Demons flex AFLW muscles against Eagles

Anna Harrington

Melbourne have taken another step towards a maiden AFLW finals campaign with a commanding 59-point win over West Coast at Casey Fields.

Eight days after the Eagles recorded their first AFLW points, they were brought crashing back to earth by the Demons who prevailed 10.6 (66) to 1.1 (7), with a five-goal third term breaking the game open.

Karen Paxman (21 disposals), Eden Zanker (two goals) and Elise O'Dea (13 touches) starred for Melbourne, while Dana Hooker (14 touches) and Emma Swanson (13) were West Coast's best in front of 1,800 fans.

The Dees are guaranteed to be in the top two of Conference B at the end of round five, while the Eagles remain bottom of that table.

"I think the first quarter was a good contest and second quarter I think (with) West Coast's pressure, we just overused the ball a little bit," Demons coach Mick Stinear said.

"We were able to reset and the start of the third and the second half was spot-on from the girls - just their intent and the way they used the ball and the way they defended, we were able to play the game in our forward half, so it was good."

Former Crow Sarah Perkins - now a Demons train-on - drilled a pass to Zanker for Melbourne's opener.

For the Demons' second, Simone Goldrick intercepted the ball, burst through congestion and flicked it on to Niamh McEvoy, who snapped truly.

West Coast started the second term in dream fashion with Maddy Collier slotting a wonderful goal from a tight angle, but it would be their only major.

Melbourne responded through Sarah Lampard before halftime, then burst out of the blocks in the third term with majors to Kate Hore and Zanker.

Shelley Scott, Chantel Emonson and Tegan Cunningham all hit the scoreboard in the third quarter to give the home side an unassailable 44-point lead at the final change.

"We're bitterly disappointed with the result this afternoon," Eagles coach Luke Dwyer said.

"I thought our preparation during the week was really good and coming off a really good win over the Bulldogs last week, we prepared well and obviously got over here with a really good mindset.

"But I felt that probably after halftime, Melbourne really got us around the football a fair bit which was always to be expected at some stage, and we probably lacked a little bit of composure with the ball ourselves to try and make them defend a little bit longer."