When you have four goals kicked against you in eight minutes it’s pretty hard to come back from,” Carlton coach Daniel Harford said.


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