Pies Inflict More Pain On Melbourne

June 21, 2024 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

Round 13 – Collingwood V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Even first quarter but Collingwood takes the honours

Melbourne know not to underestimate Collingwood during their Round 13 clash at the MCG and their first quarter performance gave fans hope that they could put their previous game against Fremantle well and truly behind them.

Though the Pies opened the scoring with a running inside 50 kick from Will Hoskin-Elliott, Melbourne looked compose and ready to take on their rivals. The next goal also went Collingwood’s way when Finlay Macrae tapped one in from just outside the square.

Not the ideal start for the Demons, but they showed some desperation in defence to hold off the Pies. Melbourne was handling Collingwood’s pressure well and had opportunities in front of goal but just failed to nail the big shots.

That changed when Kysaiah Pickett crumbed the ball from a tap down, then ran on, finding enough space to snap the ball into the goal square and across the line. Unfortunately, in the cruel blow, the score review ruled that the ball was touched, and the result was overturned.

The Dees continued to pressure Collingwood, but right before the siren and against the run of play, Nathan Kreuger marked directly in front and converted for his first ever AFL goal.

Melbourne claw back momentum but lose it late in the term

After play resumed in the second quarter, Melbourne seemed to have lost a little of their desperation, allowing Lachie Schultz to take an uncontested mark deep in the pocket. The small forward made the most of his opportunity, giving his side a twenty one point advantage.

With five minor points to their name, Melbourne finally bagged a major when Jacob van Rooyen took a brilliant contested mark, then went back to make sure with his 50m set shot. It was a much needed goal for the Dees, especially with Christian Petracca injured and uncertain to return to the field of play.

On the upside, van Rooyen took another contested mark to the left of goal and this time kicked around the corner to secure his second goal. Tracca returned to the ground, but it may have proved to be an unwise decision, as he looked to be in discomfort and unable to fully participate in the game.

Melbourne had clawed their way back into contention, with the gap only seven points. However, chances were still going begging and when Harvey Harrison took an uncontested mark in front of goal, the forward made sure to extend the Pies’ advantage. Nathan Kreuger kicked his second after taking a mark in the pocket and it looked like the Dees early momentum was starting to fade, as Collingwood pulled further away. Then right on the siren Hoskin-Elliott marked to the right of goal and the Pies went into the main break up by twenty seven points.

The Pies win another quarter despite Melbourne’s best efforts

It was the perfect start for Melbourne when van Rooyen made it three from three with his 30m set shot in the opening minute.

It was a short lived revival however, as the ball fell into Billy Frampton’s hands while he ran alongside the square and he instinctively snapped it over the goal line. When Darcy Cameron kicked a difficult set shot from deep in the pocket and watched it sail through the uprights, you just knew it was not going to be Melbourne’s day.

After being denied by a dodgy review earlier in the game, Kozzie Pickett didn’t leave any room for doubt with his around the corner kick from boundary line.

Melbourne rallied again after the goal, but the execution was letting them down. There were multiple chances to hurt the Pies, but the ball just couldn’t find a path through the uprights.
Collingwood appeared to be having all the luck as once again a wayward ball landed fortuitously for the hosts. This time Nick Daicos was on the receiving end and his 50m set shot sailed through.

It was the same result when Harvey Harrison marked just inside the 50m arc, before going back to kick his second of the day.

No fairytale ending

Trailing by thirty four points, the outlook was depressingly bleak for the Dees. Still hope springs eternal but if they were going to make a statement, they had to make it quickly.
Umpires are often accused of being inconsistence but Daniel Turner’s kick to Jake Bowey deemed not fifteen was a tad unfair. Bowey was left in no man’s land as he was immediately attacked on three fronts. Harvey Harrison had just enough time to get a kick away and his 30m shot sailed through.

Now thirty nine points behind, nothing seemed to be working; even hat trick hero van Rooyen had lost his Midas touch by the fourth quarter, sending his 45m set shot to the left of the post.
If Melbourne couldn’t catch a break, Collingwood couldn’t miss. Patrick Lipinski’s snap from the arc sailed over the defence and bounce across the goal line, extending the lead out to forty six points.

