AAP/PA Images Collingwood and Mayo star Sarah Rowe facing Western Bulldogs this weekend.
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Mayo star Rowe steps up with another huge performance Down Under as Dublin duo combine for goal
Cora Staunton hit the headlines already, but here’s your weekly AFLW round-up.

WHILE CORA STAUNTON continued her remarkable injury comeback with a career-best four-goal haul, her fellow Mayo native Sarah Rowe also produced an outstanding individual performance in the Autralian Women’s Football League [AFLW] this weekend.

Rowe led Collingwood to victory over 2018 champions Western Bulldogs, and was brilliant throughout once again as she kicked another two goals, racked up a massive 21 disposals — 17 kicks and four handballs — and made five marks and four tackles.

The Pies were 32-point winners over the Bulldogs — who had their 2020 finals chances all but ended — at Morwell Recreation Reserve, with plenty of Irish interest on show. 

Cavan forward Aishling Sheridan also enjoyed the Collingwood win, starting on their interchange bench, while Tipperary All-Ireland winner Ailsing McCarthy and Donegal defender Katy Herron lined out for the Bulldogs. 

The 2018 champions have lost their past four games after their opening-round win, while Collingwood’s hopes in Conference B remain alive. 

While Staunton starred in Greater Western Sydney [GWS] Giants’ dominant win over Richmond Tigers, she was without her Donegal team-mate Yvonne Bonner who has been ruled out for the season through injury. 

Elsewhere, Dublin ace Niamh McEvoy stepped up with her first AFLW goal for Melbourne FC against West Coast Eagles as the Demons took a leap towards their first finals berth at the halfway stage of the season.

She and Sky Blues team-mate Sinéad Goldrick combined brilliantly for the goal, while McEvoy accounted for 14 disposals — eight kicks and six handballs — and five tackles in their thumping 59-point win at Casey Fields. 

Mayo sisters Niamh and Grace Kelly were on the losing side.

Louth All-Ireland winning captain Kate Flood helped Fremantle sealed their status as the only unbeaten side in the AFLW after they saw off Brisbane in a top-of-the-ladder showdown. 

The Dockers were 7.8 (50) to 4.8 (32) winners in their fifth straight victory at Fremantle Oval, while Tipperary dual star Orla O’Dwyer lined out for Brisbane Lions. Freo now sit top of Conference B, with Melbourne and Carlton trailing.

Mayo midfielder Aileen Gilroy produced another consistent performance for North Melbourne as the Kangaroos thrashed reigning champions Adelaide Crows by 42 points. 

Gilroy thrived with 12 disposals and four marks in North’s fourth win in-a-row, while Galway’s Mairead Seoighe was among the emergency substitutes. Clare’s Ailish Considine was on the losing side.

North Melbourne go top of Conference B, with Brisbane next in line.

Down’s Clara Fitzpatrick was again outstanding for St Kilda, as she has established herself as one of the side’s most reliable and consistent defenders. Fitzpatrick picked up 12 disposals, two marks and two tackles, though the Saints were beaten by Carlton Blues.

2019 Fermanagh captain Joanne Doonan is on the books at Carlton, though didn’t make the cut this week. Leitrim’s Áine Tighe is the 18th Irish player on the books, but a cruciate injury ended the Fremantle player’s season before it even started.

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