North Melbourne hold off late Crows surge to win preliminary final by one point to reach first AFLW GF

North Melbourne have reached their first AFLW grand final, beating Adelaide by one point in a classic contest on Sunday at Ikon Park.

The Kangaroos locked the ball in their half of the ground for the last few frenetic minutes and won the preliminary final 4.8 (32) to 4.7 (31).

North will host Brisbane next Sunday at Ikon Park at 2.30pm to decide the eighth AFLW premiers.

The Lions won the 2021 flag, while North have reached this year’s decider after making a preliminary final last season.

Crows star Anne Hatchard took an outstanding mark and goaled 14 minutes into the last quarter to bring her side to within one point, after the Kangaroos kicked a wasteful four behinds earlier in the term.

But North were able to cling on and inflict another painful defeat on the Crows, who lost their qualifying final to Brisbane by two points.

Jenna Bruton starred for the Kangaroos with 28 disposals and five clearances, while Tahlia Randall kicked two goals.

Emotional scenes as the Kangaroos charge onto the ground after the final siren at IKON Park ????#AFLWFinals

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Forward Danielle Ponter kicked Adelaide’s first three goals and was a constant threat. 

North started much better and should have been further ahead than five points at quarter time.

North’s Niamh Martin and Adelaide key defender Zoe Prowse collided heavily and had to leave the field, although they were soon back in the game.

Randall marked and goaled to put North on the board after three minutes and Kate Shierlaw slotted a major nine minutes later as the Kangaroos threatened to build a solid lead.

North Melbourne players celebrate after the final siren. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

But Ponter stepped through a stoppage to kick a much-needed goal for the Crows late in the term.

Ponter and North captain Emma Kearney shaped up after they clashed on the quarter-time siren, their smiles devoid of any mirth.

Poor Adelaide defence meant Roos star Jas Garner took an easy mark, and she kicked superbly from an acute angle four minutes into the second term.

But that was the only goal of the quarter as the Crows settled and steadily worked into the game.

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Ponter kicked the first two goals of the third term to briefly put Adelaide in front for the first time, before Randall took a strong mark and gave North a three-point lead at the last change.

Bruton went to another level in the third term, racking up 13 disposals.

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