North Melbourne’s VFLW side has claimed its fourth win of the season, powering past the Bombers in convincing fashion at Arden Street Oval.

In a game that never truly looked like going Essendon's way, North Melbourne came up big victors, keeping the visitors goalless in what grew to become a 66-point victory, 10.9 (69) to 0.3 (3).

"We were really pleased with how the game played out today, it felt like we were able to move the ball really well and freely at times which was great, but it was built off of the back of some really strong defence and strong contest work," VFLW coach Brett Gourley told NMFC Media.

"We were able to generate some really good handball chains through the middle and challenge that last line (of defence), we were really pleased with the effort from the girls."


With the inside-50 count being even for the majority of the game, it was the Kangas who made the most of their opportunities, scoring 19 times out of 32 entries. 

During the first half, however, the Roos struggled to convert, kicking 4.7.

The home side showed some polish after the main beak though and put through six goals and two behinds for the second half, capitalising on its sharp ball movement which was a constant force throughout all four quarters.

KANGAROOS v BOMBERS Full match coverage and stats

"Our ball movement was really positive today. We were able to generate some speed on the ball on the back of some slow plays," Gourley said.

"We spoke about trying to move a little bit faster than what we had been and give our forwards a good opportunity to score ahead of the ball.

"Ball movement has been a focus and connecting from line to line, and we’ll continue to work on it but we’re super pleased with the progress that the squad's been able to make."

Four minutes into the first term saw Audrey Rhodes convert the first goal of the game after a quick handball out of a scrap from Nyakoat Dojiok – who was lively all afternoon – found its way to the midfielder.

Shortly after, Alana Barba (22 disposals, four clearances) finished cleanly to kick the first of her two goals for the day and continue North Melbourne's hot start.

"Alana's in some outstanding form at the moment. Her ability to win the footy on the inside was great, but she was also able to hit the scoreboard," Gourley said. 

"We’re really pleased with how she’s been able to go on the inside, as well as her ability to pick up on the outside and generate some ball movement for us."

North Melbourne followed up its strong first quarter by continuing to deter Essendon's attacks and slingshot forward from its back-half. Amanda Ling, Nicole Hales, and Mara McSweeney all stood tall in defensive 50, picking off opposition entries at will before launching surges heading the other way.

"I felt like we repelled a lot of their attacks, Amanda and Mara were pivotal to that," Gourley added. 

A Tahlia Meier snap saw the Kangas pick up where they left off at the start of the third quarter as the small forward put the Roos up by 37 points.

The buffer was extended again 10 minutes later when Sarah Hosking and Dojiok connected to send Zara Flanigan into space for her first goal of the game.

Despite North Melbourne having a healthy lead heading into the final term, it didn't stop Emily Paterno from doing the dirty work as the veteran applied a strong tackle deep inside-50 to win a free kick before going back and slotting the set shot. 

Within the first minute of the final term, Essendon managed to register its first score of the clash, but the Roos' defence remained stout and prevented the Bombers from sneaking through a major.

"The way that our defenders set up behind the ball was outstanding," Gourley said. 

"Our midfielders worked really hard to get back down into defence and give the backs a chop out as well … it was really nice to keep them goalless."


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NORTH MELBOURNE     2.5    4.7    8.9    10.9 (69)
ESSENDON                    0.0    0.0    0.0    0.3 (3)

North Melbourne:
Barba 2, Dojiok 2, Flanigan 2, Rhodes, Paterno, Meier, Hosking

North Melbourne: Barba, Dojiok, Tierney, Ling, Rhodes, Di Cosmo


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