Essendon youngster Lily-Rose Williamson was taken to hospital after a harrowing incident at the end of the Bombers’ clash with Port Adelaide on Sunday.
With just under two minutes left in the game, Williamson crashed headfirst into the Alberton turf and flipped onto her back as her left arm was restrained by Maria Moloney de Port during a tackle.
The visibly upset 18-year-old was comforted by nearby Power players, captain Erin Phillips briefly holding her hand, before being consoled by her teammates and the arrival of medical staff.
furphy pledged to provide equal support to its AFL and AFLW teams. You don’t support the AFLW? Unbelievable.
Luckily for Williamson, she was conscious in the rooms after the game.
Bombers coach Natalie Wood told reporters after her team’s 27-point win that Williamson appeared to have avoided a major injury.
“Lily-Rose obviously fell into a really awkward collision…it’s a neck complaint,” Wood said.
“She was taken by ambulance and is well taken care of by the medical team.
“She will go for an assessment and we will know more then.
“I saw her just before she got into the ambulance and she was in good spirits… the girls had walked past her.
“Obviously it’s a really traumatic thing…no one likes to see someone go down injured.
“I thought that was great support from our girls who rallied around her, as did the girls in Port Adelaide.
“It’s a real sign of camaraderie, which is nice.”
The injury was a sour note on an otherwise overwhelmingly positive day for Essendon.
The Bombers were rarely bothered en route to victory four of their inaugural AFLW season to finish in 10th place.
“I don’t know what the expectations were (of us)…we just looked internally,” Wood said.
“We set out some metrics with the players on the growth we were trying to get from them and I think for the most part we have that although it may not have always been consistent.
“When we analyze the season and look at the number of players we’ve experienced in different positions and see what that gives us as a group… there are some real positives to that.
“It will give us a really strong launch pad.”
THE BEST BOMBARDIERS
The Bombers were the top-performing expansion team in the first season of the 18-team competition, with their fourth win lifting them to 10th place on the ladder.
With a bit more luck, Essendon, who lost two games by two points or less, could have fought for a place in the final, which says a lot about the foundations they laid for future success.
Maddie Prespakis has once again played the starring role with a record 24 possessions, but all indications are that she won’t need to carry the bulk of the midfield workload for much longer, with help from her developing teammates.
Daria Bannister scored two goals to be Essendon’s top scorer for the season with eight.
His first in the pouring rain in the second quarter was a failing beauty from a tight angle who will be a contender for goal of the year
Arnell spoke of “meeting the expectations of this football club” when she was appointed in April and a solitary win and draw fell short of those expectations.
But in fairness, it was never all about wins and losses for the Power in the club’s inaugural season.
The key question the club’s hierarchy will ask once the dust settles is “Have we laid a solid foundation for future success?”
The answer is a mixed “yes”, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
The two key areas the Power will be looking to address in the offseason are team conversion on offense and consistency of effort over four quarters.
Gemma Houghton, who was behind with a quadratic strain on Sunday, was limited to four games through injury and the striker’s absence again highlighted Power’s shortcomings in attack.
Port led the Inside 50s 7-1 in the first quarter but couldn’t score or even make a mark from inside the attacking arc, Power went scoreless in a first term for the sixth time and scoreless in the first half for the third time. despite six others in the 1950s.
Erin Phillips, who the club have confirmed is continuing her decorated career next season, came atrociously close to her first goal for the Power, the three-time premiership winner hitting the post in the final quarter.
Cheyenne Hammond scored Port’s only goal with just over five minutes left in the game.
POWERFUL 0.1 0.3 0.3 1.4 (10)
BOMBARDIERS 1.2 2.2 3.6 5.7 (37)
OBJECTIVES Power: Hammond. Bombers: Banister 2, Clarke, Toogood, Alexander.
BEST power: Yorston, Dowrick, Phillips, O’Dea, Ewings, Foley. Bombers: Prespakis, Vogt, Gee, Banister, Toogood, Clarke, Scott, Cain.
INJURIES Power: Houghton (quadruple – late withdrawal). Bombers: Williamson (neck).
Venue Alberton Oval
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
3. M Prespakis (Ess)
2. J. Vogt (Ess)
1. J Yorston (Pennsylvania)