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Joanna Guelas

Hanks leads Demons to AFLW thrashing of Hawks

Tyla Hanks has starred for AFLW table-toppers Melbourne in a 59-point thumping of Hawthorn. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

Defending AFLW premiers Melbourne have monstered Hawthorn to maintain their perfect 4-0 start to the season.

In a first meeting between the club's two respective women's sides on Friday, the Demons claimed a 10.10 (70) to 1.5 (11) victory at Kinetic Stadium for their 13th consecutive victory - a competition record.

Unsung hero and Melbourne vice-captain Tyla Hanks (26 disposals, three clearances) led the way, along with ball magnet Olivia Purcell (29, two).

Lauren Pearce and Blaithin Mackin kicked the opening majors, while Libby Birch (seven intercept possessions) and Sinead Goldrick (five) stood up in defence to keep the hosts goalless in the first half.

Captain Tilly Lucas-Rodd (28 disposals, four clearances) and Emily Bates (21, seven) worked hard to keep the Hawks in the contest but opportunities at goal were squandered by kicking inaccuracy.

Matters were made worse for Hawthorn when star forward Greta Bodey left the ground with an injury, starting the second half with three behinds to Melbourne's 4.6 (30).

Eliza McNamara opened the third stanza with her first major since returning from a back injury that required her to learn how to walk again.

Fellow Irishwoman Aine McDonagh broke through the Dees' barricade to end the Hawks' goal drought, kicking the first and only major of the night for her side.

Bodey returned to the fray but had minimal influence on the park.

Melbourne's Eden Zanker booted three goals in the span of five minutes to blow the margin out to 44 points before three-quarter time.

Skipper Kate Hore (two goals), Alyssa Bannan (one) and Tayla Harris (one) were also among the Demons' goalkickers.

It's the first win for the Demons under former player and current development coach Shae Sloane, who temporarily took the head coaching reins from Mick Stinear.

"No complaints whatsoever," Sloane said.

"There were moments in the contest where we had four, five players coming at us ... I'm really pleased with the way we were able to stay calm with ball in hand.

"Obviously coaching - it was a really great experience for me this week, being able to learn off Mick constantly but then being able to do it in a different way today."

Despite the drubbing, Hawthorn coach Bec Goddard said her side won't be disheartened going into next weekend.

"If you also said to me at the start of the night that we were going to have one more inside 50 than them, I would've said 'what?'," Goddard said after the match.

"There are a couple of really good things. If you looked at where we were at six weeks ago when we played them (in a pre-season match) to where we are now, it's much better."

Melbourne (4-0) make the trip down to GMHBA Stadium to face Geelong in round five, while Hawthorn (1-3) host the Brisbane Lions at Frankston.

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