A dramatic late goal has helped the Dubbo Demons women's side remain unbeaten through the opening two rounds of the new AFL Central West season.
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In the home opener for the season, the Demons came away with a thrilling 4.9.33 to 5.0.30 over the defending premiers Bathurst Giants at South Dubbo Oval.
Coached once again by Pete Martinoli, the Demons kept the Giants scoreless in both the second and fourth quarters of the match.
After trailing for most of the match, Martinoli was more than happy with what his group managed to produce on Saturday.
"To kick a goal in the last sort of 20 seconds is exactly what we've trained for and done in a few of our trial games," he said.
"We've been doing a few next goals wins situations, exactly for those purposes.
"When you are down by a goal with only a couple of minutes to go, you have to play like there is nothing to lose.
"We pushed up everyone up the field, we had our fullback basically standing on halfway just to try and lock in a bit better."
The Giants led the match 30-24 at three-quarter time and in Martinoli's eyes, his backline went above and beyond during the crucial moments of the game to get the win.
"It was good to really keep them scoreless for a full half of footy," he said.
"It's a real credit to our backline, who is fairly inexperienced compared to what we had as a set-up last year.
"But they've really quickly developed into their new roles which is always exciting."
Olivia Slot and Kaitlyn Waldie were two of Dubbo's best players, with the former impressing her new coach.
"Olivia it was her first game for the club and she got voted players player," he said.
"Even one of the more senior players on our side requested to stay off to keep Olivia on there.
"It's a massive credit to her and just goes to show how well she was playing."
The women's side has kept the same core group which has been close to winning the title over the last few seasons along with an influx of juniors and new players.
It's the development and will to learn which Martinoli believes has brought the group success so far in 2023.
"It's all I've asked of the girls, I just want them to come to training with a can-do attitude," he said.
"Even if they haven't played footy, I can teach them that.
"As long as they come willing to learn and have a crack then that is three-quarters of the game."
Earlier in the day, the men's Tier 2 side scored their first win of the season in a nail-biting clash with the Giants.
An under-manned Giants side produced a solid performance but eventually went down 6.13.49 to 6.9.45.
In the men's Tier 1 match, the Giants continued Dubbo's poor start to the season, coming away with a 9.10.64 to 4.13.37 win.
All three Dubbo sides will hit the road this weekend to take on Orange.
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