7th Heaven in Van Demon’s Land

May 8, 2021 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 7 – North Melbourne v Melbourne

Liam Chambers

7th Heaven in Van Demon’s Land

Melbourne travelled to Tasmania to face a side that has stubbornly refused to conform to expectations in recent years. Surely this year would be different. The Dees were coming off six wins on the trot and the Roos had yet to win a game. Top plays bottom.

Fans could be forgiven for thinking the players had swapped guernseys before the game, as North Melbourne got off to a flying start. The Roos got the advantage from the first centre bounce, getting the ball into their forward 50 and into the hands of Tom Campbell. His score form set shot was perfectly shaped kick and North was on the scoreboard. While the Dees were digesting that first strike, Shaun Atley received the sherrin after some dexterous play and ran in the Roos’ second.

To add to Melbourne’s woes, Adam Tomlinson injured his knee after a seemingly innocuous slip and was taken down to the rooms for assessment. Unfortunately it was determined that he had ruptured his ACL and he was devastated to learn that his season was over. Tomlinson has played brilliantly this season after slotting into a key defender role alongside Steven May and Jake Lever. He will be sorely missed and we wish him a speedy full recovery.

The Dees managed to wrest some control back when a clever tap from debutant Ben Brown to Bailey Fritsch enabled the forward to turn and snap in Melbourne’s first goal. Two minutes later, Max Gawn dropped a catch inside 50 which Fritsch collects to run in his second. Then Luke Jackson got a lucky ball which fell behind the group going for the mark in front of goal and and tapped in the third for the visitors.

North wasn’t deterred though and Tom Campbell slotted another from 45m out after the home side got the advantage from the centre bounce. It was all even at nineteen points apiece but North took a five point advantage into quarter time after a Tom Powell goal.

After the break, North continued it’s winning ways with Jy Simpkin marking and converting from 40m out. Melbourne kept in touch though when Kysaiah Pickett capped off a brilliant run with an angled kick to Ed Langdon, who scored from the set shot after a great mark.

Ben Brown’s first goal for his new club maybe wasn’t what the fans were expecting. He can kick them with precise accuracy from 50 plus metres but his debut score was a soccer kick inside the goal square. It took forever for the ARC to determined that the sherrin hadn’t been touched but in the end the goal was awarded and Ben was on the score sheet.

Max Gawn wasn’t having the best of days and his normally clean hands were dropping seemingly easy marks. Pickett on the other hand was involved in some great displays of footy and when he scored at the end of the chain after a centre bounce, he showed how important he is to the Dees flowing game.

Unfortunately the Roos again took back control and scored the last three goals of the half. First Cameron Zurhaar scored after some good ball movement. Then Ben Cunnington collected a crumb when the ball was launched to inside 50. Finally Nick Larkey scored after some relentless pressure from the Roos.

Leading by fifty nine points at half time, North Melbourne had the belief that they could cause the upset of the season; Simon Goodwin had one major reset to do with his team if they were going to arrest the slide in the second half.

Melbourne needed to regain the momentum and they did. Again it was Pickett who was instrumental in keeping the ball alive when he bounced it through to Bailey Fritsch from the boundary. Fritsch picked up the loose ball to run in his fourth. The Roos weren’t done yet though and Jack Mahony kicked one through traffic to restore their half time margin.

From there the game started to turn in Melbourne’s favour. Pickett’s second goal was a thing of beauty. Running, passing and receiving the ball from the wing to inside 50 and again to collect the ball just outside the goal square. When Ben Brown was awarded a free from 35m out, he scored his second and Melbourne’s eleventh form the set shot. North were now making errors with Fritsch allowed an uncontested mark 30m out from goal to kick his fifth.

Finally Max was starting to mark more consistently and had a shot from 50m line. Unfortunately he couldn’t replicate his stunning goal from the same position last week. However, the Dees were digging themselves out of a hole and looked well place going into the final term with a lead of thirteen points.

Melbourne were starting to look more comfortable in defence as the quarter progressed. Steven May was getting more of the ball and Tom McDonald had dropped back to cover Adam Tomlinson’s absence to good affect. Luke Jackson was also playing well and the Dees looked like a team more in control. However it was the Roos that got the first goal when Ben Cunnington gathered another crumb and managed to fumble, run and eventually kick the ball high through the uprights.

It was also to be North’s last goal of the game as the Dees moved up a gear when James Jordan slotted his first of the afternoon. A minute later, Clayton Oliver snapped one off his left boot after a good run up the field. Bailey Fritsch wasn’t finished either and took a mark to kick his sixth and cement his place as the Dees’ highest goal soccer so far this season. Kysaiah Pickett saved his best for last with a lovely opportunist goal to again ice the cake for Melbourne.

After a scare from the cellar dwellers, the Dees found a way to win and that’s a mark of a great side. It won’t be the last game where they’ll have to dig deep but they’re proving every week that they’re up to the challenge. So far this this year, Melbourne have won all of their fourth quarters.

We face the Swans in Round 8 and they’ve shown they have what it takes to keep fighting. It’ll be another tough test for the Dees but we know now what they’re capable of. Congrats to Tracca on signing his new contract with Melbourne for the next seven years.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


Comments are closed.

Click here join NSW Demons now.

follow us on twitter Follow us on twitter

join our facebook group Join our facebook group

Sign up to our newsletter: