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Lions bounce back with big AFLW win over Bombers, Dees beat Freo in Perth

Brisbane Lions have returned to form after last week’s shock loss to Richmond, beating expansion side Essendon by 44 points to go back to the top of the AFLW ladder.

The previously-unbeaten Lions were stunned by the Tigers at Punt Road Oval in round five, losing in a tight, low-scoring match by four points.

They restored order at home against Essendon, and were never threatened in a 8.14 (62) to 3.0 (18) victory.

The players showed renewed intensity against the Bombers, with Brisbane dominating the first half, putting together 15 scoring shots to none.

The extent of the home side’s control of the game came in the stats, with the Lions having 27 inside 50s to just two for Essendon, plus 18 clearances to seven and 13 tackles inside 50 to none.

However the Lions’ inability to take their chances — including four shots hitting the post — saw them go in at the main break leading by only 30 points, 3.12 to no score.

The Lions went on with the job in the second half, kicking another two goals to start the third quarter, to lead by 42 points.

It was a struggle for the Dons, and it took until the 14-minute mark of the third term for Joanne Doonan to kick a set shot from close range to get her team on the board.

The Bombers continued to lift, and Maddy Prespakis took advantage of a holding-the-ball call to boot the team’s second before three quarter-time.

But the Lions were not content to let the quarter run out, and in the final 30 seconds they went forward again, for Cathy Svarc to run in and drill the ball through on the siren to get the lead back to 36 points at the final change.

Catherine Phillips got the first goal of the final quarter with a long-range effort for Essendon, but Zimmorlei Farqharson and Greta Bodey answered for the home side, who finished with a seven-goal win.

Demons surge clear of Dockers

Melbourne have overcome a Kiara Bowers masterclass to post a 30-point AFLW win over Fremantle at Fremantle Oval.

Bowers tallied 26 disposals, 12 tackles and a goal to give her side a chance of pulling off an upset win on Sunday.

The Dockers had two opportunities early in the final quarter to snatch the lead, but their misses proved costly as Melbourne kicked the last four goals of the match to secure the 10.6 (66) to 5.6 (36) win.

The Demons piled on the goals late to run away from the Dockers.(Getty Images: Will Russell)

Demons forward Kate Hore was crucial in the victory with three goals, two of which came in the last term when Melbourne made the most of a strong breeze.

Former Docker Sabreena Duffy kicked two goals, including a spectacular banana from the pocket late in the match.

Demons midfielder Olivia Purcell finished with 26 disposals and a goal, while Tyla Hanks racked up 21 disposals.

The win ensured Melbourne (5-1) stayed equal top of the ladder alongside the Brisbane Lions, Adelaide and Collingwood.

Fremantle’s finals hopes are now all but over after posting just a win and a draw from the opening six rounds.

Demons star Tayla Harris booted the opening goal of the match and then produced a mark-of-the-year contender when she jumped over two players to take a superb floating grab in defence.

Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce kicked a goal and set up another in the first half.

But it was Bowers who was the dominant player on the field, tallying 18 disposals, four clearances, eight tackles, five inside 50s and a goal by the long break.

Hore booted her first goal of the match in the opening 17 seconds of the third quarter to make it an 18-point margin.

But majors to Amy Franklin and Hayley Miller cut the gap to just five points at three-quarter time.

Gabby O’Sullivan had the chance to put Fremantle ahead when she received a 50m penalty early in the final period.

But her kick against the strong breeze was wayward, and Melbourne made full advantage by slamming through the next four goals.