AFLW 2022: Fremantle Dockers Ebony Antonio, Kiara Bowers share western derby medal honours

Ebony Antonio has traditionally done her best work in defence, so kicking three goals in a game is something of a rarity.

Rarer still is for those three goals to propel her to a first AFLW western derby medal, shared with midfield superstar Kiara Bowers after judges couldn’t split the two in Fremantle’s 29-point win over West Coast at Fremantle Oval.

Antonio’s three vital goals went with 12 disposals and five tackles, while Bowers finished with an equal game-high 23 touches along with 13 tackles and six clearances.

Bowers becomes the first player in derby history to claim best-on-ground honours in four consecutive games.

Her four medals match Dockers great Paul Hasleby as the most by any individual in the history of the crosstown contest, men’s and women’s.

“To share an award with Turbo is obviously fantastic, but to be honest were both just more rapt with the win to really set us up for our time away in our little hub in Melbourne,” Antonio said.

“I have never kicked a bag of three in my whole life so it was a bit of a surprise and a bit of luck, but I couldn’t have done it without our small forwards.

“If it wasn’t for those guys and everyone doing the work around me, I don’t get those goals.”

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Antonio polled the maximum three votes from two of the judges, while ABC’s Nikki Harwood gave her the one vote to finish with seven.

Each of Antonio’s goals came from difficult situations on the run in different quarters, including the game opener which will be an early goal-of-the-year contender, with the hard-running winger snapping truly from deep in the left forward pocket.

Harwood awarded Bowers three votes, while The West Australian’s Eliza Reilly and Channel 7 expert Abbey Holmes awarded the reigning AFLW best and fairest two votes to make sure the pair would not be split.

“(Bowers) is just a workhorse … there’s no surprise that she she plays the way she does. She comes in well prepared for the pre-season, absolutely kills it in the pre-season,” Antonio siad.

“She’s just one of those elite players that will be known for her hard work, her hard work ethic and she’s very much respected not only from our team, but the wider community.”

West Coast captain Emma Swanson was the only other to poll votes as the clear stand-out for her team with 23 touches, six clearances and a goal.


Eliza Reilly (The West Australian)

3. E Antonio (FREO)

2. K. Bowers (FREO)

1. E. Swanson (WC)

Abbey Holmes (Channel 7)

3. E Antonio (FREO)

2. K. Bowers (FREO)

1. E. Swanson (WC)

Nikki Harwood (ABC)

3. K. Bowers (FREO)

2. E. Swanson (WC)

1. E. Antonio (FREO)


7 – E. Antonio (FREO), K. Bowers (FREO)

4 – E. Swanson (WC)

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