Best of 2019: The highlights of the AFLW season

WITH Adelaide's 45-point triumph over Carlton in Sunday's Grand Final and the W Awards handed out, the 2019 NAB AFL Women's season is complete.

Missed any of the action? Below is a pocket-sized guide to some on-field talking points from the third AFLW season.

BEST MATCH

Fremantle 9.5 (59) def Melbourne 8.7 (55), round one at Casey Fields

It was the match that set the tone for the rest of the season. Fremantle played a free-flowing, high-scoring style under new coach Trent Cooper, while Melbourne showed the hole left behind by pregnant captain Daisy Pearce would not be insurmountable. The Dockers raced home in scorching heat, kicking the last three goals to steal the win. The game produced the second-highest aggregate score in three AFLW seasons.

BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE

Ebony Marinoff, round three

It's a subjective category that's sure to cause debate, but Ebony Marinoff's AFLW-record 34-disposal effort against Geelong gets the nod. The Crow was unstoppable, also laying seven tackles and finishing with six clearances. Honourable mentions to Adelaide's Erin Phillips in round four against Fremantle (25 touches and two goals) and the Dockers' Kiara Bowers in round six against Geelong (16 disposals, 19 tackles).

Ebony Marinoff racked up the disposals against the Cats

STAR ON THE RISE
Maddy Prespakis

Not many 18-year-olds average 20 disposals and five clearances in their first year of senior football, but Carlton's Prespakis was a class above this year and the deserving winner of the NAB AFLW Rising Star award. By comparison the 2017 Rising Star, Adelaide's Ebony Marinoff, averaged 16 touches while Chloe Molloy averaged 14 (as a defender) in 2018. Honourable mentions to Greater Western Sydney's Alyce Parker and Fremantle's Sabreena Duffy.

LOW POINTS

Geelong, Melbourne and Brisbane

In a season that saw 10 of the top 20 all-time aggregate AFLW scores posted, there were also some horrific blowouts. Brisbane started the ball rolling with a score of just eight points against Geelong in round five, before Adelaide caused some devastation in the final rounds of the season, holding Melbourne to eight points and Geelong to seven (in the preliminary final).

SURPRISE PACKET

Kate Gillespie-Jones

After being drafted by Carlton with pick 14 in 2016, Gillespie-Jones, now at North Melbourne, started playing to her potential. The versatile tall was North's second ruck, alternating between forward and back when she wasn't required on the ball. She covered the ground with ease and averaged a career-high 12 touches and six tackles a match. Geelong's Meg McDonald was another to catch the eye in defence.

Kate Gillespie-Jones began playing to her potential this season

BEST QUOTE

Daniel Harford

"We've clearly had our moment, we're just that Conference B crap team that can't play. That's what everyone's seen us as, maybe that's changed today, I don't know." – the Carlton coach after the preliminary final win over Fremantle