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Roger Vaughan

Prespakis the difference in Cats' AFLW win

Geelong captain Meg McDonald starred in defence as the Cats beat Richmond in the AFLW. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Young Geelong star Georgie Prespakis has kicked the first two goals of her AFLW career, giving the Cats a four-point AFLW win over Richmond.

Prespakis earned a free kick with less than a minute left and her shot from about 30m out sailed through to give Geelong the 2.3 (15) to 1.5 (11) win on Sunday at GMHBA Stadium to end round one.

The midfielder snapped the first goal of her career in the third term to put the Cats on the board.

The ease with which Prespakis kicked the match-winning goal was in stark contrast to the rest of the game, with only three goals at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday despite ideal football conditions.

For all the fierceness of the contest, the two sides put an extra player behind the ball and butchered a number of inside-50 opportunities in a grinding game.

The Tigers were left rueing four behinds in the second term, all gettable set shots.

Courtney Wakefield kicked their only goal in the first term.

Richmond finished 11th last season, one place higher than Geelong, and the two sides will struggle to break into the finals again this season unless they can dramatically boost their forward firepower.

The Cats suffered a blow in the opening term when Rachel Kearns was forced out of the game with an A/c joint injury.

She sat out the match with her right arm in a sling.

Prespakis, the No.2 pick in the 2021 draft, impressed with 16 disposals and eight tackles, while captain Meg McDonald was rock-solid in defence.

Richmond defender Eilish Sheerin was outstanding in her AFLW debut, racking up 19 disposals and five marks.

Sheerin looked to have made a game-saving tackle late in the last tackle in the Geelong goal line, only for Prespakis to be awarded her decisve free kick moments later.

Tigers captain Katie Brennan did not come up in time from her off-season foot surgery and acting skipper Sarah Hosking had a team-high 22 disposals.

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