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Roos hold firm against late Cats AFLW push

Emerging Irish star Vikki Wall has kicked two goals as North Melbourne made it a perfect 10 AFLW wins in Tasmania by defeating Geelong by 12 points.

The Kangaroos led 28-1 in Friday night’s match in Launceston, with Geelong’s first goal not coming until late in the third quarter.

The Cats pushed hard for victory, registering 20 of the last 23 inside 50s of the match, but North held firm to seal the 4.4 (28) to 2.4 (16) triumph.

The win improved North’s record in Tasmania to a perfect 10-0, and also levelled their season tally at 2-2 in an important rebound following two recent losses.

“We see this as our home away from home and it was really important we bounced back and got our season back on track,” Kangaroos coach Darren Crocker said.

“Did we play four quarters? No we didn’t, so we just addressed that with the group.”

Wall, playing just her fourth AFLW match, was crucial in setting up the win.

The 24-year-old booted a goal on the run in the first quarter before following it up with a clever soccered major in the third.

Ashleigh Riddell (25 disposals), Jenna Bruton (25), Emma Kearney (20) and Jasmine Garner (22) all racked up big numbers for North.

Geelong star Georgie Prespakis tallied 32 disposals and nine tackles in a standout display, while Amy McDonald (26 possessions) and Meghan McDonald (23) were also prolific.

Heavy downpours before the match ensured slippery conditions, with various puddles still present when the game started.

North Melbourne’s cleaner skills proved crucial as they dominated the first half.

Geelong entered the match having conceded scores of just 11, one, and 15 across the opening three rounds, but the Kangaroos eclipsed all of those marks by late in the second term.

Wall booted the only goal of the opening quarter, and the Kangaroos had two other shots touched on the line.

North continued to control play in the second quarter, with Sophie Abbatangelo causing havoc at ground level.

Abbatangelo made it 14-0 when she caught her opponent with the ball, and alarm bells were ringing for Geelong when Brooke Brown nailed a 40m goal on the run.

The Cats finally found their groove in the second half, but the margin proved too much to overcome.

“Ordinary first half, but much better second half,” Geelong coach Dan Lowther said.

“I’m really pleased the way they bounced back after half time to put a genuine contest in and put some score in the board.

“In the first half we were a bit slow, too reactive.”

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