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ALL THE WAY? by Ruby Tuesday

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Melbourne’s record-breaking six goal opening quarter against Carlton at Ikon Park on Sunday set up an all-important 35-point win that catapulted the club into second place on the AFLW ladder with one round remaining before the Grand Final, separated from the top placed Bulldogs by percentage only.

The win came at a cost for the Demons as vice-captain and All-Australian defender Mel Hickey came off the ground in the third quarter with a knee injury and awaits the result of scans to determine her fate for the rest of the season and perhaps beyond. Aliesha Newman was also off late in the game suffering an apparent back complaint.

The team opened in sensational fashion with six unanswered goals, three of them to the indefatigable Elisa O'Dea and two to tall forward Tegan Cunningham who recovered from last week’s head knock and also finished the game with three goals. At the first break, the team’s disposal count was 73 to 20 and the Blues had yet to mark the ball.

Given that Carlton has yet to kick more than three goals in a match this season the game was well and truly over and that turned out to be the case even though Melbourne was characteristically, like its men’s team earlier in the week, outscored by a few points for the remainder of the match. 

They went on to win easily 8.9.57 to 3.4.22 although it appeared that there was an element of self-preservation in their game with the grand final so close to their grasp, especially after Hickey came off the ground. 

O’Dea was the outstanding player for Melbourne in an even side that will approach next week’s game against the Bulldogs with some confidence knowing that they have the depth to go all the way. 

Melbourne 6.3.39 7.5.47 7.8.50 8.9.57

Carlton 0.1.1 2.1.13 2.2.14 3.4.22

Goals 

Melbourne Cunningham O'Dea 3 Hore 2

Carlton Gee Harris Vescio

Best 

Melbourne O’Dea Cunningham Grierson Hore Scott L Pearce

Carlton Gee S Hosking Moody

Injuries 

Melbourne Hickey (knee) Newman (back)

Carlton Attard (hand)

Reports Nil

Umpires Simmonds, Guy, Johansen

Official crowd 6,300 at Ikon Park

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