Pickett collected his second with a classy dribble from a tight angle to the left of goal, scoring the Demons’ first of the term. Bailey Fritsch clawed back another six points when he controlled the tapped down ball before running around to snap from 30m.

Just as Melbourne looked like they just might win the quarter, up popped Nathan Kreuger. He took a contested mark, then converted to score his hat trick.

All in all a disappoint result that capped off a month of disappointing results. With Christian Petracca not returning in 2024 and Jake Lever still a few weeks away from recovery, Melbourne’s season is in the doldrums.

We face North Melbourne in Round 15, which would have been a certain four points only a few weeks ago, but everything is starting to click for the Roos, just as the Demons’ year is heading south. Still, we’ve been in worse places, and we have enough time to salvage our season.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

Demons Find Themselves Dry Docked by Freo

June 9, 2024 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 
Don't look now!

Round 12 – Melbourne V Fremantle

Liam Chambers

The Dockers take control after a shaky start

The highlights of the game for Melbourne came in the initial five minutes as first Max Gawn took a contested mark in the pocket and converted the 35m set shot to open the scoring. Then Harrison Petty walked in the next goal when he was on the receiving end of a perfectly placed kick from Bailey Fritsch.

Demons were sitting back, thinking their team was going to put on a masterclass in front of the Traeger Park fans.

After six to one inside 50 entries in favour of the Dees, the Dockers were finally able to penetrate Melbourne’s defence, with key forward Josh Treacy also walking one in for his side. After the goal, there was a subtle change in Fremantle’s game. They were retaining possession and looking more confident.

When there was a small slip up in Melbourne’s defence, Michael Walters was able to pounce straight away and snapped an around the corner to make it a one point game. Fremantle took the lead when Jye Amiss found himself in possession of a chaos ball and snapped from 10m directly in front of goal.

The Dockers were now in control and their pressure was forcing errors from Melbourne. There were several more turnovers and potential shots on goal before Jordan Clark drilled from the pocket to extend the lead to twelve points. Josh Treacy got his second when he took a contested mark in front of goal before slotting the set shot.

Fremantle turn the screws on Melbourne

After scoring five goals in the opening term, the visitors resumed their attack when Jye Amiss took a controversial contested mark, just inside 50. His subsequent goal put the Dockers 24 points in front.

Melbourne were struggling to establish any momentum and Freo were well and truly in the drivers’ seat. In addition, any progress the Demons made in attack was compromised by their frequent ball turnovers, allowing their opponents a chance to regroup. Finally though, a flicker of optimism when Clayton Oliver’s wind assisted kick from just outside 50 landed in the goal square and bounced across the line.

The hope of a comeback was short lived however, as former Dees’ ruckman Luke Jackson converted form 45m in front to restore his side’s lead to four goals. Michael Walters then marked in the pocket and slotted his second with an around the corner snap.

Melbourne were being totally dominated and there was no letup in pressure, as Fremantle kept racking up the scoring opportunities. Sam Switkowski got in on the act, as he kicked the Dockers ninth goal from a 45m set shot and the margin was out to thirty six.

The Dees were now in serious trouble as they fought off the waves of inside 50 incursions. There was no stopping Freo though and eventually they broke through again when Josh Treacy was awarded a free kick and converted from 35m out. Then, a few minutes before the main break, Hayden Young was awarded a 50m penalty and made sure with his set shot from 45m.

No respite from the onslaught

Any Demon fans tuning in just after half time would have rubbed their eyes in disbelief that their team was so far behind. Surely the score was the wrong way around?

When Ed Langdon marked in the left pocket, then ran on, Demons everywhere gasped in horror. Fortunately, he was able to hand pass to Christian Petracca and the midfielder slammed it through the uprights. For a brief joyous moment, it seemed that Melbourne might launched a spirited renaissance, along the lines of the Round 8 fightback against Carlton.

Fans were immediately brought back down to earth when the Dockers responded by controlling the ball after the bounce, then getting it to Michael Frederick inside 50, where the forward made the most of his opportunity.

The ferocity of the blows kept raining down on the Dees, as Sean Darcy’s lumbering awkward kick just slipped behind the goal line. It was almost as if the footy gods had just decided to let Fremantle kick the sherrin in the general direction of the goal where it would assisted across.

