MEATH heroine Vikki Wall and Cork star Erika O’Shea played their parts in a record-breaking win for North Melbourne, who annihilated the Sydney Swans 67-1 in round six of the Women’s Australian Football League earlier today.
Wall, the two-time All-Ireland senior champion and 2021 ladies footballer of the year, recorded 10 disposals and five tackles during this Punt Road pounding. However, on a day of total Melbourne dominance when they kicked nine goals from 22 scoring shots, Wall’s tally was confined to a single behind.
O’Shea, the AFLW’s youngest-ever Irish player, chipped in with eight disposals and three tackles.
Even though the fledgling Swans were never expected to mount a credible challenge, it still proved a traumatic day, their sole point coming late in the first quarter.
North Melbourne eclipsed their previous biggest winning margin (62 points over Geelong last year) courtesy of two goals in the final minute from Tahlia Randall. They now move to fifth in the table whereas Sydney stay rooted to the bottom.
Wall and O’Shea weren’t the only Irish exports to feature for title-chasing outfits today.
Brisbane currently lead the table on scoring percentages after their 62-18 victory over Essendon. Tipperary’s Orla O’Dwyer had 11 disposals and two tackles for the Lions, who rebounded impressively from their Richmond defeat to win by 44 points at Moreton Bay.
Fermanagh’s Joanne Doonan scored Essendon’s first goal late in the third quarter from one of her six disposals, while Tipp’s Megan Ryan also featured.
Melbourne are breathing down Brisbane necks, as one of four teams tied on 20 points, following their 66-36 win away to Freemantle. Dublin’s Sinead Goldrick (10 disposals, one tackle) and Armagh’s Blaithín Mackin (nine disposals, one behind) both contributed for the Demons but it was closer than the 30-point margin suggests, as their team kicked the last four goals to pull away.
One of Freemantle’s top performers was Áine Tighe of Leitrim, who kicked a goal while tallying eight disposals and two tackles. Meath’s Orlagh Lally had seven disposals and two tackles, but her team is in danger of being cast adrift, lying 17th, just ahead of Sydney.