Pingrup’s Belinda Smith stars for West Coast in round one AFLW loss to Fremantle

Cameron NewboldGreat Southern Herald
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West Coast’s Belinda Smith handballs during the round one AFLW loss to Fremantle.
Camera IconWest Coast’s Belinda Smith handballs during the round one AFLW loss to Fremantle. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Pingrup-raised defender Belinda Smith stood out for the West Coast Eagles in their 28-point derby loss to the Fremantle Dockers in round one of the AFLW at Fremantle Oval on Saturday.

The Dockers finished comfortable winners but Smith was outstanding across half-back in front of more than 5000 people.

She is one of three Great Southern players on the Eagles AFLW list and the rebounding defender was among their best contributors.

The 26-year-old finished the match with 13 disposals, nine intercepts, four marks and two tackles.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 08: Airlie Runnalls of the Dockers handballs while being tackled by Belinda Smith of the Eagles during the round one AFLW match between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles at Fremantle Oval on January 08, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Camera IconDockers’ Airlie Runnalls handballs while being tackled by Eagles’ Belinda Smith. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

The Dockers led by five points at quarter-time and extended that margin to 17 by the long break before the Eagles hit back in the third term.

The Eagles kicked two goals after half-time, through captain Emma Swanson and then Aimee Schmidt as they pulled the deficit back to five points at the final change.

However, the Dockers had the breeze in the final term and kicked three unanswered goals to seal the 6.7 (43) to 2.3 (15) triumph.

Denmark product Parris Laurie worked hard in the ruck for the Eagles with 25 hit-outs to go with her six touches and one mark.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 08: Parris Laurie of the Eagles wins a ruck contest against Aine Tighe of the Dockers during the round one AFLW match between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles at Fremantle Oval on January 08, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Camera IconParris Laurie of the Eagles wins a ruck contest against Aine Tighe of the Dockers. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Dockers pair Kiara Bowers and Ebony Antonio shared the honours in the derby best-afield medal.

Bowers had 24 disposals and 14 tackles and Antonio kicked 3.1 from 12 possessions.

Albany’s Sophie McDonald was an emergency for the Eagles.

The Eagles travel to Whitten Oval in Victoria to tackle the Gold Coast Suns in round two on Sunday.

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