SOUTHERN Saints will take on Essendon for the rebel VFLW premiership after running away with a convincing 20-point victory over Casey Demons in the preliminary final at ETU Stadium on Sunday.

Riding on a wave of back-to-back sudden death finals wins on the road, the Saints dominated the middle two quarters in the rain to march into their first Grand Final and crush the Demons’ hopes of achieving the same feat.

Demon Alexandra Kirkwood is wrapped up by Saint Deanna Jolliffe. Picture: AFL Photos

Casey thrashed the Saints by 89 points in March but after Cara McCrossan kicked the first goal 13 minutes into the game, the Demons were unable to trouble the scorers again until a rushed behind five minutes into the third quarter and didn’t goal again until Zoe Mitchell booted a consolation in the last minute.

The Saints led at quarter-time on the back of the first of Chanelle Slater’s two goals just before the siren and they added two more in each of the middle two terms without response, and while they failed to score in the last, the damage was done.

Demon Cara McCrossan kicks under pressure from Saint Winnie Laing. Picture: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos

It was a game of fierce pressure, with 179 tackles laid between the teams (92-87 for Casey) but the Saints were cleaner when it counted and made the most of their opportunities in a 32-26 inside-50 count, while they won clearances 34-24 despite losing the hitouts 42-37.

And it was the stars who shone brightest, with Grace Buchan returning to the team and winning a game-high 23 disposals, seven marks, five clearances and nine rebound-50s and Hannah Stuart picking up 22 touches and eight clearances while sticking 11 tackles.

Southern Saint Tayla Kearns takes a mark. Picture: AFL Photos

Madi Capsalis (21, five tackles), Gabriella De Angelis (17, five marks, eight tackles, one goal), Rebecca Neaves (17, five clearances) and Tayla Kearns (12, six marks, five tackles, two goals) were also important, while Claire Keohane had nine tackles and Sarah Black won 31 hitouts rucking almost one out against Lucy (22) and Stephanie Wales (12).

Stephanie Wales was one of the Demons’ best players, however, adding 19 possessions and five marks to her hitout tally, with Maeve Chaplin (19, eight clearances, six tackles), skipper Sammie Johnson (16, 15 tackles) and Mel Hogg (17) doing their best to keep their season alive.

Casey Demons captain Samantha Johnson fires off a handball. Picture: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos
114:36 Mins
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VFLW Match Replay: Casey v Southern Saints

The Demons and Saints clash in the Preliminary Final of the VFLW Competition

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Sunday, July 3: rebel VFLW Grand Final: Essendon v Southern Saints (ETU Stadium, 12.15pm).

Twitter: @BRhodesVFL

Southern Saint Grace Buchan was one of the best players on the ground after returning to the team. Picture: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos

The 2022 rebel VFLW Grand Final will be broadcast live and free on Channel 7, with a stream available at and the AFL Live Official App. 

To access live scores, results, ladder, stats and to link to live streams/replays, download the VFL/W Official App from the Apple or Google Play stores.

Casey Demon Alison Dowler goes for a gallop. Picture: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos
Southern Saints' Madi Capsalis sends the ball into attack. Picture: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos
Casey Demon Brooke Borchard looks for a target. Picture: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos
Southern Saints coach Dale Robinson embraces her players after their VFLW Preliminary Final win over Casey Demons at ETU Stadium. Picture: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos
Southern Saints fans make their presence felt. Picture: Kelly Defina/AFL Photos