GWS had an upset win over the Bulldogs.
GWS had an upset win over the Bulldogs.

Giants stun Dogs, throw GF race wide open

GREATER Western Sydney stormed into second on the AFL Women's ladder after scoring an upset 18-point win over top-of-the-table Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Saturday night.

After a slow start, GWS - led by the brilliant Courtney Gum - booted six of the last seven goals to run out 7.4 (46) to 4.4 (28) victors.

The Giants are now neck deep in the premiership race and, if Melbourne lose to Carlton on Sunday, they will remain in second with just one regular-season round remaining.

Despite losing to GWS, the Bulldogs will head into the final round on top of the ladder, but they will need to beat the Demons to guarantee themselves a maiden grand final berth.

Incredibly, five teams - the Dogs, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and GWS - can still qualify for the grand final.

Courtney Gum manages to get a kick away despite a tackle from Emma Kearney. Picture: Getty
Courtney Gum manages to get a kick away despite a tackle from Emma Kearney. Picture: Getty

The Giants' pressure on the Bulldogs was fantastic after quarter-time and they ended up with more contested possessions (110-89), inside 50s (31-25) and clearances (23-17).

Gum was brilliant with a game-high 23 disposals, four marks and a crucial goal at the start of the final quarter just as the Dogs looked like they were pressing for a win.

She was ably assisted by Alicia Eva (17 disposals, seven tackles, one goal), Jessica Dal Pos (16 disposals, one goal), Amanda Farrugia (13 disposals, five tackles, one goal) and Cora Staunton (12 disposals, one goal), while Erin McKinnon dominated in the ruck with 33 hit-outs.

Emma Kearney starred for the Bulldogs with 22 touches and eight tackles while Ellie Blackburn (17 disposals), Brooke Lochland (15 disposals, eight marks), Hannah Scott (15 disposals), Monique Conti (14 touches, one goal) and Kirsten McLeod (two goals) were also valuable contributors.

The Bulldogs got off to a flyer, booting three of the first four goals to open up a 12-point lead early in the second quarter.

But the momentum swung back GWS's way in dramatic fashion as the hosts shut down the Bulldogs' outside run and dominated the inside-50 count in the second term (13-2) to grab an eight-point advantage at halftime.

Both sides struggled to trouble the scorers in the third quarter before Dogs midfielder Jenna Bruton broke the drought with a textbook rover's goal. However, the Bulldogs went goalless in the final quarter as majors from Gum, Eva and captain Farrugia sealed the result for the Giants.

GWS GIANTS 1.2 4.4 4.4 7.4 (46)

WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.2 3.2 4.3 4.4 (28)

GOALS: GWS: A Eva A Farrugia A Schmidt C Gum C Staunton J Dal Pos J Hicks.

WESTERN BULLDOGS: K McLeod 2 J Bruton M Conti. Venue: Manuka Oval.