Niamh Kelly helped Adelaide Crows to victory today. AAP/PA Images
Land down under

Kelly and Wall star, with Irish involvement in all four teams left in AFLW race

Niamh Kelly’s Adelaide Crows and Vikki Wall’s North Melbourne came through today’s clashes.

THERE’S IRISH INVOLVEMENT in all four teams left in the Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] race, with two mouth-watering preliminary finals down for decision next weekend.

Seven Irish stars are still standing after today’s semi-finals — or quarter-finals to us.

Sarah Rowe and Aishling Sheridan’s Collingwood bowed out at the in the early hours of this morning. Rowe passed a late fitness test after struggling with a knee setback, but the Pies fell to a 23-11 defeat to defending champions Adelaide Crows amidst torrential rain at Unley Oval.

Her Mayo counterpart Niamh Kelly and Ailish Considine of Clare were on the winning side; the former featuring prominently but the latter still out with a hamstring injury.

Adelaide now face Brisbane — team of Tipperary star Orla O’Dwyer — in their preliminary final on Friday as the recent champions and fierce rivals go head-to-head for a coveted Grand Final ticket.

North Melbourne and Melbourne will face off in the other prelim final.

Vikki Wall helped North set-up an exciting derby date next Saturday in their 74-38 victory over Richmond Tigers at Punt Road Oval today.

There was great joy for the Meath All-Ireland winner, who had family over for the game, and Cork star Erika O’Shea as their side advanced in their first season Down Under. O’Shea wasn’t involved on the field of play, though, missing her second game in-a-row with an eye injury.

Dublin great Sinéad Goldrick, Armagh’s Blaithin Mackin and their Melbourne side lie in wait next weekend; themselves and Brisbane securing their respective safe passages in last weekend’s round of games.

An Irish AFLW champion is guaranteed, with the Grand Final pencilled in for the weekend of 26/27 November.

Considine (2019, 2022) and O’Dwyer (2021) are the only winners to have hailed from these shores. Adelaide are the reigning Premiers, having won their third title in five seasons in April.

22 Irish players in total were involved this season

AFLW preliminary finals

Friday 18 November 

  • Preliminary Final 1: Brisbane (Orla O’Dwyer) vs Adelaide (Ailish Considine, Niamh Kelly), Metricon Stadium, 8.40am Irish time

Saturday 19 November

  • Preliminary Final 2: Melbourne (Sinéad Goldrick, Blaithin Mackin) vs North Melbourne (Vikki Wall, Erika O’Shea), YMCA Victoria Youth Services, 4.10am Irish time. 
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