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AFLW Fanter: Bulldogs v Melbourne


What happens when two friends who support two different teams sit down to watch the footy together?

Fanter, that’s what happens.

Read on for Kirby Fenwick and Gemma Bastiani’s thoughtful insights, compelling stats and stories and, honestly mostly, general chat around the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne Demons round two clash.

First quarter

Kirby: Slippery out there

Gemma: Blackburn’s unbelievable holy cow

Kirby: Yes, thank you

Gemma: Goldrick tho

Kirby: Can I just say, loving Aisling McCarthy, so tough

Gemma: she’s gone to another level this year for sure

Kirby: Absolutely!

Plus I love an Irish gal

Great pressure by us there

Deanna Berry

Gemma: goddang

ex Dee

Kirby: Also, long sleeves!

Gemma: ahahaha yes gotta love the long sleeves

Libby Birch 😍

Kirby: I miss Birch but no grudge

Ooh that rain


you love to see it




Kirby: Great goal

Gemma: those clean hands from Newman

Kirby: In wet weather too

Super impressive

Gemma: truly

ex-cricketer, knows what’s up

Kirby: So much pressure

Gemma: Take the mark Eden

Kirby: The reliable Ferres!

Big fan

Gemma: Naomi Ferres – 22 years old. Not the ‘old player’ like I tried to suggest 😂

Kirby: Haha in fact one of the youngsters

Gemma: Our kicks I50 haven’t quite been as smart as they need

Kirby: Tough in the rain though, just gotta move it forward any way you can

Gemma: yeah but when you’re not pressured kicking I50, you’ve gotta try to pick an option in the navy hahahaha

it’s all dogs!

Shelley Scott with the intercept though

she’s so underrated

Kirby: Agree!

Gemma: How’s that from Hore though

Kirby: Lovely, very lovely

But, accuracy?

Gemma: I don’t trust it

second least accurate Dee


Kirby: I do love Paxy

Ex-Bulldog I might add

Gemma: one of only three AFLW players to be All Australian three times

I like my fact better

Kirby: She’ll go again this year too I reckon

Gemma: yeah 100%!!

Kirby: Clever goal, opportunistic, which are my fave

Melbourne’s pressure is everything early on

Gemma: Shelley Heath in the middle. You love to see it.

Kirby: so slippery

Gemma: smart from Toogood off the ground.

Kirby: Berry!

Lots of feeling in that


Gemma: Oooooh Goldrick

Irish gals need to know the rules hahaha

Kirby: Gotta feel for Goldrick there

Yeah!!!!! 🐶🐶🐶🐶

Gemma: Goldrick’s been so good elsewhere though, so I ain’t too mad.

She won’t make that mistake again

Kirby: Lesson learnt

Gemma: y’all need a 50 to get a goal 😉

Kirby: Ooooooohhhhhh

I’ll take it 🤷‍♀️

Gemma: how’s that verticle leap on Zanker

Kirby: She’s super impressive

She’s the reason my uncle likes AFLW now

He met her in the pub in Ouyen, got a pic with her 😂


Gemma: Oooh they’re going after Birch

Kirby: Yeah, there’s some feeling there

Gemma: incredible

good netballer too apparently

y’all have picked up your pressure

Kirby: Daisy Pearce’s ability to stay calm is pretty remarkable

Gemma: and the quick hands!

Kirby: ‘It’s Paxman again’

Gemma: Emonson free in the corridor is danger signs for the Dogs though.

Kirby: Paxman and Pearce behind the ball is too

Gemma: Toogood stealing the ball mid air. Wow.

Kirby: So good. Too good you might say

Come on! I had too

Melbourne defense is very good

Gemma: and that’s with Cordner up in the ruck!

Kirby: Free kick for Scotty!

Gemma: Awh that shoulda been called a mark

Kirby: Nice to Blackburn but yeah shoulda

Gemma: Ellie Blackburn on the lead is a scary prospect.

Kirby: McLeod doing the jump tackle there!

So much smothering tonight

Which I love

Gemma: Tyla Hanks was UNBELIEVABLE there

recovers the miskick from McEvoy, passes off, gets it back under pressure, side step and beautiful kick to Emonson on the wing.

