Melbourne Demons win second AFLW game, beating Richmond by 16 points at Punt Road

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Melbourne Demons have overcome significant COVID-19 disruption to defeat Richmond by 16 points at Punt Road, starting their AFLW season with back-to-back wins.

The premiership favourites were forced to omit Maddi Gay, Shelley Scott, Sarah Lampard, Casey Sherriff and Shelley Heath under the league’s health and safety protocols.

And, after withstanding an early Tigers blitz, the Demons responded fiercely, kicking six goals in a row before running out 8.6 (54) to 6.1 (38) victors on Friday night.

Richmond were also impacted by COVID-19, with Sarah D’Arcy, Maddie Shevlin and Tayla Stahl all forced to sit out the match, as well as Emelia Yassir (concussion) and Poppy Kelly (knee).

Kate Hore, with 14 disposals, was instrumental in turning the tide in Melbourne’s favour, kicking the first four scoring shots of the second quarter to give the Demons the lead for the first time.

Veteran Karen Paxman was also influential, with 23 touches and a crucial goal just before three-quarter-time, to stifle the surging Tigers.

Monique Conti was the standout for Richmond, with 25 disposals (15 contested), seven clearances, six tackles and a magnificent goal from 40 metres out on the boundary.

The Demons enjoyed a huge advantage in ball control, with 48 more disposals (228-180) and 31 more marks (50-19) to take over the contest after quarter-time, shading the Tigers in clearances (22-19) and inside 50s (20-13) in the final three quarters.

Demons’ champion, Daisy Pearce, moved up forward in the second term, after a quiet opening down back, and was also pivotal in helping the visitors open up a commanding 26-point lead at half-time.

And while Richmond refused to hoist the white flag, kicking four goals to two in the second half, Melbourne’s class and experience prevailed.

AAP/ABC



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