Madaleine McMahon of the Cats is tackled by Jacqui Yorston of the Lions during their round five clash. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)
Madaleine McMahon of the Cats is tackled by Jacqui Yorston of the Lions during their round five clash. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Cats stun Lions to move to top of Conference B

GEELONG has produced an upset to move to the top of the Conference B ladder after dismantling Brisbane at the Moreton Bay Sports Complex on Saturday.

The Cats, led by Rocky Cranston, young gun Olivia Purcell and forward Kate Darby, restricted the Lions to the lowest score in AFLW history, recording a 5.5 (35) to 1.2 (8) win.

The victory means Geelong is now one game clear on top of Conference B with matches against Fremantle (cross conference) and GWS to close out the home-and-away season.

The Cats are now in the box seat to play finals in their debut season in the AFLW.

"For this club it's just huge," captain Mel Hickey said. "We speak about our belief and I think sometimes you try and pass that on but it does take games like this for it to really move through the group.

"I think for our belief that was huge that win."

Geelong set up the win with a dominant third quarter as they kicked with the aid of the breeze and had the game played predominantly in their forward half.

They kicked two goals in that term and kept the Lions scoreless to set up what proved to be a match-winning lead.

Rocky Cranston was best on ground. Picture: Getty
Rocky Cranston was best on ground. Picture: Getty

The Cats dominated the inside 50 count 37-17.

Star recruit Cranston played her best game in Geelong colours, gathering 23 disposals and providing a strong body around the contest through the midfield.

Purcell had a breakout game, collecting 20 disposals and kicked a crucial goal in the third term to establish the Cats' dominance.

With Phoebe McWilliams quiet up forward, Darby stepped up to boot three goals and provide a constant focal point inside forward 50.

All-Australian contender Meg McDonald was outstanding in defence again, restricting star Lion Sabrina Frederick-Traub to just 10 disposals.

Kate McCarthy kicked Brisbane's only goal in the second term.

Hickey was full of praise for former Melbourne, now Geelong teammate Cranston.

"She's amazing," Hickey told Channel 7. "She's such a power athlete and I'm stoked to have her in the middle and she spins forward as well.

"She's such an asset to our side."

Brisbane's loss opens the door for Carlton to move into second spot in Conference B should the Blues defeat struggling Collingwood at Ikon Park.

RESULT

Brisbane Lions 0.1 1.1 1.2 1.2 (8)

Geelong 1.1 2.1 4.3 5.5 (35)

GOALS

Brisbane Lions: McCarthy

Geelong: Darby 3, Clifford, Purcell

BEST

Brisbane Lions: Bates, Anderson, Exon

Geelong: Cranston, Darby, Purcell, McDonald, Garing