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Storming start sets up Demons’ AFLW win

Forget the sporting cliche about a game of two halves – Melbourne’s 26-point AFLW win over St Kilda was decided in one quarter.

The Demons kicked all their goals and kept the Saints scoreless in the first term before winning 6.10 (46) to 3.2 (20) on Sunday at Moorabbin.

Rebranded as Narrm for the women’s Indigenous round, the Demons were poised for a cricket score when they killed the game off with an opening burst of 6.1

But a combination of Melbourne’s inaccuracy and St Kilda’s fightback kept the contest from becoming a blowout.

The Demons now have a massive clash next Sunday against Brisbane, who are dominating the league with their heavy scoring.

Melbourne, Brisbane, Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs lead the league with 3-0 records.

“We wanted to start well, we wanted to be strong around the contest and I feel like we achieved that,” said Demons coach Mick Stinear.

“Then we just didn’t really adjust after that – their contest work and pressure lifted, we kept trying to force things rather than think our way through it.

“We need to get better at getting more reward for effort – a lot right, but it would have frustrating to watch

“We’re happy, because we see it as progress.”

It was the Saints’ first loss of the season after beating expansion teams Sydney and Hawthorn.

“We were absolutely overwhelmed early on … I didn’t think our contest work was great and then our competing in the back half was poor in that first quarter,” said coach Nick Dal Santo.

“After that, we responded better. Now the simple measurement is the scoreboard and we won the last three quarters.

“If you asked the D’s, they probably left a few goals out there. But after quarter time we had a lot more of what we probably wanted to do.”

Demons midfielder Olivia Purcell racked up 26 possessions, one short of her personal best, and Eden Zanker kicked two goals.

Tall forward Kate Shierlaw shone for the Saints with two goals.

The Saints did not hit the scoreboard until late in the second term, with a rushed behind.

Then Libby Burch gave away an obvious free to Shierlaw and she kicked their opening goal with less than two minutes left in the first half.

Melbourne opened the third term with seven inside 50s to none, but could not capitalise.

When Shierlaw kicked her second goal in the last term the Saints only trailled by 24 points, but the Demons were never going to let St Kilda run over the top of them.

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