Brisbane v Melbourne – Galant Dees Defeated In Last Gasp Thriller

July 6, 2024 by
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

Round 16 – Brisbane V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Demons look to have recovered some form but struggle to convert

After four losses from the last six games; the only wins coming against bottom four sides, questions were being asked about Melbourne’s chances of playing finals this year.

Brisbane are a side on the up and up after a slow start to 2024 and well placed for a top eight finish. Though not quite the impenetrable fortress of previous seasons, the Gabba is still a daunting prospect for Brisbane’s opponents.

No surprise then that the opening goal went the way of the Lions when Cam Rayner jumped to mark the ball 15m from home. No surprise either that Charlie Cameron got his name up in lights early when he also took a contested mark inside 50. His 50m set shot was also accurate. Could have done without the John Denver follow up though.

When Kysaiah Pickett is playing well he can be a game changer and after he tackled Harris Andrews he was rewarded with a free kick. His set shot from 20m was spot on and the Dees had their first.

After some lackluster performances recently, fans would have been delighted to see their team taking the game to Brisbane. Melbourne also welcomed back Jake Lever after a long stint on the sidelines and the defence was dealing well with some mighty Lions’ pressure.

Unfortunately, a piece of impressive play from the back half saw Brisbane transition the ball through the corridor and inside 50, where Charlie Cameron was waiting to scoop it up and snap his second. Despite an even contest on paper, the hosts were ahead by fourteen points when the quarter time siren sounded.

Melbourne party like it’s 2021

While Melbourne performed well in the first term, they were unable to get the points on the board to reflect that effort.

The second quarter started well though when Jacob van Rooyen took a contested mark near the square, after an impressive transition up the ground. The 15m set shot sailed through smoothly to reduce the gap to eight points.

It didn’t take long for Eric Hipwood to extend it out again when he collected the ground ball and snapped from 20m.

Van Rooyen was having a good night though, and he was given plenty of room to run and jump at the incoming ball, courtesy of a Jack Viney kick from outside 50. The subsequent 35m set shot from deep in the pocket was on target. Kozzie Pickett also had his second when his around the corner set shot from 30m also found the mark.

Melbourne kicked their fourth of the quarter and took the lead when Bailey Fritsch got his right boot to the footy and snapped from 30m.

The Dees had turned the clock back and were raising the desperation stakes, pressuring Brisbane and hungrily chasing every loose ball, unwilling to give their opponents any leeway. Kade Chandlers typified the Demon approach on the night when he grabbed the ball after van Rooyen was unable to complete the mark. His run on and dribble into the goal square bounced perfectly across the line.

Kozzie took another inside 50 mark and went back to kick his third; this one from the 50m arc. The Dees weren’t just hungry, they were ravenous as they continued to attack the Lions, showing no mercy and forcing them into uncharacteristic errors. In fact Melbourne was playing so well, they were making their own luck, and everything was falling their way.

When Clayton Oliver took an intercept mark, he was awarded a 50m penalty after Zac Bailey moved off his spot. However, the Umpire short changed Oliver, only allowing 40m at most but the Midfielder kicked the goal anyway, putting his side twenty one points in front.

Joe Daniher arrested the one way traffic flow when he took a mark deep in the pocket and converted the set shot.

It was redirected back in favour of the Demons, after Pickett grabbed the falling ball and ran around to snap from 35m in front, claiming his fourth of the night.

The Lions roar back into contention

After the break, Melbourne needed to consolidate their lead, but the Lions were not going to make it easy for them, especially in front of a Gabba audience.

The first goal went Brisbane’s way when Joe Daniher found himself unguarded inside 50, as a result of a mystifying refereeing decision. Having dropped the mark and slipping while getting up, he still managed to tap the ball towards goal, where it dribbled across the line. At the other end, Steven May made his feelings clear to the Umpire about the injustice of awarding a free to the Lions after he had taken a legitimate mark, but to no avail.

Brisbane looked to take advantage of a brief change in momentum to add to their goal tally. Fortunately though the Dees were unfazed and took the ball back into the Lions’ defensive 50, where Daniel Turner marked and converted from 25m.

After the goal, Melbourne needed to hammer home their advantage, but a series of scoring opportunities went astray, allowing Brisbane to stay in touch.

Then with just over five minutes left in the quarter, Cam Rayner was able to soccer the loose ball centimeters from the goal line to reduce the margin to sixteen points. A few minutes later and Callum Ah Chee took a mark directly in front before running on and making it a ten point game.

Having conceded two goals in a row, the Dees were in desperate need of a boost before three quarter time.  Proving that boost was one Kysaiah Pickett who fought for the ball just inside 50, then snapped from 40m to notch up his fifth of the night.

Melbourne falls agonisingly short

Both sides were guilty of inaccuracy in front of goal, but the tide appeared to be turning in Brisbane’s favour as the final quarter progressed. Still, the minor scores kept racking up until finally Jarrod Berry kicked a running goal from 40m to reign in Melbourne’s lead to just seven points.

Then with four minutes left, Kai Lohmann kicked an around the corner set shot to make it a one point game and put all the pressure back on the Dees. Then a heartbreaking penalty on the inside 50 boundary saw Hugh McCluggage kick an admittedly great shot to give Brisbane a one goal lead.

Melbourne couldn’t regain the ascendancy in the remaining time, allowing the Lions to claim a last minute victory. 

It was such a shame that we played so bravely and ferociously, only to miss out at the final hurdle.

Next week is a re run of Round 10, but this time we play West Coast at the MCG. It goes without saying that it’s a must win game.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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