Dogs Bite But Demons Deliver 

March 16, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Dogs Bite But Demons Deliver 

Match Report – Melbourne v Footscray

Liam Chambers

The Western Bulldogs had nothing to lose. Melbourne wanted revenge for last year’s final game when the Dog’s broke the Dees’ hearts.

Aliesha Newman got away early; seizing the ball and running to kick towards goal. Unfortunately only picking up one point. The Dees applied some good pressure but the Dogs fought back driving play into Melbourne’s half.

The Dees were dominant though and a good mark from Tegan Cunningham set up Kate Hore to have a shot on goal. However Melbourne was denied their first goal.

Again and again the Dees made good runs into the Dogs’ inside 50 but they couldn’t find that sweet spot between the uprights. Finally a great kick by Elise O’Dea (revelling in her new role as co-captain) was marked by Cunningham directly in front of goal. Tegan slotted through for Melbourne’s first six pointer.

The score of 0-11 at the end of the first quarter didn’t reflect the Dees’ superior effort over the Dogs. The Dogs opened the scoring at the start of the second quarter courtesy of a Katie Brennan free kick. Again Melbourne dominated the Dogs’ inside 50 but were unable to convert.

A free kick and a 50m penalty saw Naomi Ferris get the Dogs’ second. Tyla Hanks had a good opportunity but her turn and snap was marked by a Dogs’ player to thwart a great effort.

Melbourne continued to push forward and was rewarded with a quality goal from Karen Paxman (after a team spirited pass from Newman). The Dogs were determined though and a good mark by Patterson prevented a further goal.

Then Isabel Hunnington’s kick to goal was marked on the line by Aisling Utri who converted for the Dogs to make it 18-18 even. The Bulldogs took all their chances in the quarter with Aisling McCarthy getting their fourth to lead 24-18 at half time.   It only got worse at the start of the second half. Kristy McLeod struck with her first and the Dogs’ sixth. The Melbourne faithful were given something to cheer when Maddi Gay slotted home after a good run of play; especially from Kate Hore with some fancy footwork  and passing.

Tyla Hanks almost reached the ball as it was bouncing towards goal. She just missed grabbing it before the ball bounced awkwardly for a behind. Melbourne was in dire need of a hero.

Then the most inspirational moment of the game came when Eden Zanker marked well and converted beautifully from a difficult angle approximately 20m from goal. It was now a very tight game at 32-31 going into the final quarter.

The Dees needed to dig deep if they were going to win and keep their finals hopes alive. This would be a huge test of character. That test suddenly got a little more difficult when Isabel Huntington kicked the opening goal to give the Dogs a seven point lead.

A real nail biter was compounded when Tegan Cunningham missed a shot on goal. Then it was pressure and counter pressure as Melbourne was tackling for it’s very survival. The Dogs were determined to push the Dees as hard as they could and Melbourne couldn’t make any inroads into Doggie territory.

Then with 2 minutes to go and reminiscent of a cheesy Hollywood screenplay, Tegan Cunningham marked the ball 30m out from the Bulldogs’ goal. Under enormous pressure, the set shot Queen made no mistakes and put the Dees ahead 38-39.

For the next 90 seconds, Melbourne defended and tackled like their lives depended on it. When the siren sounded the sense of elation and relief from players and fans alike was palatable. The Dees were one step closer to their first finals appearance.

Next week’s game against Adelaide will the toughest yet. Melbourne has lost only two games this season. Both have been at Casey Fields. Both have been by only four points. We can definitely beat the Crows but the girls will need all their ingenuity and skill to be triumphant.


They Might Be Giants But The Dees Stood Taller

March 8, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Round 5 GWS vs Melbourne

They Might Be Giants But The Dees Stood Taller

Liam Chambers

Another hot and humid afternoon. GWS had the home advantage but Melbourne looked better on paper. After last week’s narrow loss to undefeated North Melbourne, a win against the Giants was crucial to remain in contention for a finals spot.

It was a positive start for the Dees with Kate Hore kicking to an unmarked Tegan Cunningham inside the Giant’s 50. GWS were determined not to be over awed by Melbourne and applied pressure with some good kicking and marking. Meg Downie was solid in defence taking some nice marks.

A Bianca Jacobson kick to Cunningham in front of goal saw Tegan fail to convert the six points. Then Lauren Pearce got a free kick plus a 50 metre penalty to kick the first goal.

The Giants, who had some chances, finally scored courtesy of Christina Benardi. Unfortunately Meg Downie sustained a head injury and went to the sidelines to recover. The Dees played a good defensive game and Lily Mithen made some courageous tackles. Quarter time score all even at 8-8.

Another good opener by Melbourne in the second quarter. Kate Hore again kicked to Cunningham. This time the ball bounced high in front of goal. Tegan was able to protect her space before kicking the ball into goal. Maddi Gay had a shot on goal from just inside 50. She had the distance but was just wide of goal.

Next Jacobson again kicks well. This time to Eden Zanker who marked it safely and scored another six. The Dees showed not sign of letting up and their tackling was ferocious at times. Tyla Hanks showed why she is so valuable to Melbourne. Maddi Gay missed another set shot and GWS would be thankful not to be going in further behind at half time. 9-25.

