Melbourne Demons win AFLW Game 2, beating Richmond by 16 points at Punt Road

The Melbourne Demons overcame significant COVID-19 disruption to defeat Richmond by 16 points at Punt Road, starting their AFLW season with back-to-back wins.

The premiership favorites have been forced to omit Maddi Gay, Shelley Scott, Sarah Lampard, Casey Sherriff and Shelley Heath as part of league health and safety protocols.

And, after withstanding an early Tigers blitz, the Demons responded fiercely, scoring six in a row before falling 8.6 (54) to 6.1 (38) winners on Friday night.

Richmond has also been affected by COVID-19, with Sarah D’Arcy, Maddie Shevlin and Tayla Stahl all forced out of the game, as well as Emelia Yassir (concussion) and Poppy Kelly (knee).

Kate Hore, with 14 assignments, was instrumental in turning the tide in Melbourne’s favour, hitting the first four shots of the second quarter to put the Demons ahead for the first time.

Veteran Karen Paxman was also influential, with 23 touches and a crucial goal just before three-quarters to stifle the Tigers surge.

Monique Conti was the star for Richmond, with 25 transfers (15 disputed), seven clearances, six tackles and a magnificent goal 40 yards from the limit.

The Demons enjoyed a huge advantage in ball control, with 48 more eliminations (228-180) and 31 more points (50-19) to resume the game after the quarter, shading the Tigers in clearances ( 22-19) and inside. 50s (20-13) in the last three quarters.

Demons champion Daisy Pearce progressed in the second term, after a quiet opening at the back, and also played a crucial role in helping the visitors open a 26-point halftime lead.

And while Richmond refused to raise the white flag, scoring four to two in the second half, Melbourne’s class and experience prevailed.

AAP/ABC

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