The VFLW Hawks were sadly defeated by North Melbourne in a nail-biter under lights at Box Hill City Oval on Sunday.
It was a tale of two halves, with Hawthorn leading up until the siren at half-time.
Under wet and windy conditions in the second half, Hawthorn was unable to regain momentum.
North Melbourne struggled with accuracy throughout the match, but the visitors didn’t relinquish control throughout the entire second half and it was a territory game up until the final second.
Hawthorn came out swinging in the opening minutes, with a stunning goal from leading goalkicker Jessie Williams signalling the Hawk’s intention to win.
North quickly retaliated with a goal of their own, but the Hawks had the authority over the ground and kept the ball inside 50 for the majority of the term.
The quarter closed with a stunning mark from Katelyn Cox, leading to a Phoebe McWilliams goal.
The second quarter was a similar story to the first, with the Hawks clearly the controlling force around the ground.
Katelyn Cox orchestrated the play of the day, with a blistering sprint through the midfield leading to a kick to McWilliams standing right in front of goal. It was a superior piece of play, showing the experience that these two AFLW players bring to the side.
North Melbourne attempted a few shots on goal, bringing the scores frighteningly close.
A late goal from Eloise Chaston (returning from three weeks off to play in the NAB League) sealed the quarter.
Although the Hawks were leading by nine points at half-time, North Melbourne was breathing down their necks.
The weather changed in the third quarter, and so did the energy. Hawthorn couldn’t find an opportunity to score, and North relished in the change in status quo.
They kicked four behinds and two goals for the term, first tying the score and then drawing in front. It was only their lack of accuracy that prevented them from racing ahead and making the lead insurmountable.
North only led by seven points at the beginning of the fourth term, but proved the obviously stronger side under the difficult conditions at Box Hill.
They didn’t manage another goal for the term, once again plagued with accuracy issues, but their dominance kept the ball out of Hawthorn hands.
Alison Drennan attempted a shot for goal in the dying seconds, but it was too little too late. North clinched the game by just eight points.
With only three games left for the season (Williamstown, Port Melbourne and Geelong still to come), the Hawks' chances for a top six finish are slim.
In her post-match interview, Chantelle Perera (Hawthorn premiership player and ex-AFLW West Coast player) explained that the goal for the rest of the season was to finish strongly and be proud of the effort put into the season.
North Melbourne 4.10.34
Goals: McWilliams 2, Williams, Chaston
Best: McRae, Cox, Luke, Perera, Chaston, Hutchins