As if to labour the point, Jye Amiss went for the contested mark in front of goal, missed it but when he turned around, the ball basically bounced into his hands, and he snapped his third of the afternoon. Michael Frederick had his second when he marked in the pocket, then kicked around the corner to convert his set shot. The Dockers were lining up to have a go at goal as Caleb Serong kicked his first of the season when he slotted from the pocket. That effort was also Fremantle’s fifth of the quarter.

Melbourne finally got their second of the term when Tom McDonald collected the ground ball in front of goal and found a way through the pack, kicking it over the line. The margin was back to seventy points.

Luke Jackson restored it to seventy six when he marked the ball 10m directly in front, then cleanly kicked the set shot. Michael Walters got his hat trick after marking in the pocket, then slotting Freo’s seventh of the term with his set shot.

Full time couldn’t come quickly enough

With no chance of victory, Dees everywhere would be happy now, just to win the quarter or at the very least keep the margin under one hundred points.

Fremantle’s first of the final term was way too easy though, as Sam Sturt, having marked inside 50, was then awarded a 50m penalty, just to be sure.

Finally, something for Demon fans to cheer, as Jack Viney launched a running shot form inside 50 that found the back of the net.

Melbourne’s hopes of winning the term were sorely tested when Luke Jackson took a contested mark 40m and kicked his hat trick off the set shot. Jye Amiss failed to live up to his surname when he marked, then kicked his fourth goal of the afternoon.

Nat Fyfe got in on the action when collected the ground ball and snapped from 35m to extend the margin to ninety nine points. With five minutes to full time, Fremantle increased the gap to one hundred points.

Tom McDonald became the only multiple goal scorer for the Demons when he took a contested mark directly in front and made sure of the set shot.

The final deficit of ninety two in favour of Freo is nothing to cheer about but there is some solace in the thought that it could have been worse. Our percentage has taken a battering but hopefully won’t count against us when the top eight is being calculated in September.

Round 13 is against arguably our greatest nemesis and we will want revenge for being kicked out at the knockout stages during last season’s finals. There will be an awful lot of nervous Melbourne fans on Monday afternoon.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

Exit the King: Vale John Beckwith…

June 4, 2024 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons, Our history 

John Beckwith leads out the team for the Grand Final 1959

By Nigel Dawe

Leadership is a funny thing, in this ultra construed era of ours, it appears to have taken on a somewhat quasi-here-there-and-everywhere kind of prevalence.

But true leadership is somehow forged only through, or because of – hardship, not to mention trial and the gravest of tribulations; it is a quality that often ‘leads’ to triumph, after having endured the tests and red-hot throes of defeat, and rarely, albeit almost never, the other way around.

The Melbourne Football Club recently lost one of its all-time greats and captain – John Beckwith, on-field leader for the premierships of 1957 and 1959, not to mention ‘the upset of the century’ in 1958. John is also credited as having been the first captain to ever receive a premiership cup on Grand Final day, after they were inaugurated in 1959.

Intriguingly, Beckwith’s first season in senior ranks (1951) saw Melbourne win on only one solitary occasion, and in another game that year against the Bulldogs they were walloped by 30 goals!

So, John knew first-hand the grave questions only defeat can pose, before it sometimes propels a chosen few to victory beyond all imagination. Needless to say, Beckwith was named Best First Year Player, before going on to forge a career as one of the best defenders to have ever donned a red and blue guernsey.

With Beckwith’s passing, Max Gawn becomes the lone living Melbourne player to have captained the club to a premiership. And like Gawn, who seems to have that elusive ability, albeit aura to rouse the spirit and fortunes of team mates to do the miraculous.

Beckwith famously leapt up at half-time of the Second Semi-Final (being 48-points down) against Essendon in 1957, and started singing ‘It’s a grand old flag’. The team didn’t win that day, but they did go on to resoundingly beat the Bombers by over 10-goals a few weeks later.

John Beckwith was only 24 years of age when he took on the role as captain of what would be the greatest dynasty that any side in the history of the game would go on to enjoy. Having played in each of the 7 Grand Finals between 1954 to 1960 for 5 premierships (two as captain) – is a record that seems destined to never be rivalled, let alone ever beaten.

