An early 5 PM start for the start of the Round 2 clash with the Demons women hosting the North Melbourne Tasmania Kangaroos at the MCG. The early kickoff did not deter the Demons though. Coming off an 18 point win away against Adelaide they were keen to remain undefeated. The crowd at kickoff was a conservative 1,000 patrons in the vast stadium.
After the early arm wrestle [early back and forth battle] it was Emma King who put the Kangaroos in the lead five minutes into the first quarter. Both teams had forays into the forward line but it was the discipline of the defense of both teams that won out. Kate Hore had a shot at goal after a high tackle from the inexperienced O'Shea but her kick drifted wide. At quarter time it was a five point lead to the Kangaroos. Riddell, O'Shea, and Smith leading the Roos ball winners and West and Purcell with most disposals for the Demons.
The Demons came out on fire in the second term with small forward Daisy Pearce kicking two quick ones in the first two minutes. Melbourne continued to press but behinds to Hanks, Harris, and Johnson meant they failed to full capitalize on the time they had the ball in their forward half. North did get the ball inside 50 late in the quarter but were unable to score. At half time, it was a ten point lead to the Demons. Paxman's work rate in the middle of the ground a real highlight for the Demons.
Amy Smith kicked the Kangaroo's second goal six minutes into the third quarter after cleaning up her own spilled mark in the forward pocket and drilling the ball home from 30 meters out. Two more behinds by the Demons saw them lead by just 6 points at three quarter time and North Melbourne well and truly still in with a shot at the four points.
The Demons looked to stretch their lead early but when Tayla Harris' took a contested chest mark 30 meters out from goal, her kick fell short off hands for a behind. The Kangaroos worked the ball forward and Ellie Gavalas put the Kangaroos within a point of the Demons when she roved Emma Kings ruckwork at the top of the goal square and snapped the ball on her right foot for a goal. A rushed behind for the Demons saw them two points clear at the 7 minute mark of the quarter.
Rennie's torpedo from the top of the 50 meter arc landed in the square and after a scramble Emma King soccered the ball for a goal to put the Kangaroos in front. Not to be outdone though the Demons snatched back the lead as they quickly moved the ball inside 50m and Bannan outpaced her opponent to run onto the ball and snap the goal across her body.
As the Demons desperately tried to clear the ball from their backline in the final minutes O'Shea sent a high ball inside 50m and Vikki Wall marked. Her set shot falling short though as it seems her Irish kicking style sees her kicks with more height than penetration in this match. From there, the Demons were able to keep the ball out of their defensive 50 and in the end the ball landed in the hands of the ever reliable defender Libby Birch in the middle of the ground, as the Demons finished two points clear.
The Demons are now two wins from two starts and the Kangaroos with their first loss for the season would feel they contained the Demons and were unlucky not to finish this two horse race with their nose in front at the finish line. At the end there were maybe 6-7,000 fans in the stadium to see the game, but a full seventy minutes before the AFL match there is a long time to wait for the top billed act after this curtain raiser. The official attendance of 17,851 for the women's match seems unrealistic. With a shorter break of around 20 minutes, thousands more fans could enjoy the women's match in the lead up to the men's final which ultimately drew over 77,000 fans.
MELBOURNE: 0.1 2.4 2.6 3.8 (26) NORTH MELBOURNE: 1.0 1.0 2.0 4.0 (24) GOALS Melbourne: D.Pearce 2, Bannan North Melbourne: Em.King 2, Smith, Gavalas BEST Melbourne: Paxman, Purcell, Hanks, D. Pearce, Birch North Melbourne: Rennie, Bruton, Riddell, Garner, Wright Reports: Nil Crowd: 17,851 at the MCG
Article last changed on Sunday, September 04, 2022 - 1:35 PM EDT