BALLARAT’S Kaitlyn Ashmore has tasted victory a second time in the AFL women’s match.
Ashmore suited up for Melbourne in a 46-point win against Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Demons’ team had a distinct Ballarat flavour with North Ballarat Rebels assistant and Vic Country youth girls coach Shaun O’Loughlin working with Melbourne head coach Michelle Cowan.
Demons’ captain Daisy Pearce led her team to back-to-back wins in the annual clash, 10.12 (72) to 4.2 (26) after plenty of lead-in hype with the success of last year’s inaugural AFL-sanctioned women’s game.
Melbourne was in front at each change and kept the Bulldogs scoreless in the final term.
Demon Chelsea Randall won the most valuable player award, finishing with 23 possessions, 14 marks and two goals, one of which was an innovative back-heel in the first quarter.
An undersized Bulldogs’ defence had trouble containing the Demons’ forwards with Queensland teenager Tayla Harris, West Australian Kirby Bentley and Victorian Meg Hutchins starring.
Victorian Aastar O’Connor was the Bulldogs’ best, working hard in the ruck and pushing into defence.
The Demons moved into a training camp on Friday night to prepare for the game.
This included sessions with Melbourne AFL coach Paul Roos.
Ashmore looked forward for a chance to reunite with her teammates.
She worked hard in the pre-season on fitness and skill to earn a recall to national level after she was delisted last year.
Ashmore was a top-10 draft pick in this year’s AFL women’s draft.
More than 285 players nominated for the draft for two teams – Melbourne and Western Bulldogs.
Ashmore is a defender with premier division club Melbourne University in the Victorian Women’s Football League.
The AFL women’s game was a curtain raiser for the Western Bulldogs’ one-goal AFL win against Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.