A scintillating four-goal performance from Carlton marquee forward Darcy Vescio has powered her side to a 35-point win over Collingwood in the first match of the AFL Women's competition in front of a sellout crowd at Ikon Park on Friday night.
The venue was officially declared a lockout midway through the first quarter, with up to 2000 patrons unable to get into the ground. It led AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan to venture outside Ikon Park to apologise to those people waiting.
The capacity crowd inside the ground was treated to a cracking contest, with the intensity – particularly early in the match – at a high standard on a stunning evening in Melbourne.
The Blues made the early running thanks to three first-half goals from Vescio and took a three-goal lead into half-time, before running away with a triumphant 7.4 (46) to 1.5 (11) victory.
Carlton midfielder Nat Exon led the way with her endeavour at the footy, while Brianna Davey (26 disposals and a goal) – another marquee Blue - rebounded strongly from defence and pushed forward to do damage on the scoreboard.
Magpies skipper Steph Chiocci (nine disposals) was among her side's best for much of the contest, until she was helped from the field following a nasty head knock in the final term.
Collingwood forward Sarah D'Arcy (14 touches) did her best to overcome the deficit with a strong second-half performance, but the Blues were far too classy across the ground and look like one of the teams to beat in the inaugural AFLW competition.
COLLINGWOOD 1.2 1.4 1.5 1.5 (11)
CARLTON 3.0 4.1 6.1 7.4 (46)
GOALS - Collingwood: Garner
Carlton: Vescio 4, Arnell, Davey, Jakobsson
BEST - Collingwood: D'Arcy, Chiocci, Barden, White
Carlton: Davey, Vescio, Exon, Jakobsson, Arnell, Keryk
INJURIES - Collingwood: Emma Grant (concussion), Stacey Livingstone (shoulder), Helen Roden (left leg), Steph Chiocci (concussion)
Carlton: Natalie Plane (ankle), Nat Exon (corked thigh)
Umpires: Annie Mirabile, Nathan Toner, Jack Spencer
Official crowd: 24,568 at Ikon Park, Carlton