A seven-goal second half has seen the Kangas surge home to knock off Essendon in an elimination final at Arden Street Oval and book their spot in next week's semi-finals.

North Melbourne conceded the first goal of the knockout clash which saw rain and sunshine, but would only let through one more for the whole afternoon as it cruised to a 63-point win.

"It was a great contest and I thought particularly early in the game Essendon was here to play," VFLW coach Brett Gourley told NMFC Media.

"We knew it was going to be a tough one and finals always steps up another notch, so we had to be up for the fight and up for the contest and I thought the girls did that really well today."


Essendon’s Sarah Perkins hit the scoreboard first within the opening two minutes of the game, giving what would be the Dons' only lead of the contest.

North Melbourne had the instant reply though, with tough onballer Maddie Di Cosmo (29 disposals, 11 clearances) using her speed and skill to emerge from a stoppage and snap through the Kangas' opener.

It turned into stalemate until Alana Barba (24 disposals, 17 tacklea) won a free kick for holding the ball on the 50-metre arc which allowed her to set up Nyakoat Dojiok (four goals, 16 disposals) to put through her first goal of the game and give the Roos the advantage.

With not long to go in the first quarter, Barba produced another moment of craftiness, weaving through the contest to find Audrey Rhodes (28 disposals, 15 tackles) who extended the margin to 13 points.

KANGAROOS v BOMBERS Full match coverage and stats

The midfield trio of Barba, Di Cosmo, and Rhodes proved to be the driving force in the win with their tackling pressure a standout throughout the afternoon. 

"I feel like I say the same thing each week about them, because they just continue to perform and perform really well," Gourley said.

"I think 'Barbs' (Alana Barba) and Audrey may have had 31 tackles between them. We know that if we continue to bring really good pressure and really good contest method, they’ll continue to give us some really good looks going forward.

"I was super proud of our midfield group today. They continue to get the job done for us."

Goals to Renee Tierney (two goals, six tackles) and Dojiok capped off a strong first half from the home outfit who kept the Bombers scoreless in the second term. The backline was at it stingiest yet again, with Mara McSweeney leading the way with 13 possessions.

It only took Georgia Nicholas 90 seconds before running into an open goal and slotting her first to kickstart the third quarter, and it was all North Melbourne after that with Perkins' second major being the only moment of reprieve for the visitors.

Nicholas turned provider in the final moments of the last quarter, flicking a handball over the top to Matilda Zander who streamed towards the goal square and put the icing on the cake with her side's 12th major of the day.

"We've spoken about playing your role and sticking to the process, we’re really confident that we’ve built a really good brand of footy, our contest work, our defence and our offence," Gourley mentioned. 

"We back that in week in week out, and just for the girls to trust the process. They executed really well today."

NORTH MELBOURNE      3.1    5.2    10.2    12.4 (76)
ESSENDON BOMBERS    1.0    1.0    2.1    2.1 (13)

North Melbourne: 
Dojiok 4, Tierney 2, Zander, Rhodes, Nicholas, Meier, E King, Di Cosmo
Perkins 2

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


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