Again a great start for Melbourne in the second half. Kate Hore was tackled high then free kicked to Shelley Scott who got it to Tegan. A great kick from 40 metres out saw Cunningham get her second. Melbourne continued their good defending. Lily Mithen was again tackling fiercely.

Shelly Scott had an opportunity to run and score but was under pressure with players in pursuit. She fumbled and kicked wide. Jacinta Barkley finally scored the Giant’s first goal in two quarters. Christina Bernardi missed a set shot on goal after the siren. With Melbourne leading by 17 points going into the final quarter they had the momentum.

Maddi Gay finally scored from a free kick in front of goal. GWS was applying tremendous pressure with Melbourne defending desperately. Shelly Scott finally managed to gain some ground back into the Giant’s half but GWS hit back again. Melbourne was finding it difficult to get out of its own half.

Karen Paxman had a chance but GWS applied some great pressure to deny her. Then Tyla Hanks kicked a free to Tegan who got her hat trick from the resulting mark. That was her second from 40 metres out and shows how accurate her set shots have become.

Another free kick by Hore to Jacobson saw the ball bounce just outside the goal line. The super fit Paxman grabbed the ball as it descended and tapped it over for her first and Melbourne’s seventh goal. Right at the end, Tyla Hanks got a free kick plus a 50 metre penalty to make it 18-57 in the Dee’s favour.

As is the game of footy, the other results from Conference A didn’t go Melbourne’s way. A win for the Crows and Freo mean we have to secure maximum points from our last two games. Our percentage is superior so we have a good chance of making the finals.

Two very tough games ahead though, especially the Adelaide encounter but we’ve been highly consistent this season and deserve to get the results.


Round 4 – Melbourne Vs North Melbourne

March 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons 

Round 4 – Melbourne Vs North Melbourne

Liam Chambers

As expected, the Roos started strongly. Melbourne defended well but couldn’t prevent Mo Hope’s great effort form 40 metres out. The Dees rallied however with strong displays from Karen Paxman and Lily Mithen helping to apply some great forward pressure on the opposition.

The Dees were rewarded with Cat Phillip’s turn and kick resulting in Melbourne’s first goal. Again, their handball game has been pivotal in getting into scoring positions, as well as out of trouble on occasions. North Melbourne again piled on the pressure at the end of the quarter. A misjudged kick by Lauren Pearce to Paxman was fumbled before Paxman recovered to handball The Dees out of danger, potentially avoiding a last minute goal to the Roos.

North Melbourne scored a lucky goal in the first minute of of the second quarter when a wayward kick from Mo Hope was marked by Emma King. Then within another minute, King got a second after being awarded a free kick against Harriet Cordner just in front of goal. A dubious decision in my mind.

The Dees looked in trouble at 6-19 down. Then Maddi Gay snapped what looked like a certain goal but which was unfortunately touched and only one point awarded. All the luck seemed to going in the Roos’ direction. On the plus side the Dees were marking well with O’Dea & Cunningham making some nice grabs.

The Dees starting applying more pressure and Cunningham converted from a one handed mark to pull one back. Then the Dees were accused of holding Sophie Abbatangelo (another dodgy call). The free kick resulting in a goal for the Roos. When Paxman’s kick was touched on the line, you had the feeling that this was not going to be Melbourne’s day. One of the stars of the half was Lily Mithen, having a great game on either side of the field.

The Dees started the second half well. Nice displays of handball passing and defending. Cat Phillips having a good run. The highlight of the game though came when Aliesha Newman got the ball after good spell of play by Melbourne. Newman ran and bounced the ball nicely before kicking at the open goal approx. 30 metres out.

The ball bounce favourably between the uprights with Aliesha running hard just in case it didn’t make it. Then Maddi Gay handballed a pass to Tyla Hanks who took the shot on the outside of her boot to slot home a perfect goal. The Dees were in front for the first time in the game and now the Roos knew that they were in a game of footy.

Mo Hope got one back with a kick from 45 metres out to again take the lead. However Melbourne went into the last quarter 28-31 behind but with a renewed sense of purpose.

The Dees had the best start they could hope in the final quarter with Newman getting her second goal from a set shot. Unfortunately Emma King got her third goal and Melbourne struggled to regain the momentum in a very tight quarter of football. They defended well but just couldn’t convert their chances and North Melbourne were the victors at 34-38.

Round 5 against GWS should be a challenge but I’m confident we can win in Sydney. Let’s hope we see a good crowd of Melbourne supporters on the day.

On a final note I think Daisy Pearce is putting her organisational skills to good use with her latest recruits.


Lions Lay Down Like Lambs – Round 3

February 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, NSW Demons 

Round 3 – Brisbane Vs Melbourne – Lions Lay Down Like Lambs

Liam Chambers

Good result for the Dees. It’s never easy playing away. Brisbane were favourite to win on home soil even though they lost to in-form Fremantle in Round 2. The heat & humidity was also a factor, but you’d never know it by the way Melbourne controlled the game.

