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KNOCK OUT by Ruby Tuesday

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Melbourne overcame a sloppy start to its AFLW season with six straight last half goals including a late snap from Richelle (“Rocky”) Cranston which knocked Greater Western Sydney out of the contest and gave her team the win by six points.

The Demons, with midfielder Karen Paxman in great early form with nine possessions, dominated proceedings in the first quarter but their poor disposal and the Giants’ ability to score goals on rare forays up forward, saw them trailing by four points at quarter time. By then, Paxman was off with a back injury (later diagnosed as “back spasms”) and things were not looking good for the Dees when their opponents scored their third goal early in the second term. At the main break they were down by 9 points.

However, with skipper Daisy Pearce, the strong and reliable Elise O'Dea and the new look Richelle Cranston all lifting, the Demons willed themselves back into the game after half time. It took just three minutes for them to snatch the lead for the first time and by the 10 minute mark, they were in front themselves by 9 points. But GWS were not to be denied. They fought back against the run of the game with two goals to go into the last break with a 5-point lead. It was still anybody’s game.

As it was, the lead changed hands early in the final term with goals from Cranston and Shelley Scott but the Giants were undeterred and fought back to level the scores. Then followed a tense five minutes until Rocky’s snap gave the home side the lead and the win. After the game, Cranston said,

“I had no idea how that goal went in – I just heard Daisy say ‘get it on the boot’ and lucky it went through.”

Other players who stood out were Meg Downie across half-back, Lily Mithen up forward and newcomers Bianca Jakobsson from Carlton and 194 cm recruit Erin Hoare who had 20 hit-outs in the ruck.

The Demons are at home again next week with a clash against reigning premiers Adelaide, smarting from their first up loss last night to Brisbane.

Melbourne 1.2.8 1.3.9 4.3.27 7.3.45 

GWS Giants 2.0.12 3.0.18 5.2.32 6.3.39 

Goals 

Melbourne Cranston 3 Scott 2 Hore Cunningham 

GWS Giants McWilliams 3 Barclay 2 Staunton 

Best 

Melbourne D Pearce O'Dea Downie Cranston Scott Mithen

GWS Giants McWilliams Farrugia Barclay Staunton   

Injuries 

Melbourne Paxman (back)

GWS Giants Nil

Reports Nil

Umpires Gibson Johansen Curtis

Official crowd 5,100 at Casey Fields

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