Demons and Saints to clash in twilight prelim

A HISTORIC twilight preliminary final will take place on Sunday evening, when Casey Demons lock horns with Southern Saints at ETU Stadium in Port Melbourne. The 4:05pm clash will determine which side goes through to the grand final against Essendon. The Demons were simply no match for the Bombers last week and utilised their double chance having knocked off Collingwood in the first week of finals, while the Saints have stormed to back-to-back upsets against Geelong and Hawthorn to make it to the penultimate match of the season.

Casey Demons vs. Southern Saints
Sunday @ 4:05pm
ETU Stadium

Casey heads into the game looking to bounce back from the disappointing loss to Essendon the week before, when the Demons went down by 67 points. They were well beaten in the inside 50s count (42-24) and out possessed by 87 disposals (272-185). Maeve Chaplin was a shining light for the Demons on the day, showcasing her ability and determination to earn an AFLW recall. Another one with AFLW-experience in Alison Brown also stepped up in the loss, with Melanie Hogg having a strong game the week before against the Magpies. Cara McCrossan slotted three goals in the Demons win over the Pies, but struggled for opportunities against the Bombers.

The Demons do their best work when they can control the stoppages and win the hitouts, and if they can get their hands on the ball, then watch out. Similarly, Southern Saints like to possess the ball where possible and do not mind weathering the storm. They did just that against a strong Cats side a fortnight ago, when they conceded 34 inside 50s. They only allowed eight scoring shots (2.6) in that game, and scored 4.2 from 18 inside 50s themselves. They had more of the ball, and were able to control tempo, but lost the territory battle. It was a different story against the Hawks last week, with two more inside 50s than the brown and gold (29-27), and far more disposals (plus-61).

It was a dominant display up forward by Tayla Kearns and Kayla Ripari who combined for 24 disposals and five goals in the win. Hannah Stuart took control through the middle against an inexperienced Hawks midfield, racking up 29 touches, seven marks, eight tackles and booting 1.2. Similarly, Deanna Jolliffe and Winnie Laing were also impressive, while dangerous forward Gabriella De Angelis kicked a goal from 17 disposals and four marks. Young gun Olivia Robinson had 12 touches, two marks and two tackles in the win.

In terms of the preliminary final, expect both teams to be red-hot from the start, with the Saints form and the Demons determination to bounce back both key factors. Casey will start favourites, but if the Saints can weather the storm and then go forward, the red, white and black side has every chance of causing yet another upset.

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