MELBOURNE has got its season off to a flying start, defeating the Western Bulldogs by 20 points to be undefeated after two rounds.
The Demons overcame not only a spirited Dogs outfit, but heavy rain in muggy Melbourne conditions at VU Whitten Oval in the 4.8 (32) to 2.0 (12) win.
Karen Paxman's class and clean skills stood out in the willing contest, while the unheralded Shelley Scott took to the conditions like a duck to water across half-forward.
It was a tight contest early, with a margin of just nine points at quarter-time, with the Dogs' first goal scored by Deanna Berry, courtesy of a free kick for holding the ball and a 50-metre penalty when the ball wasn't returned on the full.
But from there, it was all Melbourne, proving too strong, smart and composed up against a young Western Bulldogs team.
The match finished on a sour note, with Demons forward Ainslie Kemp suffering a left knee injury. Kemp, who left the ground in tears after the final siren, has a history of knee injuries and decided to forgo surgery on a torn ACL which occurred in the VFLW last year.
Despite the best efforts of Ellie Blackburn and Kirsty Lamb on the inside of packs, Melbourne dominated on the outside, comfortably topping the uncontested possession count 87 to 53.
The Demons put the Dogs' defence under enormous pressure with a seemingly neverending stream of inside 50s (34 to 15). Lauren Spark held Tegan Cunningham well in conditions not suited to talls, but Kate Hore was very dangerous in the early stages.
Aisling McCarthy battled valiantly, regularly belting the ball down the ground, and Nathan Burke would be pleased with how his team fought out the match, with Bonnie Toogood kicking a consolation goal in the latter stages of the fourth.
The Demons still have All-Australian ruck Lauren Pearce (knee), midfielder Lily Mithen (ankle) and forward recruit Jackie Parry (hamstring) to return as the season progresses.
WESTERN BULLDOGS 1.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 (12)
MELBOURNE 2.3 2.6 4.8 4.8 (32)
Western Bulldogs: Berry, Toogood
Melbourne: Emonson, Paxman, Sherriff, Gay
Western Bulldogs: McCarthy, Blackburn, Lamb, Spark, Ferres
Melbourne: Paxman, Scott, Pearce, Hore, Gay, Heath
Western Bulldogs: Nil
Melbourne: Kemp (knee)
Crowd: 3133 at VU Whitten Oval