AFLW - round 4 vs Freo @ Windy Hill, 3:05pm Sunday 24 September 2023

It was as if the Umps realised at halftime that they were being conned by Freo and actually realised the amount is sniping going on.

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Not all of these were Bonnie!


By Oliver Caffrey, AAP and Howard Kimber

Essendon has surged into the top-eight after securing a third win from four starts with a 20-point victory over Fremantle.

Despite starting in the competition two years after their opponents, the Bombers showed up the Dockers in an impressive display at Windy Hill on Sunday.

Essendon trailed at half-time but kicked five goals to two after the main break to run out winners 7.8 (50) to 4.6 (30), continuing the Bombers’ rise in just their second season in the competition.

Co-captain Bonnie Toogood starred with two goals and a game-high 22 possessions and Jacqui Vogt also stepped up with two majors.

“It’s unbelievable here at Windy, to play a heartland venue,” Toogood said after the game.

"To see the Reynolds Stand packed like that, it’s fantastic.

"Us engaging Essendon fans of women’s footy is phenomenal and it’s good to get the win, that’s for sure.

"We needed to bring it (the game) back on our terms in the stoppage and start getting it moving our way and then we could get our forwards to go to work.”

Essendon was comfortably the best performed of the four new teams last season, finishing with four wins and well ahead of Sydney, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide.

The Bombers finished 10th last year but could be on track to make the top-eight almost halfway through this season.

Essendon faces Collingwood at Punt Rd on Saturday just hours before the AFL Grand Final.

Toogood by name, too good by nature
In an otherwise tight contest, the difference between the sides at Windy Hill on Sunday was almost solely down to Bonnie Toogood. The former Bulldog led all comers for disposals with 22, laid nine tackles and kicked two goals - the first fittingly giving the Bombers the lead in the opening quarter, the second snatching it back again just after half-time. Toogood now has seven goals for the season and has arguably been Essendon’s best player in each of the first four rounds.

Nanscawen goals … at last
It’s been a long, interrupted career for Georgia Nanscawen after debuting for North Melbourne in 2019, before being delisted at the end of the season. Three sparkling years for Essendon at state league level followed before the Bombers named her their first signing - and co-captain - for their inaugural AFLW team, but a knee injury saw her miss the season. So when Nanscawen kicked her first national league goal on Sunday afternoon it was a moment to savour for the 31-year-old, her teammates and the Bombers faithful in the stands.

ESSENDON 2.0 2.1 5.5 7.8 (50)
FREMANTLE 1.2 2.5 3.5 4.6 (30)

Essendon: Toogood 2, Vogt 2, Radford, Nanscawen, Doonan
Fremantle: Stannert 2, Lally, Antonio

Essendon: Toogood, Wales, Prespakis, Alexander, Cain
Fremantle: Stannert, O’Driscoll, Bowers, Cregg, Strom

Essendon: TBC
Fremantle: Bowers (knee)

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Very chippy game. A lot of stuff happening at stoppages. Nanscawen got picked up off the ground at one point; her goal came out of that.

Briefly talked to Dani Marshall and her husband; they had a guest visiting from Arizona. I ran into him earlier in the game whilst standing behind the Napier St goals; Dani used to babysit his kids.

She said everyone was very happy about that game; apparently it was not one they were expecting to win before the season started, and that it is the first time we have beaten one of the original AFLW sides, which I was not aware of.


Per that measurement, Collingwood and Fark Carlton to come…


FC at Windy Hill is going to be epic.


Was a great day at the footy, recommend for all


Much smaller crowd that round 1 too.

Not sure if you mean round 1 or 2, but no it wasn’t. Which is impressive for school holidays, no local opponent, and less fanfare in the lead-up.

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My bad.
Meant round 2.
First game at Windy Hill.

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Crowd figures don’t seem to be available yet.


My guess is 2,650’

They weren’t even available for the round 2 game.
Ticketmaster have been pretty poor.

Solid win – creeping us closer to finals.

Would have been a massacre if they didn’t have Tighe.

Wales beaten in the hitouts but won on the ground and on the defensive intercepts.

Alexander did most of her stuff up the ground, as seen by her high mark and inside fifty stats. If that means Bonnie can be the final target more, good.

More mature game from Scott today.

Brown didn’t get the hard matchup and so was game-leader for rebounds.

Doonan was a decent replacement for Bannister. Demonstrated her core power numerous times.

Busch another solid game. Looking like she’s here for the long-term now.

MORCS! We’ve missed her.

Nanscawen’s kicking was high and slow for much of the game, but there was a little period in the third quarter where she dominated. And she kept the good kick for her first AFLW goal.

Georgia Clarke some huge tackles in the second quarter to save goals.

Dyke looked comfortable as a tall debutant running around on the wing, with cameos in the ruck.

All up, lots of contributors beyond the top-end talent.

And the crowd was awesome, thanks to the umps jumping us early and going troppo in the second quarter.


Bloody hell, the commentators went on a lot about the (basically non-existent) breeze.

188 photos at

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Early warm-up:

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AFL caption says this is Alexander rucking.

Yeah nah.

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