As expected, the Melbourne Demons have brushed aside Carlton and jumped up to second spot with a big win, downing the Blues by 35 points.
The game was over after quarter time as Melbourne raced out to a 38-point lead, winning the disposals 73-20 and comfortably outworking the Blues around the stoppages, also becoming the first AFLW team to kick six goals in one term.
Elise O’Dea had over half of the Blues’ total disposals herself in the first term, and kicked three goals in the opening 15 minutes to put the game to bed before it really got going.
Unfortunately for the Demons, they were unable to impact the scoreboard for the remaining three quarters, missing a chance to jump up to first on percentage.
But it means very little in the grand scheme considering they play the top-placed Western Bulldogs in what is essentially an Elimination Final.
You could say that both Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs were guilty of letting their opponents hang around or gain the ascendancy early, but Melbourne had no thoughts of repeating their mistakes.
O’Dea’s first came from a kick-in turnover, and Tegan Cunningham also got in on the fun by running onto a long bomb from Daisy Pearce to snap around Laura Attard.
The Dees had a 13-0 lead before Carlton even registered a disposal, and things only continued to go from bad to worse.
Cunningham had her second from a well weighted forward deliver from Eden Zanker, and she became the creator when she spotted up O’Dea all alone in the corridor for her second.
O’Dea’s third came when Jasmine Grierson went central, again finding O’Dea alone in the corridor.
When Kate Hore dobbed through a goal after the siren, the Demons had a 38-point lead after just one quarter, and they became the first AFLW side to kick six goals in a single term.
Despite the game being well and truly beyond them, there were some encouraging signs for Carlton in the second quarter despite the teams on paper being so lopsided.
Tayla Harris tried to spark something, running out of pressure and bombing home from just inside 50.
Carlton had two in a row when the ball bounced perfectly out the back for Darcy Vescio, gathering and goaling to reduce the margin to under 30 points.
The Dees would regain control, but it was a much improved defensive effort from Carlton, slowing up Melbourne’s ball movement and not allowing any free play.
Cunningham would still manage to kick her third goal, however, forcing Kate Gillespie-Jones into a panicked hold to earn a free kick from the goal square.
In a day where little victories are all you can cling to, the Blues will have been happy that they were able to win the second quarter.
The Carlton clamps remained on in the third term not allowing any room for Melbourne to move and ensuring the quarter would remain goalless.
To add insult to their sudden forward woes, Melissa Hickey was assisted off the ground with what appears to be a serious left knee injury.
With a few injury niggles in the final quarter to Ashleigh Guest and Aliesha Newman, the Demons appeared to completely take the foot off the accelerator, and it opened the door for Georgia Gee to rove a contest and kick a simple goal.
Cunningham still worked an opportunity to kick her fourth, however, but instead decided to give it off to Hore who converted her second goal.
Oddly enough, Carlton outscored Melbourne by 21 to 18 in the remaining three quarters, but the match was never a serious contest after the first term.
The end of the season can’t come any quicker for the Blues who were again well and truly off the pace today.
For Melbourne, the focus will quickly shift to next week and the massive clash with the Western Bulldogs.
Carlton: 0.1, 2.1, 2.2, 3.4 (22)
Melbourne: 6.3, 7.5, 7.8, 8.9 (57)
Carlton: Tayla Harris, Darcy Vescio, Georgia Gee
Melbourne: Elise O’Dea 3, Tegan Cunningham 3, Kate Hore 2
Carlton: Kate Gillespie-Jones (12), Georgia Gee (10), Danielle Hardiman (10), Sarah Hosking (10)
Melbourne: Elise O’Dea (19), Shelley Scott (19), Daisy Pearce (17), Lauren Pearce (17)
Are you a fan of Girls Play Footy?
Girls Play Footy is an independent media outlet operated by volunteers. If you’d like to help us cover the costs of doing what we do, we hope you’ll consider supporting us on Patreon! Becoming a GPF patron gives you access to additional content and some great rewards.
To pledge to support Girls Play Footy on Patreon, follow this link!