And Now For Something Completely Different

August 8, 2020 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 10 – Adelaide Vs Melbourne

Liam Chambers

After last week’s top of the ladder clash with Port Adelaide, this week we faced bottom of the ladder Adelaide. A tale of one city, two outcomes. If last week was the worst of times, then this week was definitely the best of times. There was no doubt that the Demons would have to respond to their “insipid” performance against Port. Of course the Crows are fighting their own internal demons and badly need a win to give their long suffering fans a reason to believe. If nothing else this would be a highly charged and passionate game.

The Dees bolted out of the blocks and Ed Langdon almost got the first goal but his shot hit the post. Luke Jackson didn’t miss a few minutes later though when his set shot sailed through. However, Adelaide fought back when Darcy Fogarty converted from a free kick at the other end. The Crows were spurred on after that goal, placing some good forward pressure on Melbourne’s defence but their kicking lacked accuracy.

Always controversial, Alex Neal Bullen’s ugly sling tackle on Will Hamill earned him a month off to reflect while Hamill was left to sit out the rest of the match on the sidelines. When a Bailey Fritsch kick sailed towards the goal square a running clash of heads between Aaron vandenBerg and Ben Keys allowed Jack Viney to slip through the scrambling players and tap in his first. Fortunately neither injured player suffered too much damage and came back on the field a few minutes later sporting matching bandannas. Sam Weiderman added another for the Dees when he recovered his initial dropped mark to stumble forward, collect the ball and neatly snap one through the uprights.

Melbourne looked to be going into second quarter with a handy lead before Paul Seedsman scored from the 50m line. There was still more drama to unfold in the dying seconds however when Jake Melksham was awarded a free kick fifteen metres out from goal. Unfortunately, a petty display from vandenBerg prompted the umpire to reverse the decision. His push to Fischer McAsey’s back when he was lying on the ground must have had Simon Goodwin grinding his teeth.

The second term started well when Sam Weiderman got another to extend Melbourne’s lead to eleven points. Luke Jackson got a lucky free kick when his arm was impeded during a hit out. He didn’t miss from his set shot. Just when the Dees looked in danger of pulling away, the Crows reigned them back in with goals to Elliot Himmelberg and Paul Seedsman. There was a pivotal moment when Tex Walker marked the ball on the 50m line and he got a slap from James Harmes on his way passed. Luckily the umpire didn’t award a fifty metre penalty and Tex’s shot sailed across the face of goal.

Leading by only five points at the start of the second half, Melbourne had left the Crows with a sense of optimism. The Dees started well though with some good pressure. Ed Langdon unfortunately hit the post for a second time. They kept pushing though and a brilliant mark by Bailey Fritsch ended with one of the goals of the match. Fritsch, looking like he might attempt the shot, instead passed the ball to Harley Bennell who snapped a kick from forty metres out to slot the ball home.

Clayton Oliver was having his best game of the season and was instrumental in getting the ball to safety on several occasions. Overall the Dees were defending well. Adelaide’s accuracy continued to let them down when Darcy Fogarty’s banana kick missed the target. The teams went in to the final quarter with the scores still tightly locked at 31-43. However, Melbourne was saving their best till last. At this point it is worth noting that captain Max Gawn was carrying a shoulder injury throughout the game. You can question the wisdom of playing with such an injury, especially as a Ruckman but you can’t question his determination, commitment and bravery.

Clayton Oliver opened the scoring after he was awarded a free kick for being held. Best known for his magic hands, he is also a proficiently kicker of the sherrin. His skills didn’t let him down this time, giving Melbourne some valuable breathing space. Angus Brayshaw was also delivering some well aimed and accurate kicks with Weiderman being on the receiving end of one such example and adding to the Dees’ growing tally.
When Jake Melksham received a free kicked after also being held, he stretched the margin out to five goals.

Melbourne started to put on a display when Christian Petracca’s tapped beautifully towards Luke Jackson only to have Bailey Fritsch leap in front of him and grab the opportunity for himself. Luckily Fritsch scored from his set shot so I’m sure Jackson has forgiven him. After some messy defending by the Crows, Melksham was in the right place and managed to tap the ball over the line. By now the Dees were flowing confidently and Viney’s snap goal from a stoppage was just more icing on the cake.

Though Petracca had a fairly low key night, his vision and accuracy in the last term were exemplary. His kick directly into Fritsch’s hands fifteen metres out from goal was pure poetry. Melbourne can be satisfied with the final score of 37-88 and a job well done.

We return to Adelaide Oval for the game against North Melbourne on Sunday night. The Dees have struggled against the Roos in recent years and Round 11 will be a battle to get their respective seasons back on track. No matter how badly North Melbourne are playing, they always find that little bit extra when they face the Dees. On paper I would fancy our chances but we need to be psychologically tough when the Kangaroos start to target any perceived weaknesses. For now, I’m basking in the glory of a well deserved win.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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