The Melbourne Demons kept their place on the winner’s list after defeating the Western Bulldogs by 14-points in a significant win on the road at Whitten Oval on Saturday night.
Leading goal scorer for the Demons, Alyssa Mifsud highlighted the meaning of a win over the Dogs at their home ground, especially when it carries a prominent piece of hardware – the Hampson-Hardeman Cup.
(Alyssa Mifsud celebrates one of her three goals for Melbourne in the Round 3 match against the Western Bulldogs. PHOTO: AFL Photos)
The Cup was named in honour of trailblazers, Barb Hampson and Lisa Hardeman, who established the first women’s national championships in 1998. The trophy now back with Melbourne after a 12-month residency with the Dogs through victories in the 2016 exhibition series.
‘It was really important for to us to get the win.’ Mifsud says.
‘The Bulldogs have been a bit of a rival for us for a while now so I think the girls were pretty eager to come out here and stamp our mark on the game and really take control. To do that in front of a great crowd at Whitten Oval and on great ground - it’s awesome to get the win here’
Mifsud slotted three goals during the match, allowing the Dees to maintain scoreboard pressure and bumping her up to second on the leading goal scorers list for the league with a total of four, sitting only behind Carlton’s Darcy Vescio who has six.
Mifsud was quick to credit her team mates with the effort and was humble about her work in front of goal.
‘It’s always nice to kick goals but the girls through the midfield did an amazing job and really made my job easy to put some scores on the board. It’s nice to contribute but it’s just nice to get a good team win.’
Melbourne went into this game as favourites with Western Bulldogs’ Captain Katie Brennan out of the side due to an ankle injury, however Mifsud said Melbourne maintained their focus on their game plan and knew that playing the Bulldogs at home would still be a challenge.
‘We definitely wanted to stick to our game plan and we backed ourselves and we wanted to control the game. Katie being out was obviously a big blow for them but we know that they’ve got other girls that can step up so we really covered our bases and made sure we were aware of everybody and still played our game.’
Melbourne will take on Carlton in Round 4 who are shaping up to be one of the teams to beat, currently undefeated as they take on an also undefeated Adelaide on Sunday in the game of the Round.
Mifsud is confident in her team’s process to take them through the week and prepare for the clash next Saturday at Casey Fields.
‘We’ve seen a bit of them already, we played them in a practice game and we’ve seen them go up levels as well. We’ll get back to training next week and re-assess what we’ve done and then look ahead to Carlton later in the week.’