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Match report: Late surge keeps Demons' season alive

AFLW Highlights: Magpies v Demons Collingwood and Melbourne clash in Round 2 of AFLW action
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 11: Karen Paxman of the Demons takes high mark during the 2017 AFLW Round 02 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Melbourne Demons at Ikon Park on February 11, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/AFL Media)
Demon Karen Paxman takes to the sky

A FIVE-GOAL burst in just 17 minutes from Melbourne was enough to record a 19-point win against a disappointing Collingwood, consigning the Magpies to a second loss in two matches.

With both teams needing a win to keep their slim Grand Final hopes alive in a short season, it was Collingwood that hit the ground running. The Magpies were led by their captain Steph Chiocci, who provided pace and accurate kicking off half-back and set up several goals.

Full match coverage and stats

The Magpies' ruck duo of Emma King and Lou Wotton gave first use to the midfield and they jumped to a 19-point lead by half-time.

Melbourne struggled to get the ball past the centre line in the first half, but came to life in the third quarter, kicking four goals and holding the Magpies scoreless.

Karen Paxman was superb, the 28-year-old priority player (signed before the draft) using her experience and bigger body to kick-start the Demons. She finished with 15 disposals and a goal for the match.

Magpies forward Sophie Casey will come under scrutiny for a heavy, late hit to Demon Meg Downie's jaw, which knocked her out.

Downie had tapped the ball forward before getting cleaned up by Casey, and play was stopped for several minutes as she was taken off the ground on a stretcher.

Melbourne coach Mick Stinear said Downie had been cleared of any serious damage and had been taken to hospital for further checks after suffering a severe concussion.

 

The monkey off the back
Moana Hope had a very quiet game against Carlton, and the Collingwood marquee forward bounced back in style in the first quarter. Intent on proving her doubters wrong, Hope was in everything early, setting up a goal and kicking one of her own – the first for the marquee player in the AFL Women's competition. She outplayed Mia-Rae Clifford, and Melbourne was forced to move Melissa Hickey on her in the second quarter.

 

Five minutes of madness
After barely raising a whimper in the first half, Melbourne came out after half-time and kicked three goals in five minutes. Cat Phillips, a former Ultimate Frisbee player for Australia and signed to the Dees as a rookie, showed speed and skill in kicking two goals – one a snap over her shoulder, and the other burning off her opponent running into goal. Karen Paxman kicked a goal between Phillips' two, an opportunistic kick out of a pack from 35 metres. From being 19 points down at half-time, Melbourne had levelled the scores after five minutes.

 

The moment
Melbourne had an outstanding third quarter, and the question was whether they could maintain their quick run-and-carry style game in the fourth – and if Collingwood would let them. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Melbourne was only six points ahead. Demon Shelley Scott had marked in the forward pocket, and looked ready to take a set shot at goal before playing on and snapping the ball. It bounced over the unguarded goal line, without a Collingwood player in sight. The questions had been answered, and Melbourne was 12 points in front, on its way to a win and a 38-point turnaround. 

It could be a nervous wait for…
Collingwood's Sophie Casey. The forward is known for being courageous in the air and hard at the footy, but landed a late, crude hit on Meg Downie. The Demon had tapped the ball forward, volleyball style, before Casey jumped off the ground, appeared to lift her elbow, and collected Downie in the jaw. She was knocked out, and play was stopped for several minutes as she was taken off the ground on a stretcher. Downie was later taken to hospital with concussion for further observation.

Say what?
"We have a certain style of footy we want to play, and get it into space and take the game on. I think when the chips were down at half-time, they had nothing to lose and went for it. That's when it started to click and they began to believe in each other." - Melbourne coach Mick Stinear

"We didn't play the full 70 minutes, as per the Carlton match. Our last seven or eight minutes we gave away too many uncontested marks, and allowed them to have too many easy shots at goal, which is unacceptable at this level." - Collingwood coach Wayne Siekman

What’s next?
Collingwood hits the road for the first time and will be desperate for its first win, taking on the Brisbane Lions at South Pine Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon at 3.35pm AEDT. Melbourne heads to Whitten Oval to face the Western Bulldogs in a match of the AFLW pioneers. The game, on Saturday night at 7.40pm AEDT, will follow the men's corresponding JLT Community Series match.

 

COLLINGWOOD   3.0   4.1   4.1   4.1   (25)                  
MELBOURNE        1.0   1.0   5.1   7.2   (44)           

GOALS
Collingwood: Edwards, Hope, Grant, Cameron
Melbourne: Phillips 2, Anderson, Paxman, Mifsud, Scott, Jolly 

BEST 
Collingwood: Barden, D'Arcy, Eva, Grant, Chiocci
Melbourne: Paxman, Phillips, Pearce, O'Dea, Mithen 

INJURIES 
Collingwood: Nil
Melbourne: Downie (concussion) 

Reports: Casey (Coll) reported in the fourth quarter.

Umpires: Toovey, Jankovskis, Rodger

Official crowd: 6,917 at Ikon Park 

The Demons celebrate their win over the Magpies. Picture: AFL Photos