AS MELBOURNE'S 2022 AFLW season draws to a close, we take a look back at each round that led the Demons to their maiden AFLW Grand Final berth.
Check out the 2022 AFLW season recap below:
Round 1 | Western Bulldogs v Melbourne | VU Whitten Oval
MELB (46) def WB (22)
The Bulldogs hosted Melbourne at VU Whitten Oval in the opening round of the 2022 AFLW season. Eliza West, Tayla Harris, Alison Brown and Maggie Caris made their debut in the red and blue. Seamless skills and smart plays gave the Demons a quick start on the scoreboard, kicking four goals to one in the first half. Melbourne held on to this lead for the remainder of the match, seeing them walk away winners of the annual Hampson-Hardeman Cup.
Round 2 | Richmond v Melbourne | Swinburne Centre
MELB (54) def RICH (38)
Looking to collect back-to-back wins, Melbourne travelled to the Swinburne Centre to face Richmond in Round 2. The Demons trailed at the first break, but a huge five-goal second term, which included a Goal of the Year finalist from Alyssa Bannan, saw them gain control of the play and ultimately seal their 16-point win over the Tigers.
Round 3 | Melbourne v St Kilda | Casey Fields
MELB (64) def STK (23)
The Demons hosted their first game of the season in the league’s second annual Pride Round. It was a historic day for the club as the team ran out in their inaugural Pride guernseys. With scores level at three-quarter time, the stage was set for a tight final term. Melbourne quickly collected momentum and produced a six-goal last quarter seeing them take a 41-point win.
Round 4 | Adelaide v Melbourne | Norwood Oval
ADEL (35) def MELB (21)
Melbourne made its first interstate trip of the season in Round 4, heading to Norwood Oval to face Adelaide. The Crows kept the Demons goalless for the first three quarters, setting the home team up for a 14-point win and handing Melbourne’s its first loss of the season.
Round 5 | Melbourne v Gold Coast | Casey Fields
MELB (38) def GCS (26)
The Demons returned home to Casey Fields in Round 5 for a clash against Gold Coast. It was a low scoring game in the first half, Melbourne kicking two goals to the Suns’ one. The pressure between the two sides was unmatched in the competition, collecting a combined 178 tackles, the most aggregate tackles in league’s history. Despite a strong fight from Gold Coast, Melbourne secured their 10th straight win at home.
Round 6 | Melbourne V GWS | Casey Fields
MELB (44) def GWS (7)
GWS travelled to Casey Fields in Round 6, as Melbourne produced a notably strong display against the interstate side. The Demons dominated play for the duration of the game, keeping the Giants scoreless right up until the dying moments of the final quarter. Tayla Harris and Kate Hore both kicked two goals apiece in the side’s 37-point win.
Round 7 | Brisbane v Melbourne | Metricon Stadium
MELB (35) def BRIS (32)
Heading to Queensland for their Round 7 game, the Demons were looking to defeat the reigning premiers at Metricon Stadium. Brisbane dominated the first half, with a 17-point advantage. Melbourne kicked four goals to one in the second half, taking a thrilling three-point victory over the home side, with Brisbane’s Greta Bodey’s after-the-siren kick falling short.
Round 8 | Melbourne v North Melbourne | Casey Fields
MELB (27) def NMFC (17)
The Demons hosted the Kangaroos in the league's annual Indigenous Round. Melbourne ran out in its 2022 AFLW Indigenous guernsey, designed by Demon Krstel Petrevski. In classic windy conditions at Casey Fields, Melbourne snapped up an early lead and kept it for the remainder of the game, securing a 10-point victory.
Round 9 | Fremantle v Melbourne | Optus Stadium
MELB (107) def FREM (19)
In what was a history-making win in Perth, Melbourne became the first AFLW side to break the century. The Demons scored 16 goals to Fremantle’s three, during a dominant display at Optus Stadium. Captain Daisy Pearce led the way, kicking a career-high five goals and helping her side to an 88-point win.
Round 10 | Melbourne v Carlton | Casey Fields
MELB (34) def CARL (33)
Carlton and Melbourne met at Casey Fields in the last round of the home-and-away season. It was a special day for Melbourne's Libby Birch as she celebrated her 50th AFLW game in the club's Breast Cancer Network Australia Round. The match was a battle to the final siren, with the Demons winning by the narrowest of margins. The victory was Melbourne's 13th straight win at home and helped secure the side a spot in the Preliminary Final.
Preliminary Final | Melbourne v Brisbane | MCG
MELB (33) def BRIS (29)
Melbourne and Brisbane faced off in a ground-breaking Preliminary Final on the MCG. The final was the first official AFLW match to be played at the home of football, a major step forward for the league. Karen Paxman played her 50th game in the red and blue, the first AFLW player to do so in the club's history. Although scores were level at half-time, the Demons had the game on their terms in the third-quarter, booting three goals and taking an 11-point lead at the final break. Despite a late surge from the Lions, Melbourne held on to secure a maiden AFLW Grand Final berth.
Grand Final | Adelaide v Melbourne | Adelaide Oval
ADEL (29) def MELB (16)
Melbourne travelled to Adelaide to face off in the club's first AFLW Grand Final against the Crows. In front of a crowd of 16,712 fans, the two teams battled it out for premiership glory. Adelaide took an early lead in the first term and despite a third-quarter fight from Melbourne, the home side were crowned the 2022 AFLW Premiers, a heartbreaking loss for the Demons.