Five minutes in & Aliesha Newman kicked the first goal after one of her signatory runs. The Dees were dominating. Hanks was displaying her superior passing skills and showing great vision. A few minutes later and Newman had her second.

Overall Melbourne was applying tremendous pressure on the Lions and should have been further ahead at quarter time. Brisbane scored courtesy of Tawhaq-Wardlow.

The second quarter was the best display by Melbourne so far this season. Goals by Kat Smith, Paxman (again good pass from Hanks) & Eden Zanker showed the diversity of talent in the Dee’s side.

Harriet Cordner did a great job of shutting down Sabrina Frederick Traub. Bianca Jacobson scored a lovely goal after some intense pressure from Melbourne which saw them forty points ahead at the end of the first half.

Melbourne didn’t let up in the third quarter and tackled well, especially Kat Smith. Their use of the hand ball was at times superb and pressurized the Lions into making a lot of errors. The intercept marking was also noteworthy. Unfortunately for all the Dees superior play, Brisbane were getting themselves into potential scoring positions.

Finally, Nat Exon put one between the uprights for the Lions, their first goal since late in quarter one. Then Bianca Jacobson got her second & Melbourne went into the last quarter leading by thirty-eight points.

The last quarter was again a low scoring affair. There were some nice touches, but Brisbane never looked like launching a major comeback. A highlight for Melbourne was the mark and subsequent goal from Tegan Cunningham. Tegan looked like she lacked confidence early on. The Dees won by thirty-nine points after Kate McCarthy from Brisbane scored a deserved goal after the siren.

All in all, a great performance by Melbourne and they have now stamped their mark on the competition after three good games. The loss to Fremantle was unlucky but the girls also learned a lot from that disappointment.

Their biggest test will be in Round 4 when they take on the new kids from North Melbourne. Playing at Casey Fields will help but the Kangaroos are an altogether different beast to Brisbane. The Roos will have watched this game to spot where Melbourne are weakest. We will have done the same. It will be interesting to see what changes the Dees make to their game. If the Dees play like they did in Brisbane, then I would definitely not bet against us.


Congratulations to Daisy Pearce & the latest members of the Melbourne Demons Fan Club


“You can win without skill but you can’t win without spirit.” – Norm Smith

February 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

2019 prelude – pre-season report

Nigel Dawe

“You can win without skill but you can’t win without spirit.” – Norm Smith.  Every football club is like a classic novel, whereby each decade might represent a chapter and each season could well be a page. That said, I’m thrilled to see what will soon be ‘written’ on the currently blank page that is season 2019 for us.

Whilst Round One outright represents the 2400th time our team has graced a VFL/AFL field, I’ve been suitably reflecting on the many whys –related to ‘absolutely’ why I go for Melbourne and what keeps me so enthralled with the every nuance and turn of this team – and primarily it is its history, its on-going story, a story that stretches farther back in time than any other team (of any code) in the world. Of course I more than fully appreciate seeing its future evolve and unfold but I just love acquainting myself with its past – delving into the tales, the records, the stats, facts and fascinating figures of not just the club’s shining stars but its lesser lights as well.

Take one of my ‘lesser known’ favourites for example – Artie Best, a bloke who hasn’t taken the field for 105 years and only played a dozen games – but in his very last game of VFL footy before bravely sailing off to the battlefields of WWI, he did what no one else in Melbourne colours had ever done and fair to say, will ever do again. Artie kicked the team’s entire score of 5.5 against South Melbourne (who were no light weights, being that year’s eventual runners -up).

Similarly, talking last appearances before never appearing in the red and blue ever again, if there was one game I’d like to see in our club’s entire history (besides the 1926 Grand Final) I know call me Dr Who now, but it would have to be Fred Fanning’s ‘big day out’ in 1947 and his mammoth return of 18 goals, 1 point in front of the sticks, which remains not just a club, but a competition record haul to this day. I’d also love to have seen his 105.5 metre roost at the MCG in the 1939 reserves Grand Final, one that landed him (with an accompanying sonic boom) into no less than the Guinness Book of Records for the longest kick of all-time.

And then there are some records or accolades that simply don’t reflect or do justice to what it is they were intended to honour, if not honourably commend. Take our great Robbie Flower’s ‘one’ solitary club best & fairest award (he also claimed 4 runner up mantles) but the fact he earned more Brownlow votes than any other Demons player (150 to be exact) highlights something I’ve never been able to reconcile.

Similarly the great Gary Ablett Snr only ever took out the one club best & fairest award in his whole career at Geelong, and this pair were perhaps the most mercurial players I’ve seen in the last 40 years. Maybe their brilliance was just expected and never came as a ‘surprise’ to those who ‘oversaw’ such things, I don’t know, and never will.

But isn’t that what makes our game so great and follow-able – the eternal subjective engagement and stimulation it offers each and every one of us without exception, it is an afforded ‘buy in’, a chance to share and partake each year over a lifetime in something absolute and grand, or as Oscar Wilde once so tellingly observed for particularly players and coaches, but also fans alike: “The world only belongs to you for a season.”

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