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Demonland

MAIDEN VICTORY by Bewitched

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Demonland    5,231

After a week of soul searching after a dramatic fade out in the lightning, thunder and rain at Casey in the AFLW's opening round, the women of Melbourne had a lot to be concerned about at half time at Ikon Park last night. They were down by 19 points and being totally outplayed after recording just one goal in their past four quarters of football and staring into oblivion in a seven game competition that allows only two teams to advance to the grand final.

Moana Hope, the much vaunted Magpie strong lady had wreaked havoc in the early going, setting up her team's first goal and scoring its second before Jessica Anderson's running goal opened the Demons' account but that was the team's only joy as their opponents streamed ahead. 

However, this time there was no storm to blunt Melbourne's style in the second half and instead, the team kept Collingwood scoreless after the main break to record their first AFLW win. 

The move of Mel Hickey onto Hope was a good one. The dangerous Magpie forward was hardly seen as the Demons took over. 

Skipper Daisy Pearce provided lots of run in the back half and Karen Paxman moved the ball forward to  the likes of Cat Phillips, the ultimate Frisbee player, and Alyssa Mifsud and the flood gates opened. Phillips' goal from an impossible angle was a highlight. The team that had been starved of scoring opportunities was now alight and winning in the middle. They scored 4.1 for the term to grab the lead at the final break.

The Magpie fade out continued despite some strong arm tactics which saw a late head high hit on Meg Downie force a delay in play as the Demon was concussed and stretchered off in a neck brace. Coach Mick Stinear later said his player had been cleared of any serious damage but the likely outcome should see the first tribunal sitting in AFLW history. 

The Dees kept on running when play resumed and finally ran out winners 7.2.44 to 5.1.31.

The class of Pearce and Paxman should ensure that Melbourne remains a contender in this competition. Elise "Junior" O'Dea is a great prospect and kept going all night and Lily Mithen lived up to the family name with a solid contribution. 

All in all, it was a great maiden victory for the women of the Melbourne Football Club who now take on their foundation rivals, the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval on Saturday night. The men's JLT Community Series game will be the curtain raiser to this historic match.

Melbourne 1.0.6  1.0.6 5.1.31 7.2.44

Collingwood 3.1.19 0 4.1.25 4.1.25 4.1.25

Goals

Melbourne Phillips 2 Anderson Jolly Mifsud Paxman Scott

Collingwood Cameron Edwards Grant  Hope

Best

Melbourne Pearce Phillips Paxman O'Dea Mithen

Collingwood D'Arcy Eva Barden Chiocci

Crowd 6,917 at Ikon Park

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