Melbourne secured its fourth win against the Western Bulldogs in a tight contest at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. While the Demons dominated early, the Bulldogs had a sniff of victory in the second half only to be beaten by the siren.
Channel 7’s coverage was extensive with commentary and interviews with the players. The only hitch, an errant remark by a commentator about Melbourne’s Tayla Harris being more concerned about her fake tan than the game. The historical first televised women’s game follows the AFL’s push for a Women’s League to launch by 2017.
Melbourne 2.2 (14) to Western Bulldogs 0.2 (2)
Melbourne dominated the quarter with powerful forward Sabrina Frederick-Traub kicking the first goal after eight minutes of play.
A few minutes later it was Tayla Harris, best known for her speccy in last year’s game, lining up for a set shot to further the lead.
At quarter-time Melbourne led the Bulldogs in possessions and tackles. The ball spent 76 per cent of the time in Melbourne’s forward half with the Bulldogs having very little opportunity to impact the game.
Melbourne 5.3 (33) to Western Bulldogs 2.2 (14)
Melbourne extended the lead early with two quick goals from Frederick-Traub increasing her haul to three.
Halfway through the second quarter, Chelsea Randall managed to shrug off a tackle from Leah Kaslar on the boundary line and snap a goal on the run creating a 31 point margin, the biggest of the match.
It was not until the 16-minute mark that Bulldogs scored their first with a set shot from Katie Brennan. A few minutes later Brennan kicked her second keeping the Bulldogs in it going into the main break.
Melbourne 6.3 (39) to Western Bulldogs 4.4 (28)
Melbourne controlled the third quarter early with numbers around the ball and skipper Daisy Pearce racking up the disposals. Bentley kicked another Melbourne goal.
However nine minutes into the third, fortunes changed. Western Bulldog’s Brennan kicked her third and fourth goals in a matter of minutes to reduce the lead to a manageable 13 points. Her four goals were the most in the match.
Around the ground the Bulldogs started to have small one on one victories and numbers at the contest to go into the final break only 11 points down.
Melbourne 6.4 (40) to Western Bulldogs 5.6 (36)
It was a scrappy final term with the Bulldogs defence tightening to keep Melbourne forwards Frederick-Traub and Harris quiet. The Demons could only manage a point.
Bulldogs midfielder Katie Loynes, who accumulated a team-high 18 possessions and five clearances, was instrumental in trying to lift her team to victory. And when Moana Hope ran into an open goal to put the Bulldogs within four points, victory was well within reach.
But the final siren sounded 90 seconds early, due to an agreement with the AFL, leaving the Bulldogs out of time and out of luck.
Skipper Daisy Pearce was the clear best on ground finishing with 30 disposals, seven clearances and four tackles.