Aine Tighe stars as Fremantle pips West Coast Eagles in AFLW derby

Makaela Tuhakaraina's late goal has helped Fremantle to an eight-point AFLW win over West Coast.

Makaela Tuhakaraina's late goal has helped Fremantle to an eight-point AFLW win over West Coast. Photo: AAP

Fremantle forward Aine Tighe has played a starring role as the Dockers kept their perfect AFLW western derby record intact with an eight-point win over West Coast.

Tighe kicked two first-half goals before taking a series of crucial defensive marks in the final quarter to lead her side to the 4.3 (27) to 2.7 (19) win at Fremantle Oval on Sunday.

The result improved Fremantle’s derby record to 6-0, and ensured Lisa Webb started her coaching tenure at the club with a win.

West Coast forward/midfielder Ella Roberts (24 disposals, five clearances, 0.2) was electric throughout the match, with her hot display enough to earn the derby medal for best afield despite being on the losing side.

Fremantle suffered a huge late blow when gun midfielder Kiara Bowers was ruled out with knee soreness.

In her absence, Laura Pugh (19 disposals, 359m gained) shone in defence, while Gabby O’Sullivan (11 disposals, 14 tackles), Hayley Miller (12 disposals, four clearances), ruck Mim Strom (12 disposals, 26 hitouts) and Emma O’Driscoll (14 disposals) were also important.

Tighe was arguably her team’s most critical player with two goals, four marks and eight tackles to go with her 10 disposals.

The Irishwoman kicked the opening goal of the match when she soccered the ball through from close range while lying on the ground.

Her second was an early goal-of-the-year contender, with Tighe dribbling the ball through with the outside of her right boot on the stroke of half-time.

That piece of magic gave Fremantle a 3.3 (21) to 0.6 (6) edge at the long break, with West Coast left to rue its inaccuracy.

The margin was whittled down to just two points when the Eagles scored two goals in the space of a minute midway through the third quarter, including one on the run from former Docker Amy Franklin.

But a strong mark in the goalsquare by Makaela Tuhakaraina helped settle Fremantle’s nerves, with her goal building an eight-point lead into the final quarter.

It proved to be the final score of the match, with the Dockers locking the ball in their attacking half for most of the last term.

Whenever West Coast was able to clear it, Tighe was there to mop it up and send it back in.

Eagles captain Emma Swanson (23 disposals), Dana Hooker (18 disposals), and Aisling McCarthy (17 disposals, seven clearances) battled hard in a losing cause.


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