A BRILLIANT ball-winning display by Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce couldn't prevent the Western Bulldogs triumphing in the AFL women's exhibition match at Craigieburn on Sunday.
The Bulldogs were far more proficient up forward and secured the women's team's first victory over the Demons in five attempts, running out 20-point winners 6.5 (41) to 3.3 (21).
Pearce was tireless in a sweeper role across half-back and in the midfield when Melbourne had the wind advantage, finishing with 33 disposals and 11 marks.
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But the Dogs were superior with their collective ball use, finding a viable target with Moana Hope in the opening quarter. With the breeze behind them they established a scoreboard buffer that was never threatened.
And Bianca Jakobsson booted two goals for the Dogs with the wind early in the third term to put the game beyond doubt after a spirited Demons fightback in the second quarter.
Jessica Dal Pos' goal from a set shot early in the opening term was worth far more than the standard six points with Melbourne kicking into the stiff southerly wind.
But it didn't take the Dogs long to get organised as they utilised the breeze with a more direct approach down the centre of the big, wide oval.
Bulldogs forward Hope proved a massive problem for the Demons defence with her marking prowess and strength to hold a position in the contest.
Hope booted three goals from strong marks in quick succession late in the first quarter to open up what would be a decisive break.
Melbourne struggled to use the wind advantage during its turn in the second term, and it was 18 minutes before Madeleine Boyd's long shot rolled through for only the Demons' second goal.
But, with goals hard to find on the big ground, at least the contest was wide open heading into the second half.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.3 3.3 6.4 6.5 (41)
MELBOURNE 1.0 2.1 3.1 3.3 (21)
Western Bulldogs: Hope 3, Jakobsson 2, Vescio
Melbourne: Dal Pos, Boyd, D'Arcy
Western Bulldogs: Arnell, Keryk, Hope, Scott, Randall
Melbourne: Pearce, O'Dea, Ernst, Blackburn
The Bulldogs' women celebrate a long-awaited victory. Picture: AFL Media
Dogs forward Moana Hope was the match-winner with three goals. Picture: AFL Media
Demons star Daisy Pearce racked up 33 disposals. Picture: AFL Media
There was no shortage of contests in a hard-fought match. Picture: AFL Media