There is a famous image of Beckwith on the MCG after one of their Grand Final wins, sharing a cold ale with his coach Norm Smith – whereby you just can’t help but ponder – what sublime, never to be repeated recipe this team created for the elixir of ultimate success.

Sadly, our side wasn’t able to win for ‘Becky’ last weekend up in Alice Springs, the players were all wearing black armbands in honour of the boy from Black Rock who wore the number 30 guernsey for Melbourne on 176 miraculous occasions.

As upsetting as it was that our modern-day batch of Demons couldn’t win for one of its all-time greats, it might prove eerily appropriate, that from the searing clutches of this defeat, our team could eventually rise again to the heights of success, as Beckwith and his fellow Demons did all those years ago.

Rest in Peace John Beckwith, one of the very last links and vital cogs to the game’s greatest dynasty has passed on, but you have left a legacy and an example of true greatness that will last and shine brightly for as ever long as the game is played.

Captain and Coach - Winning Premierships

John Beckwith

Demon King is back on Stage

The Christian Petracca Show Just Pipped At The Last Post

May 17, 2024 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 
Christian Petracca

Round 9 – Carlton V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

The Blues launch operation warp speed

After last week’s thriller against Geelong, the Dees were again facing an inform side vying for a top four position. Fans were expecting another tight game with an abundance of goals.

However, the first score of the game didn’t come until the nine minute mark when Sam Walsh took a hand pass and snapped an around the corner from 40m to put Carlton in front.
A couple of minutes later, the hosts were two ahead when Marc Pittonet slotted a 45m set shot.  Next up was Jack Martin, who marked the ball less than 10m from goal.
The Blues had their tails up and Melbourne was struggling to counter the attacks.

The situation was beginning to look precarious for the Dees when Harry McKay ran out to take a contested mark. He went back and easily converted his 50m set shot. To add to the bleak atmosphere, the rain had set in, further dampening the spirits of the Demon faithful.

Towards the end of the term, Melbourne at last started to put some pressure on Carlton’s defence but was unable to penetrate the Blue fortress. Then, in another cruel blow and against the run of play, Tom De Koning took a difficult contested mark, despite the wet conditions. He drilled the 45m kick and extended the margin to thirty points at quarter time.

The Dees claw back some momentum

When play resumed, Carlton also resumed control, keeping their guests goalless and pointless in the process. When Matthew Owies marked and hit the target from 35m out, Melbourne’s outlook was bleaker than the weather.

That was until Christian Petracca juggled a difficult mark in front of goal and converted from 35m, finally putting his side on the scoreboard. A few minutes later and Petracca had another shot on goal, making sure that his 30m set shot shaved another six points off the Blues’ lead.

Tracca’s goals had an electrifying affect on his team mates, and they were suddenly hell bent on taking the game to Carlton.

Paddy Cripps spoiled the festivities however, when he brought the Dees momentum to a shuddering halt, after collecting the ground ball from a stoppage and snapping from the top of the square. 
Another party pooper, Matthew Owies, kicked his second from a 45m set shot and pushed the margin out to a game high of thirty seven points.

Just as the situation was looking its bleakest for Melbourne, Daniel Turner became the recipient of a down field free kick when Alex Neal-Bullen was struck after he kick the ball. Turner cut the lead back to thirty one points, with his coolly taken set shot from the 50m arc.

Melbourne get themselves back in the game

The Demons have recovered from greater half time deficits in the past, but Carlton seemed in particularly good form, and the wet conditions were not conducive to a high scoring game.

Melbourne’s task only increased in difficulty, when twenty seconds after the bounce, Charlie Curnow collected the ball and curled it through, again putting Carlton thirty seven points in front.

After the bounce, Max Gawn won the hitout and sent the ball inside 50, where Kysaiah Pickett received a hand pass and launched the ball forward and across the line. Could this finally be the catalyst that truly turned the tables for Melbourne?

Alas, no. Matthew Owies kicked his hat trick by snapping round the corner from the top of the square and returning the margin to thirty seven.

By now, the rain had all but stopped and three goals had been scored in less than two minutes.

Still the Demons were undaunted, continuing to pressure their opponents and creating chances on goal. Unfortunately though, they were unable to capitalise. Then another stoppage and the unstoppable Petracca fought his way through to escape the pack, snapping his third of the night.

