Both Sides Beaten To The Draw

July 24, 2021 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 18 – Melbourne V Hawthorn

Liam Chambers

There’s definitely a different mindset at Melbourne this season but sometimes complacency is the enemy of success. After last week’s sterling performance against the tough and talented Port Adelaide, victory over the seventeenth placed Hawks should have been a given. Unfortunately, someone forgot to send Hawthorn the memo and Alastair Clarkson’s boys came out swinging.

It shouldn’t be a cause for concern though, as the only top eight team Melbourne hasn’t beaten this year is the West Coast Eagles; because we haven’t played them yet. It is curious though why the Dees should continually struggle against the lower ranked sides.

They started well, mounting some good forward pressure but only racking up minor scores until Jayden Hunt kicked a beauty from the 50m line. The Hawks were proving dangerous when they got the ball to ground level inside 50 and Daniel Howe was able to finish with a snap kick from 35m. Melbourne was intercepting well, taking contested marks but Hawthorn was still getting quite a bit of the ball and making inroads to inside 50.

After soaking up the Hawks pressure, the Dees got forward and Charlie Spargo was able to score with a nice kick against the flow of play. Spargo was involve again when he kicked a ball to Ben Brown who marked to the right of goal but the big forward was unable to convert. Not so when Spargo’s set shot into the goal square allowed Brown to pick up the ball and score with a sideways kick through traffic. Alex Neal-Bullen made it four when he received the ball 45m out from an Aaron VandenBerg delivery.

With the Dees leading by 20 points at the start of the second, they would have expected to build on their lead, especially with the Hawks’ lack of accuracy in front of goal so far.
When Clayton Oliver got the ball to Bailey Fritsch, the Demon’s top scorer didn’t miss from his set shot. A 26 point lead looked very promising for the Dees and halfway through the quarter, they were comfortably in control.

Hawthorn finally had reason for optimism though when Ben McEvoy was awarded a penalty inside 50 and duly kicked the sherrin through the uprights. Bailey Fritsch restored the margin when he grabbed the ball from a VandenBerg kick, turning to snap another goal. Melbourne then launched an all out assault on their forward half but the Hawks survived and hit back.

First Jacob Koschitzke took a mark 30m directly in front. The goal prove inspirational and Tom Phillips made it back to back majors when he snapped one through after some good passing play by Hawthorn. Suddenly the Hawks were on fire and Luke Breust made it three in a row.

The last 5 minutes before half time was a goal fest for Hawthorn and they also kicked the first after the break when Max Gawn was pinged for an alleged infringement. The 50m penalty against the Dees’ Captain was a very tough call and gifted James Worpel a kick from point blank range. Max was fired up and won advantage from the centre bounce clearance before kicking it long to inside 50 where Tom McDonald collected on the bounce and and kicked it through the posts.

Almost immediately, Luke Breust got his second from a set shot after a high contact tackle. Later, Angus Brayshaw was awarded a 50m penalty when he was tackled after marking the ball and then Kysaiah Pickett continued the momentum for the Dees when he pounced on a loose ball to soccer kick it across the line.

None of this slowed the Hawks down though and Dylan Moore scored from a set shot after a good tackle before Mitch Lewis clawed the margin back to 5 points with his conversion directly in front of goal. By now Hawthorn was visibly growing in confidence and self belief, knowing they were in a position to cause a major upset. Melbourne fought back but could only manage a few minor scores on the board. Then Tom Mitchell got the Hawks to within a point with his flying shot from 45m.

With the scoreline so finally balanced, the Dees would need all their skills and experience to turn the brown and gold tide. Unfortunately Hawthorn’s Mitch Lewis opened the scoring and put Hawthorn ahead for the first time in the game. Melbourne was nervous now and the momentum was with the opposition. Luckily for the Dees there were a few shaky Hawks players as well and they were able to hang on.

Bailey Fritsch helped steady the ship and nailed his angled set shot from 35m to make it a one point game. When Kysaiah Pickett scored his second, it felt like the Dees would be able to claim back the game and win relatively comfortably. However, the last ten minutes made for a nail bitingly close contest where neither side could land the killer blow.

Then with less than a minute to go and the Melbourne faithful thinking their side had done enough to cling on for a one goal win, Luke Breust popped up again and scored his third of the night with a running kick to secure the draw.

We play the Western Bulldogs again in Round 19 and it would be a brave punter who’d predict the result of that clash. Of course I’m blindly betting that the lads will continue to confound their critics and make it back to back wins over the Doggies.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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