Pingrup defender shines for Eagles in final round

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldGreat Southern Herald
West Coast’s Belinda Smith.
Camera IconWest Coast’s Belinda Smith. Credit: Getty Images

Pingrup’s Belinda Smith has finished the AFLW season on a high, starring for West Coast in their heavy defeat against St Kilda in round nine at Mineral Resources Park last Sunday.

In a tough season for the Eagles, in which they won two matches and finished in 12th place on the ladder, Smith shone across half-back.

The 25-year-old led from the front in the final round of the regular season as she collected a season-high 18 disposals and three marks.

The Eagles went down by 56 points but Smith was superb with six intercepts, two score involvements and 343m gained.

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Smith finished the season averaging 13 disposals and 3.4 rebound 50s, the best return from her five years playing in the AFLW competition.

Denmark ruck Parris Laurie injured her ankle before the match started but was unable to be replaced and the stand-in skipper battled on to collect six possessions.

Albany defender Sophie McDonald was recalled to the Eagles team for the final match and in her fifth game of the season finished with seven disposals.

Katanning’s Julie-Anne Norrish was drafted by the Eagles last year but injured her groin during the season and was not able to make her AFLW debut.

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