A seesawing blockbuster

Princes Park saw a heart-in-the-mouth finish, gutsy tackles and smothers, classy evasive manoeuvres, momentum swings with a real edge, and a final margin of just two points.

You quite simply couldn’t script a better contest to start the AFLW’s brave new world of finals.

Not once would either side have felt comfortable, even as North Melbourne pushed early, Collingwood responded in almighty fashion to overtake and stretch a lead of their own.

The Roos were able to come back though, through a more laboured version of their usual exploits to retake the ascendancy and hold on by the skin of their teeth.

There were highlights aplenty too, with names like Bonnici, Gavalas and Membrey doing the spectacular – but none more so than Sophie Abbatangelo’s cold as ice snap for goal from hard up against the behind post late in the game.