Dees demolished: Kangaroos thrash minor premiers in AFLW qualifying final boilover


North Melbourne are celebrating the greatest win in their AFLW history after they scored an stunning upset 41-point qualifying final win over reigning premiers Melbourne.

The Kangaroos were outstanding from the outset on Sunday at Ikon Park, keeping the free-scoring Demons goalless for three quarters and winning to 7.8 (50) to 1.3 (9).

Most significantly, this is North’s first win against another top-four side this season in a win that upends the narrative around the finals series.

As North enjoy the week off ahead of a preliminary final, Melbourne will host Geelong next Sunday afternoon in a semi-final, again at Ikon Park.

Adelaide will host Sydney on Saturday night in the other semi at Norwood Oval.

The Demons are suddenly in trouble, having also lost last week to Brisbane and now posting their second-lowest score in the AFLW.

It will be the Kangaroos’ second straight preliminary final after losing to the Demons last season.

Alice O’Loughlin stays down and gets the reward!#AFLWFinals

— AFL Women’s (@aflwomens) November 12, 2023

Key forward Tahlia Randall kicked three goals for North, which racked up 100 tackles to 79, as Ash Riddell and Jasmine Garner again starred in the midfield.

“We knew we could hold it against the best … we backed our system, backed our structure and results like today, we can actually do it,” Randall told the Seven Network.

Randall said they had a goal of reaching 100 tackles.

“We know Melbourne are a great side and like most sides, they’re going to crumble under pressure,” she said.

North forward Kate Shierlaw had a bloodied mouth after a final-term collision but returned to the field.

The first quarter was a belter, played at grand final intensity, as North made an immediate statement with relentless pressure.

Randall kicked the only goal of the term, out-muscling Lauren Pearce in a ruck duel and then snapping accurately.

While the Kangaroos sprayed several chances, they also withstood a succession of Melbourne attacks late in the term.

End-to-end in a flash!#ColesGoals #AFLWFinals

— AFL Women’s (@aflwomens) November 12, 2023

Randall took a strong mark and kicked the only goal of the second quarter as well, with North taking a 15-point lead into the main break.

The Demons were well in the contest, given the low scoring, but the league’s highest-scoring team this season had only managed one behind for the half.

Great work from Shierlaw set up two running goals to Bella Eddey in the third term as Randall again outworked her opponent in a ruck contest to snap her third.

The Kangaroos led by 34 points at the last change.

Melbourne did not kick their first goal until 10 minutes into the last quarter, through Alyssa Bannan, and that meant they passed their lowest score of 1.2. 


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