Top prospect Ella Roberts stars as WA claim first win of AFLW National Championships in five point thriller

Headshot of Eliza Reilly
Eliza ReillyThe West Australian
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Jaime Henry of WA celebrates the win with teammates during the U18 AFL Championship match between Allies and Western Australia at Werribee Oval on April 22, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos )
Camera IconMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Jaime Henry of WA celebrates the win with teammates during the U18 AFL Championship match between Allies and Western Australia at Werribee Oval on April 22, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos ) Credit: Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

Western Australia has claimed a thrilling five point victory, their first of the AFLW National Championships, after an Allies kick after the final siren fell short at Avalon Airport Oval.

With the scores level at 28 apiece at the final break, Tamashya Blurton gave the Black Swans a five point lead three minutes into the last quarter.

But then the Allies kicked the next two goals, including a spectacular mid-air karate kick courtesy of J’Noemi Anderson, to wrestle the lead back.

Jordain Thompson reeled the Allies lead back to one point before Blurton kicked her second of the quarter and third for the match, putting WA in front with just over three minutes to play.

The Allies had the chance to reclaim the lead after the full-time siren but the kick fell short and wide, granting WA their first victory of the National Championships.

There were seven lead changes throughout the see-sawing encounter as both sides made the most of their momentum swings.

Leading draft prospect Ella Roberts and Alessia Schmiedgen got WA off to the perfect start before the Allies combined to kick the next four.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Ella Roberts of WA in action during the U18 AFL Championship match between Allies and Western Australia at Werribee Oval on April 22, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos )
Camera IconMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Ella Roberts of WA in action during the U18 AFL Championship match between Allies and Western Australia at Werribee Oval on April 22, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos ) Credit: Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Alli Nokes of WA celebrates the win during the U18 AFL Championship match between Allies and Western Australia at Werribee Oval on April 22, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos )
Camera IconMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Alli Nokes of WA celebrates the win during the U18 AFL Championship match between Allies and Western Australia at Werribee Oval on April 22, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos ) Credit: Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos/via AFL Photos

For WA, Roberts was at her brilliant best yet again.

After winning 30 disposals against the WAFLW All Stars last week, the Peel Thunder product kicked two goals from 21 touches and seven marks.

Roberts was also thrown into the midfield late when the game was on the line, wrestling momentum in WA’s favour with two clearances to go with five tackles and four inside 50s.

East Fremantle’s Alli Nokes was equally influential, clearing the ball from defence eight times from 20 touches.

Underage talent Jamie Henry (17 touches, three clearances, three inside 50s), Kayla Van Den Heever (12 touches, four inside 50s) and Lauren Wakfer (23 hitouts, four clearances, four inside 50s) were also influential.

While Tara Stribley, Emily Elkington and Jorja Elisseou provided pace around the ground.

For the Allies, non-related Hamilton’s Cynthia (19 touches, nine tackles, two clearances) and Zara (20 touches, three rebound 50s) led the way.

The All-Australian squad and most valuable player awards are set to be presented following the final match next weekend, with reigning MVP Roberts a chance to go back to back.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2.1, 3.1, 4.4, 7.4 (46)

ALLIES 2.1, 4.1, 4.3, 6.5 (41)

GOALS: WESTERN AUSTRALIA: T Blurton 3, E Roberts 2, A Schmiedgen, J Thompson. ALLIES: J Anderson, K Campbell, Z Goldsworthy, C McWilliams, C Ransom, G Whittaker

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