Just quietly shoulda been a Rising Star last year.

Pretty dirty she wasn’t

Cordner to Hanks at the ball up. Wowsers that was smooth.

Kirby: Nicky Callinan is incredible. 37? Wouldn’t know it


Kirby: Ferres is underrated

Great player

Gemma: Yeeeeah siren with the Dees up by 9 😎

Kirby: That was a fierce quarter

So much pressure

Second quarter

Kirby: Daisy tucks her jumper in

Gemma: yeah, Shelley Scott and Tegan Cunningham do too!

Kirby: Look at that rain!

Gemma: not really Cunningham’s kinda weather, though

Kirby: Super fast i50 there

This is better dogs

Ooh not that

Gemma: it’s always better when Spark & Blackburn are involved

Kirby: Melbourne playing with a dry footy

Spark is so good

Love those intercept marks

Gemma: This is one of the best games I’ve seen Shelley Scott play

Kirby: She is from Colac way, lotta rain down there

Gemma: ahahaha yes!

How’s that speed from Goldrick!!

Cunningham just distracting a defender tonight

Kirby: Blackburn’s strength is something else

Gemma: it really is, but that’s why it’s so impressive what Hanks has been doing tonight.

Kirby: Kate Hore, gotta practice that goal kicking! Unlucky there

Gemma: (Kate Hore, inaccurate. Kills me)

Leave Libby alone!

Kirby: Birch’s growth as a defender has been beautiful to watch. Real plus for the Dees this season

But I support the Bulldogs ribbing here tonight

Gemma: Cordner taking it out of the ruck is one of my favourite things.

Goldrick is so fast holy cow.

Kirby: Bad decision there, straight to the contest

Gemma: Dogs are starting to get some space across the back half, but the Dees just shut them down after that. The Dees are so well set up behind play.

Cordner, I forgive you for giving away frees in the ruck.

Kirby: Gotta cut her some slack, she is a defender


Kirby: Why are we kicking it to daisy?!?!

Gemma: Now why would you kick it to Daisy


great minds

nearly took O’Dea’s head off

Kirby: Hyperbole!

Gemma: ahahahahaha coming back to bite me

Kirby: I hate these boundary side interviews

Gemma: Agree, so unnecessary

Kirby: We’re playing catch up footy here, Dees seem to have control

Gemma: And I love it

Kirby: Me? Not so much

Gemma: I like the tenacity of McEvoy here. On debut.

She’s not been able to be clean with possession but her pressure is fantastic

The Dees have just always had that outlet to relieve pressure but they’re not letting the Dogs have the same

Kirby: Few have been clean with possession

That footy is slippery as heck

Gemma: Shelley Scott the only one hahaha

Kirby: Must have heaps of that sticky hands stuff on

That from Scott was so good

Gemma: how was that pick up!!

so deserved a goal

Kirby: Deserved a goal there


Kirby: Nice one Gamble!

Really looking forward to her having a good season for us

Gemma: dangit messy there

Kirby: High

Gemma: don’t know why we got a free there

Kirby: Can’t wrap ya hands around the neck

Gemma: McCarthy


Kirby: Good work from McCarthy there, love her

So tough

Gemma: just not the kick to follow it up

that tackle from Cunningham what in the heck

it was like a full on gridiron tackle

wanted to destroy

Kirby: Those fumbles

Makes it so hard

And Melbourne are leaping on any mistake

Gemma: Melbourne got out of jail there

yeaaaaah my fav Shelley Heath

Kirby: McEvoy there again

Gemma: oooh and McEvoy nearly got her first goal

Gemma: 2.6 though

Kirby: Melbourne defence is like a brick wall

Gemma: doing my head in considering we missed finals on % for often

Kirby: Cheap free

Gemma: McCarthy so good and a bit stiff to be called for sliding

but I guess that’s the rule

frustrating though

Colvin just hasn’t been able to get a clean possession all night

Kirby: Dees defence very good there

Half time

Handy lead for the Dees

They will all be wrecked

Gemma: but 2.6

Kirby: Look, I ain’t complaining

Gemma: I AM

% dangit!

Third quarter

Kirby: That rain

Gemma: Glad the Dees got the jump before the rain really set it

how’s that rebound out of defence for Lampard

running like a gazelle

Ferres is SO CLEAN below the knees though

Kirby: Blackburn can’t take a trick tonight


Gemma: Tyla Hanks giving her no space!

and I am very much enjoying it

Goldrick v McLeod

Goldrick 1 McLeod 0

Kirby: Bailey Hunt has been working so hard all night

Nice pick up

Gemma: Smart play by Eden, kicking into space

ahahaha Emonson misses and it’s brought back

You’re really missing Lochland tonight I think

her ability below the knees would be invaluable tonight

Kirby: Absolutely

Very much looking forward to getting her back

Gemma: very basketball-like from Cunningham

Kirby: That was out twice

Gemma: ahahaha yes you are right

ooooh putting Blackburn down

takes a lot to get her down

Kirby: Gogos is a workhorse, so good

Gemma: she’s second in the AFLW for tackles

but at the start of the season she was 98 behind Marinoff

that’s how far ahead Marinoff is

Kirby: Always in it, always applying pressure, I love her

Gemma: dang it Melbourne, kick straight.


Kirby: She’s so young and she’s going to be so good

Gemma: 2.8 I’m tearing my hair out

Kirby: Points win games


Gemma: That was brilliant from Goldrick

And rebound by the Dees

but even better from Scott with the mark I50

Kirby: Such a fast transition

Gemma: the fact that we’ve been able to get outlets in the corridor on the rebound has been massive

Kirby: Melbourne are controlling everything

Gemma: Dogs need to be more aware of that corridor kick

Kirby: We look out to sea


Kirby: So important to the Dees

Flies under the radar

Gemma: who’d had’ve thought she’d be our main forward target tonight

great defensive pressure from y’all

ahahaha ya tried to be smart but it didn’t work


Kirby: No, totally fair

Need better communication

To be doing things like that

Gemma: Aisling McCarthy has been your best for sure tonight

Kirby: She has been very good

Gemma: Zanker into the ruck again with that giant vertical leap

so many frees being paid tonight

Kirby: Ellie Blackburn is working so hard

Headfirst into everything


Kirby: So good


smart from Scott to kick into the open 50

Kirby: Yep, great work by Scott

Really set that up

Gemma: but the speed from Sherriff to get there first


from 25 out

Kirby: We love to see it!

Gemma: that’s her first goal in footy!!!!!

heck yeah Casey

Kirby: No way!

That’s how I kicked my first, little soccer off the ground

Gemma: hahaha heck yeah

(was that your only?)

Kirby: Yep! I was a defender!

Gemma: I ain’t judging!

Gemma: Spark has been good under a lot of pressure tonight

big fan of her

Kirby: She’s very good. Takes those intercept marks, works hard. Big fan

Dees so much cleaner tonight

We seem to have lost any structure

Gemma: Zanker in the ruck when it gets wetter is clever. She has the higher leap and spikes it forward for territory, but with less rain they put Cordner in to try and get a clearance

ahahaha Hannah Scott hands right in the back

Maddie Gay – Melbourne’s least accurate in front of goal

so let’s see what happens now



Kirby: And you with your talk of accuracy!

Nicely done by Gay though

Gemma: it’s been on my mind this preseason hahahaha

considering we’ve missed finals multiple times on %

AND we’re in the worse conference

Kirby: Yeah, no doubt on the minds of the players too

Especially with the change to top three going through

This could be the Dees year

Gemma: Just not Cunningham’s night

Kirby: Saved by the bell

Or the siren

Fourth quarter

Kirby: Ok, fourth quarter

Just need like five goals

Gemma: big final quarter here dees  

don’t let em score 

Kirby: Weather check. Still wet

Gemma: Heath tackling. I love it  

Kirsty Lamb is so good. Far out.

Kirby: Hugely underrated 

In everything

Also, a cricketer  

Gemma: haha I didn’t know that!

Kirby: And there she is again

Gemma: Paxyyyyy

Yeah Lampard. That’s a strong tackle. 

