27/05/2024

In the Friday night thriller, Melbourne was back on the winners list after prevailing over Carlton. (Image: @aflwomens - Twitter).

The return of Tayla Harris was much welcomed by the Melbourne Demons, as she helped her side return back onto the winners list.

With a performance that shone as bright as the stadium lights, her return back into the side saw the Demons bounce back from last week’s loss against the Brisbane Lions.

Her night was first set off by a goal in the opening quarter, which set up what would be an impressive night for the footballer. The flashy forward finished off the night 11 disposals, five marks, nine hitouts and two tackles. In her historic night, she made the 50th goal of her career.

Overall, Harris made three goals by the end of the game.

Harris wasn’t Melbourne’s only Dees goalscorers. Karen Paxman, Sabreena Duffy, Kate Hore and Lauren Pearce also added to the points, each with a goal to their name.

The goalscoring affair from Melbourne only added to Carlton’s woes. The women in blue entered their matchup against Melbourne with a number of players on the injury list, including Darcy Vescio who was absent with a finger injury.

As a result of the injuries facing the team, it saw Carlton unveil their injury replacement player in former Tiger Christina Bernardi as well as young gun Serena Gibbs for her first game of 2022.

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However, the additions weren’t enough to combat Melbourne who piled on the pressure from early on in the night. They continued to keep the pressure on Carlton until the end of their 42-point win.

Even with Melbourne having inaccuracies on multiple occasions in front of goal, Carlton weren’t able to capitalise on the minor mistakes made by Melbourne.

Oliva Purcell continued her strong form seen during the season, as she made 30 disposals and four tackles on the night.

Eliza West (20 disposals, seven tackles), Sarah Lampard (18 disposals, five tackles), Maddison Gay (18 disposals, five tackles) and Libby Birch (15 disposals, two tackles) all were also important for the Demons, impressing at Ikon Park.

By the second-half, the Blues were unable to fend off Melbourne and struggled to keep a hold of possession as they frequently forced turnovers.

Although a slight push by Carlton was seen in the second half, Melbourne had kept them out of reach of a win as they were left with eight points.

Despite performances from the likes of Mimi Hill (33 disposals), Abbie McKay (18 disposals), Breann Moody (12 disposals, one goal) and Vaomua Lalolfi (20 disposals), it still wasn’t enough to see Carlton get over the line for the win.

In Round Six Carlton will face the Giants on Saturday while Melbourne will hope to remain on the winners list during their battle against Fremantle.

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