Melbourne midfielders Karen Paxman and Eliza West have played starring roles in an 18-point victory over Adelaide in the AFLW grand final rematch.
- The Demons led at every change to flip the script on the Crows from April’s grand final
- Eden Zanker and the excellent Karen Paxman finished the job with sealing goals late for the Dees
- In Adelaide’s first game since Erin Phillips’s move to Port, the Crows were led by Anne Hatchard in her 50th game
The Demons reversed the result from last season’s premiership decider with a 6.8 (44) to 4.2 (26) win at Glenelg Oval in Adelaide on Friday night.
West was superb, collecting a game-high 25 disposals, while her teammates Paxman (24 touches, one goal) and Olivia Purcell (22 possessions) and were prolific ball-winners.
Star Demon Tayla Harris, in a roaming forward-ruck role, was also prominent with one goal from 13 disposals.
Adelaide attacker Ash Woodland booted three goals, and on-baller Anne Hatchard (24 disposals) — in her 50th AFLW game — and defender Chelsea Randall (17 touches) were prominent but the Crows trailed at every change.
Woodland opened the scoring within two minutes but the Demons soon responded when Kate Hore pounced on a loose ball in a forward pocket and booted towards the top of the goal square.
Adelaide defender Sarah Allen charged at the ball but it took an awkward right bounce, over her outstretched arms, and dribbled over the goal-line.
Melbourne held a 1.4 to 1.0 advantage at quarter-time and the second term was a goal-less stalemate until Melbourne’s 50-gamer Harris broke the deadlock with a booming 45-metre right-footer.
Harris’ strike gave Melbourne a 2.5 to 1.1 lead at half-time but Adelaide’s Woodland dragged her side back into the contest in the third quarter.
Woodland booted two goals in a five-minute purple patch, putting the Crows one point ahead.
But the Demons answered the challenge with Tyla Hanks and Daisy Pearce both scoring goals from snap shots to give the visitors an 11-point buffer at three quarter-time, 4.6 to 3.1.
The Crows reduced their deficit to five points early in the last term when Danielle Ponter booted her first goal.
Yet again, Melbourne rallied with an accurate Eden Zanker set-shot followed by Paxman capping her standout display with the victory-sealing goal.