Bombers through to VFLW grand final

Essendon's Mia-Rae Clifford. (Joe Mastroianni). 268247_12

Tara Murray

Essendon won through to its first Victorian Football League Women’s grand final in stunning fashion.

The Bombers faced Casey Demons on Sunday with the first place in the grand final on the line.

It was a clinical display by the Bombers, who are yet to lose this year, as they completely dominated the game, winning 11.10 (76)-1.3 (9).

It was a slow start to the game, with the Bombers kicking the only goal of the first quarter and the match looking like it would be hard fought tight contest.

The Bombers though blew the game open in the second quarter as they piled on six goals to lead by 42 points at half time.

It took until the final quarter for the Demons to kick their first major as they Bombers were able to celebrate a grand final spot in the final quarter.

Bombers coach Brendan Major said it was a pretty exciting feeling for the group.

“They are pretty up and about,” he said. “They played some pretty good footy today and showed they have what it takes to play well in finals.”

Major said that the Demons threw a player behind the ball early, which took them by surprise and it took a little while to adjust to.

He said once they did that, it was about making the most of their opportunities.

“In finals you have to make the most of the opportunities as they will come at you,” he said.

“The backs stood up well and took intercept marks and then allowed the forwards to get plenty of opportunities.

“The backs were fantastic and we were able to produce pressure through the midfield and all over the ground, it was a real team thing.”

Joanne Doonan and Federica Frew kicked three goals each for the Bombers.

Co-captain Georgia Nanscawen led from the front with 24 possessions, while Alana Barba had 21 and Courtney Ugle and Jordan Zanchaetta had 18 possessions.

Major said it was a real even performance, but highlighted the games of Doonan and Nanscawen.

A grand final is a long way from their first season in 2018 when the side finished bottom of the ladder with just one win.

Major, who has been coach since day one, said making it this far was a tribute to those who have been there from the start.

“They’ve invested in people at Essendon,” he said. “They’ve wanted to continue to improve and that’s credit to the players.

“They’ve created a culture that has put us in a good position and people want to come play for us.”

The Bombers have a week off, with the Demons to face St Kilda in the preliminary final with the winner to face the Bombers.

Major said he believed they had gotten through injury free. He said the plan for the next couple of weeks was pretty simple.

“We don’t change a thing,” he said. “We keep it the same.”