Kate Hore benefited from a flawless passage of play early in the second term but celebrations were halted by three straight goals down the other end.
Vice-captain Jasmine Garner slotted one for the Kangaroos but Tegan Cunningham and Jackie Parry booted their second and third for the game respectively, leaving the Demons with a 27-point lead at the main break.
Having conceded only two goals in as many games, Darren Crocker needed his shell-shocked group to tighten their defence heading into the second half.
Quick and free-flowing play allowed for an instant goal from Garner followed by a spectacular two in a row from Daria Bannister, the Kangaroos trailing by just seven points by the final break.
North fought until the end, Bella Eddey slotting her second ever AFLW goal to put them just two points behind, however former Dees co-captain Shelley Scott wouldn’t have it, booting a goal on the siren to seal the win.
It was a tight contest as Melbourne vice-captain Karen Paxman went head-to-head with Roos skipper and four-time All-Australian Kearney. With a game average of 31 disposals, Paxman met her match in Kearney but still managed 25 disposals and a goal for the winning side.
1.1 1.2 2.4 2.4 (16)
0.0 3.1 5.2 6.4 (40)
GOALS: St Kilda: Greiser, Shierlaw Carlton: Prespakis, O’Dea, Brazzale, Downie, Stevens
BEST: St Kilda: Patrikios, Lucas-Rodd, Priest, Greiser, Shierlaw, Brown, Watt Carlton: Prespakis, Egan, O’Dea, Stevens, Downie, Moody, Harris
Meanwhile, Carlton have locked in their first win of the season against the flailing Saints, running out at Moorabbin for the first time in 32 years, at a crowdless RSEA Park.
The Saints sought to avenge last week’s loss to North Melbourne and wasted no time, with All-Australian Caitlin Greiser opening their account while the Blues’ score remained bare in the first term.
But Carlton came out firing after the first break, with strong defence and a major off the boot of former Dee Elise O’Dea opening the flood gates. Gun midfielder Madison Prespakis’ goal was followed quickly by Lauren Brazzale’s first goal for the season.
A clinical performance by the young Blues in the midfield left them ahead by nine points at the main break despite almost equal forward 50 entries.
Alison Downie continued Carlton’s dominance immediately in the third, booting a goal which was quickly answered by a clean mark and set shot from Saints co-captain Kate Shierlaw against her former team.
Nicola Stevens extended the Blues’ lead to 15 leading into the final term. They managed to hold off the Saints’ attack and with Stevens’ second goal for the day, and 11 inside 50s to none, the Saints were sent packing.
Debutants Jessica Matin and Isabella Shannon joined the red, white and black’s ranks while the Blues welcomed back Rising Star nominee Lucy McEvoy. McEvoy missed the opening two rounds of the AFLW season after sustaining a facial fracture in the Blues’ January practice match with the Saints.
A stand-out as usual, Prespakis dominated for the Blues leaving with 24 disposals and a goal.
Leading into round three, Prespakis had polled four votes in the last two games in the AFLW champion-player-of-the-year count, averaging 21 disposals and five clearances so far in 2021.
Saints co-captain Cat Phillips tagged her throughout the third but it was the midfield contest with Georgia Patrikios that showed the young guns are the ones to watch.
POWER OF PATRIKIOS
Patrikios had career-best figures of 27 disposals and six tackles in the Saints’ narrow loss to the
Kangaroos last week and was showing no sign of slowing down, tallying 20 disposals and three
marks. Awarded the AFLPA’s best first-year player award, a podium finish in the 2020 NAB Rising Star Award and selection into the AFLPA’s 22 under-22 team and All-Australian squad, Patrikios looks to be a lock in the Saints’ starting 18 with no questions asked.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
Greater Western Sydney slid to a 10-point victory in a wet contest against the still winless Gold Coast at Blacktown Oval.
It was Taylah Davies and skipper Alicia Eva who each slotted a first-quarter goal, which was enough
to keep the Giants ahead until the final siren.
It was slow going for the Suns who remained goalless until the dying moments of the final term, where one off the boot of midfielder Jamie Stanton got them on the board.
All-Australian and reigning GWS best and fairest, Alyce Parker, ran off with 24 disposals, including six clearances, and five tackles.