Port Melbourne defeated Carlton by one point in a thriller at ETU Stadium on Sunday, the final score reading 5.7 (37) to 5.6 (36). The win marked the first ever finals win by Port Melbourne's VFLW team.
Borough's Jessie Williams had a dominant day, gaining a team-high 16 disposals and 10 tackles.
Eliza Morrison and skipper Claire Dyett were also standouts with 15 and 14 disposals respectively, while Laura Wright also impacted the game and the scoreboard with seven disposals, eight tackles and a goal.
Georgia Alomes was no stranger to the scoreboard, booting two majors for the day and assisting to get the Borough over the line. Courteney Bromage and Bella Stutt also had a goal each to their name.
The conditions were pristine for football at ETU Stadium, and the first quarter saw Carlton get on the front foot early kicking a goal in just the first minute of play through Christina Bernadi.
The Borough did well to remain composed, level-headed and play their brand of footy.
Olivia Barton was strong in defence, taking intercept marks and smothering the ball off the boot of Carlton's forwards, making it extremely hard for them to impact the scoreboard.
Beth Wilson also capitalised on her already dominant quarter when she rushed a behind, saving a goal and allowing Port to have momentum for the remainder of the quarter.
During the second quarter, Port was able to keep the Blues goalless and only conceided two behinds for the whole term. The Borough’s first goal of the game came off the boot of Alomes, who is proving to be an asset in Port Melbourne’s forwards line.
Alomes was able to get a quick handball from Wilson who was bursting out of a stoppage, to then quickly get boot to ball and get the Borough on the board.
Morrison led Port’s disposal count at the half with nine, followed closely by Dyett with eight. Wilson was also dominant early with 12 hit-outs and three tackles at the half.
Port Melbourne came out firing in the third term. Dyett was able to help set the tone of the quarter early when she took an intercept mark off the boot of a Carlton defender in Port’s inside 50. Dyett was then able to hit up Alomes off a lead perfectly, who executed the set shot with ease, 30 metres out on a tough angle.
The next major of the third quarter came from a 50-metre penalty rewarded to Bromage after a Carlton player ran through her protected area. Bromage slotted the goal perfectly. Carlton then had the last major of the term to put them ahead by just one point at three quarter time.
It only took five minutes for the Borough to influence the scoreboard in the last term. Stutt used her quick pace and hunger, gathered the ball on the run out of a stoppage and sliced it through the goals. The Blues answered only a few minutes later after Amelia Kilngbeil allowed Carlton to be only two points behind.
Laura Wright claimed Port’s second goal of the last quarter after she was rewarded a free kick for holding the ball. This capped off the already dominant offensive pressure that she had been showcasing all game.
Kilngbeil kept the game alive for Carlton, after gathering the footy and slotting a goal, to put the Borough up by two points with six minutes left to play.
In what was a thrilling last few minutes of football, the Borough kept composed for the remainder of the game and were able to claim the win over Carlton by just one point, allowing them to advance to the preliminary final.
Port Melbourne will aim to keep their finals series alive and make more history next Sunday, July 23, when they take on Essendon at ETU stadium at 2.00pm.
The winner of this match will then advance to the Grand Final, where they will face Collingwood.
If Port Melbourne are victorious against the Bombers, this will be the first Port Melbourne VFLW team to play in a Grand Final.
Port Melbourne 5.7 36 def 5.6 36 Carlton
Goals: G Alomes 2, L Wright, C Bromage, B Stutt
Disposals: J Williams 16, E Morrison 15, C Dyett 14