AFLW – Dees Dogged In Away Win – Western Bulldogs V Melbourne

January 14, 2022 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 1

Liam Chambers

It’s a brand new era for Melbourne. Not only has the drought broken but our dams overfloweth. Nothing is impossible anymore.

Straightaway you could see a new confidence in the players from the first bounce. The hunger was there to match the lads and win a first AFLW premiership for the Dees. Lauren Pearce secured the hitout and Melbourne was away, playing tight contested football. The Dogs were kept under pressure and finally succumbed when Kate Hore’s chip to inside 50 was marked by Casey Sherriff, 25m out from goal. The defender didn’t miss and the Dees were on the board.

The second goal quickly followed the bounce, with Tyla Hanks’ long clearance kick finding debutante Tayla Harris, who marked 40m out. Her kick against the breeze was plucked on the goal line by Maddie Gay. The set shot was too close to miss and Maddie put Melbourne ahead by 2 goals.

The Bulldogs continued to struggle and at times were reduced to spectators while Melbourne hung onto the ball, looking for further scoring opportunities. The chance finally came when Karen Paxman launched the sherrin high and long towards goal, where it was collected by Eden Zanker in a beautifully contested mark. She slotted the set shot nicely to give the Dees a 17 point lead at quarter time.

The Dogs were always going to come out swinging at the start of the second quarter and they didn’t disappoint the home crowd. Their first goal came after a slam tackle by Isabel Huntington on Karen Paxman. Huntington scored from the conversion. Luckily Paxman escaped any serious injury. Unfortunately Huntington succumbed to another knee injury several minutes later was assisted in hobbling off the field.

Captain Daisy Pearce almost got on the score sheet herself, with a turn and snap in front of goal but sadly connected with the post. Thirty seconds later and Kate Hore was in the exact same position. Kate curved it slightly more to the left and the ball sailed through unhindered. The Dees were unable to make the most of their remaining opportunities in the term but still went in leading 7 – 30 at half time.

The fans at Whitten Oval would have been disappointed to see their side fade after such a spirited start in the previous term. However the Bulldogs put on a much more consistent performance in the third quarter. Bonnie Toogood kicked things off in style with her 20th career goal. Then Ellie Blackburn reduced the margin to 9 points with her accurate running shot from 30m.

Melbourne weathered the storm and went on the offensive themselves, starting with a brilliant run from midfield by Eden Zanker. Then her superbly accurate kick was marked by Daisy Pearce and though her set shot veered left, the Dees had wrested back the momentum. They continued to pile on the pressure with the Bulldog’s defence scrambling to contain the push. Finally Tayla Harris collected the ground ball and kicked it with the outside of her boot to score her first Demon goal.

With the margin back to 17 points, Melbourne look confident going into the last quarter. It was a low scoring final term with the Dees holding the home side to a single point. It was a tough physical game but the girls avoided any serious injury among some hard fought battles. Daisy Pearce was relishing her role up front and eventually provided another opportunity for Kate Hore in front of goal. Hore scored her second and Melbourne ran out victors by 24 points. A good result away from home.

Tonight we face the Tigers in another away game. Richmond looked good against the Saints in Round 1 but it’s early days and I’m confident Melbourne will be a more difficult prospect.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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