In Week 1 of the 2023 AFLW finals series Orla O'Dwyer kicked a ridiculous goal, Chloe Molloy and her Swans made some history, and North Melbourne earned the biggest win in their AFLW history. Here's whose stocks are rising as we head into semifinal week.
Our footy experts cast their eye over the weekend's action to find out whose stocks are up in the AFLW.
Orla O'Dwyer's left-foot stunner
There were many brilliant goals in Brisbane's heart-stopping two-point qualifying final win over Adelaide, but none better than Irishwoman Orla O'Dwyer's.
O'Dwyer took possession of the footy roughly 30 metres out from goal and hard on the boundary line, and let her left foot do the talking, sailing through a stunning goal from the pocket. It was her second major of the quarter, too, after she put through the first goal of the game, while she finished with 12 disposals, eight tackles, and five score involvements in an outstanding performance.
2, 4, 6, 8, Chloe Molloy can kick straight
Yes, Sydney's fairytale rise -- becoming the first ever team to win a final following a winless season -- is the main story here. And while there are players who deserve their due praise littered across the park, it's x-factor forward Chloe Molloy whose fingerprints are all over the Swans' maiden finals win.
The former Pie was at her crafty best in an away final against the Suns, evading opponents, scoring goals (three, to be exact), and causing havoc at Heritage Bank Stadium. Molloy finished with 15 touches, eight score involvements and five marks in a true captain's performance, her best moment perhaps a goal celebration response towards a sledging section of the crowd.
North's greatest ever AFLW win?
Heading into the finals, much had been made of North Melbourne's form against the other Top 4 sides -- namely that they didn't have any. Where Brisbane had defeated the rest of the flag contenders, the Kangaroos had failed to secure wins against any of them during the season and historically had a poor record against the Dees, Crows, and Lions.
There was a feeling that North might just fall at this hurdle once again. But the Kangas not only got out to an early lead against the Demons, they never surrendered it, securing a 41-point win.
With Tahlia Randall firing up forward, Jas Garner and Ash Riddell running riot in midfield, and Sarah Wright marshalling the defence, North have taken an almighty step towards a first ever AFLW flag.
Georgie earns bragging rights in Prespakis Cup
When the Cats and Bombers met earlier this season, it was older sister Maddy and her Essendon side which got the win over Geelong and little sister Georgie. But in a stellar performance, the younger Prespakis has led her side to an arguably more important victory with Geelong defeating Essendon in the elimination final.
Georgie had 23 disposals, a goal, nine clearances, and six inside 50s. But she wasn't the only Cat purring with Aisling Moloney showing off her velcro hands with eight marks and two goals, Amy McDonald racking up 21 disposals and laying 11 tackles, and Rebecca Webster gaining 401 metres and grabbing 23 disposals to boot.