Season eight of the AFLW began this past weekend and saw derbies galore, games that went down to the wire, and delight for the Swans.
Here are Edge of the Crowd's Round 1 AFLW Best and Fairest votes.
Melbourne (73) def. Collingwood (31)
3. Brianna Davey (COLL)
2. Kate Hore (MELB)
1. Shelly Heath (MELB)
Returning after some 600 days out after rupturing her ACL, Brianna Davey reminded everyone just how damaging she can be. In a losing effort, the 2021 AFLW Best and Fairest winner was instrumental in helping the Pies to a halftime lead and finished the match with a career-high 35 touches, 11 clearances, six inside 50s and a goal.
New Demons skipper Kate Hore broke the game open when she needed to on the way to 17 disposals and a goal to guide her team to an opening round win. Fellow Demon Shelly Heath had a team-high 11 tackles amongst 11 disposals and two goals as she herself tagged some of the Pies' best out of parts of the game.
Carlton (34) def. Gold Coast (32)
3. Darcy Vescio (CARL)
2. Charlie Rowbottom (GCS)
1. Mariana Anthony (CARL)
Darcy Vescio got their 2023 campaign off to the best start possible, booting three goals via different methods in a match-winning performance. The two-time AFLW leading goalkicker slotted the first goal of the game, and Carlton's last to give their side the edge to hold on amidst a final-quarter comeback from Gold Coast.
Charlie Rowbottom was everywhere in this contest, gathering a game-high 25 disposals, a game-high nine clearances, and an equal game-high 12 tackles, while also kicking a goal trying to get the Suns over the line. Mariana Anthony had 14 touches, 11 tackles, and a goal in her first AFLW game.
Adelaide (58) def. Port Adelaide (28)
3. Ebony Marinoff (ADEL)
2. Niamh Kelly (ADEL)
1. Anne Hatchard (ADEL)
Ebony Marinoff was the leading disposal-getter on the ground, collecting 32 touches through the midfield in a display that also saw her gather seven clearances and kick a goal.
Niamh Kelly won the Showdown Medal as a result of finding the ball in all areas of the ground, collecting 28 touches amongst six clearances and a goal. Anne Hatchard had a 30-possession game with five clearances and gets one vote.
Geelong (65) def. Western Bulldogs (17)
3. Georgie Prespakis (GEEL)
2. Amy McDonald (GEEL)
1. Jacqueline Parry (GEEL)
Georgie Prespakis got her 2023 season off to a good start, running rampant at GMHBA Stadium with a 34-disposal effort along with 11 tackles, 10 clearances, and 641 metres claimed.
Amy McDonald had a 28-possession outing that included a game-high 12 tackles and nine clearances. Fellow Cat Jacqueline Parry kicked an equal career-high three goals from 16 disposals and a game-high eight marks.
Hawthorn (30) def. by Essendon (49)
3. Bonnie Toogood (ESS)
2. Madison Prespakis (ESS)
1. Emily Bates (HAW)
Essendon captain Bonnie Toogood led her team to a victory off the back of a 23-disposal game in which she kicked a game-high two goals and had a game-high eight marks, covering each end of the ground when needed.
Madison Prespakis was the game's leading possession-winner with 31 disposals to her name with seven clearances and six tackles. Hawthorn's Emily Bates picks up one vote following her game of 18 disposals and 15 tackles.
North Melbourne (56) def. St Kilda (16)
3. Jasmine Garner (NM)
2. Ash Riddell (NM)
1. Mia King (NM)
Jasmine Garner picked up where she left off last season with 29 touches to guide the Kangaroos to victory as she had seven tackles, 11 clearances, and 476 metres gained. She also kicked the game's opening goal 22 seconds into the start of play.
Ash Riddell also had 29 touches against the Saints along with a game-high seven marks and 334 metres gained. Mia King rounds out the votes after collecting 21 disposals and laying seven tackles.
Brisbane (34) def. by Richmond (40)
3. Monique Conti (RICH)
2. Katie Brennan (RICH)
1. Ally Anderson (BL)
Monique Conti was the match-winner for the Tigers in their game against the Lions, collecting 26 touches and making sure she - and her side - had first use with eight clearances. She also got on the scoreboard in the second quarter.
Amid 12 touches, Katie Brennan kicked two goals for the Tigers, and both at crucial times, kicking the team's first in the second term, and her second to level the scores in the third quarter. Reigning AFLW Best and Fairest winner Ally Anderson had 22 touches and eight tackles in the loss.
Sydney (51) def. GWS (46)
3. Ally Morphett (SYD)
2. Chloe Molloy (SYD)
1. Alyce Parker (GWS)
Swans ruck Ally Morphett began the 2023 season off in tantalising form, finishing with many career-highs as she enjoyed time in the middle. She had 29 hitouts, 18 disposals, seven clearances, six inside 50s, and kicked a goal.
Chloe Molloy impressed in her new colours, bagging two goals up forward - including the match-winner for the Swans - amongst 13 touches and six tackles. Alyce Parker had 22 touches, five clearances and a goal for the Giants.
Fremantle (27) def. West Coast (19)
3. Ella Roberts (WCE)
2. Laura Pugh (FRE)
1. Dana Hooker (WCE)
18-year-old Ella Roberts was impressive and destructive both in the middle and up forward for the Eagles on the way to winning the RAC Derby Medal. Despite her team being on the losing end of the result, she had a game-high 24 disposals and could've had a couple of goals to her name if not for wayward kicking.
Although she missed the final weeks of the pre-season, Laura Pugh was instrumental in helping Fremantle get over the line, picking up 19 touches and 15 intercept possessions in 61 per cent gametime. Dana Hooker had 18 touches and laid 10 tackles for the Eagles to get one vote.