Goldrick. I’ve really loved her game tonight

Kirby: Truly good

So impressive

All the Irish recruits have been really

 Gemma: seems like she’s starting to read the play a lot better 


the future

Kirby: Sure is bright (for the aflw)

Gemma: McCarthy’s been your best by far tonight.  

she runs so hard

haha yes Cordner out of the ruck I LOVE IT 

Super from Gogos

Kirby: Loving Newman’s helmet!  

McCarthy again 

Gemma: Emonson. Also a cricketer. 


Kirby: Oof that looked painful  

Legs back like that  

Gemma: that’s how Parker broke his leg in 2015  

but yeah, Goldrick, heck yeah, she’s amazing 

bang from the side

that hurts

Kirby: That is a great tackle 

Nearly stolen by Toogood!

Gemma: giving y’all NO SPACE

Kirby: So. Much. Pressure.

Gemma: eep  

probably high on McCarthy there

Kirby: There’s been a couple tonight 

Gemma: but no-one goes through Tyla Hanks

Kirby: And holding  

Pay it when it’s there imo 

Gemma: oh wow

Kirby: Tooooooogoooood!  

Gemma: Toogood. That is a really good goal.

(I wouldn’t be saying that if Melbourne weren’t up by 20)  

Kirby: Hahah

Gemma: because booooo Dogs 

Kirby: Needed that

And need like four more  

Gemma: but also, that was a great snap out of the mess of that contest

Kirby: Loving Bonnie In the forward line

Gemma: hahahaha Paxy 

she’s a freak goddang

Kirby: Straight out the middle

Gemma: honestly, that clearance

Kirby: I love that story about her in season one where she said she didn’t watch the AFLM

Very cool woman 

Dragged it in, come on!

Gemma: nah mate 

it’s all good there 


and my gal Shelley Scott with another shot on goal.

Kirby: Pfft, rubbish call

Gemma: she’s been a beast all night and y’all are worried about her so holding 

Kirby: How we feel about accuracy here?  

Gemma: haha she hasn’t been kicking well tonight. 

awh Maddie Gay. Not the smartest thing to do.

Kirby: Whoa, bit in that!

Gemma: was an incredible tackle though

Gay shouldn’t have done it as much as Newman deserved reward for effort

Kirby: Some interesting decisions tonight

I mean, visibility might be a problem

It’s why I never liked playing night footy

One handed!

But Sparky says nah

Gemma: Lauren Spark.. bleargh

she’s too good

it’s annoying haha

Kirby: Annoyingly good? 

Gemma: yeah annoyingly good

Kirby: A bit too much on that  

Gemma: haha Hannah Scott’s want to destroy Birch results in a Birch free  

Kirby: Bodies everywhere! 

Gemma: Ellie! 


Kirby: Oh no 

Hope so 

Bloody hell

Gemma: biggest quads in the AFLW

Kirby: Stays on, so tough 



Gemma: y’all are gonna score your lowest ever in AFLW  

unfortunate for you

Kirby: I know. What a bummer

Gemma: (I’m cocky now that I know we’ve got the win)

Kirby: I know the weather ain’t great, but we look nothing like the team of last week 

Obviously, tougher opponents but still

Kirby: Nice one by Ferres

Gemma: no Huntington no Dogs

Kirby: Hmm nah, disagree

Gemma: hahahaha 

okay what about.. the Dees are great

Kirby: I mean, I’ll say good and hold on the great. At least for another few weeks

Thirty seconds to go 

Is the impossible possible?

Ever the optimist

Gemma: awh was that Kemp 

went down 

she’s already playing without an ACL


Kirby: It’s definitely an old one!

Gemma: Birch looks overwhelmed after the siren. 

Kirby: Relieved it’s over! 

Gemma: yeah, Kemp looks shattered 

far out that’s so sad

Kirby: Hope it’s not the worst


but also.. Kemp

Kirby: So devastating but more so in such a short season

We’ll done to your Dees 

Top start to the season

Gemma: we’re 2-0 and haven’t played any expansions yet!

Kirby: No guarantees with expansion teams!

Gemma: and still have Lauren Pearce and Lily Mithen to return!  


Kirby: Both big ins 

Looking forward to getting Izzy back and hopefully Brooke too

Gemma: Yeah, Huntington is a massive inclusion – hopefully back for you next week!

but more importantly..

Kirby: Hahahah 

Go footy!

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