But, yet again Carlton had the right of reply. Charlie Curnow found himself alone in front of goal as the ball dropped behind the group of players inside 50. Easy pickings for the leading Coleman contender.

Though Melbourne struggled to lower the deficit, conversely, Carlton was unable to extend their lead beyond the magical number thirty seven.

Bailey Fritsch had earlier missed a relatively easy shot but was deadly accurate when given a second chance. Finally the margin was under thirty points for the first time since midway through the second quarter. It was further reduced, and Christian Petracca’s status was officially upgraded to Superhero, when the Midfielder snapped his fourth goal from just outside the square.

So close and yet so far

With only twenty two points now dividing the sides, Melbourne fans had good reason for optimism at the start of the final term. However, that optimism was severely tested when George Hewitt kicked the opener for Carlton with a 35m snap.

By the halfway mark, the Dees had only managed to kick a couple of minor points before Jacob van Rooyen revived his team with a 20m set shot in front of goal. The Blues were defending fiercely but the feel of the game had changed, and Melbourne wasn’t holding anything back.

Several more opportunities for the visitors in front of goal were to no avail, but then an act of sheer heroic desperation finally netted another major. Jack Viney never gives up and his lunging slapback of the sherrin on the behind line was pounced on by Caleb Windsor, who then soccered the ball across the line. After an agonisingly long review, the goal was awarded, and the Dees’ belief was sky high.

With no time to spare, Melbourne pushed the ball back inside 50, where Viney picked out Tracca in the pocket. The around the corner kick was his fifth goal and had the Demons within seven points of their opponents.

With less than a minute to go, Max Gawn marked just inside the arc. He quickly took the set shot, which sailed high, long and finally across the goal line. Unfortunately, with only forty seconds left on the clock, the courageous Dees couldn’t complete what would have been a comeback for the ages.

Next round is against West Coast in Perth. The Eagles are a long way from their recent best and are very beatable on their previously impervious home ground, but they still have a few surprises up their sleeves and Melbourne won’t be taking anything for granted.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

Dees Play a Game of Two Halves – ANZAC Eve

May 1, 2024 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

Round 7 – Richmond V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Opening quarter fails to reflect the fighting Anzac spirit

With games against Geelong and Carlton looming, Melbourne could ill afford a loss to the lowly Tigers, in what’s proving to be a highly competitive top six this season.

It was the perfect start for the Dees though. Having won the bounce, Jacob van Rooyen marked inside 50 and converted the 45m set shot.

After the goal, Richmond played some good footy, pressuring the Demons and keeping the ball in their forward half. They failed to fully capitalise on their momentum though and Melbourne retained the lead.

Up the other end, the Dees were off target, as they racked up three minor scores in a row. Richmond finally got reward for effort when Mykelti Lefau was on the receiving end of a hand pass, just outside the square. He was able to skate around Melbourne’s defence and slot from three metres in front.

It was even steven at nine points apiece and it looked to stay that way as the seconds ticked down to quarter time. Then Bailey Fritsch was held just inside 50 and awarded a free kick. He nailed the 48m set shot; not even distracted by a melee between Jack Viney and Marlion Pickett being conducted a few metres away on his left hand side.

Overly cautious sides unable to be separated

After a low scoring first term, Dusty Martin outmaneuvered the Dees’ defence to mark the ball 20m from goal. Martin swiveled round and snapped to again level the scores. Melbourne were finding their opponents more formidable than expected and Richmond’s defence was holding firm in the face of some strong pressure from the Dees.

At the halfway mark of Q2, neither side had found a way to put some daylight between themselves and their rivals. Then finally Melbourne was able to mount a strong challenge through the centre with Christian Petracca taking a hand pass and kicking the ball 55m to find Daniel Turner in the pocket. The young forward marked and ran on, kicking from inside the square to celebrate his first goal as an AFL player.

There was much rejoicing, but what potentially promised to be the start of a Melbourne tsunami, was tragically cut short when Maurice Rioli marked directly in front and slotted his 30m set shot, turning the momentum tide back in favour of Richmond.

Still, it looked to all even again at the end of the quarter, but then Dylan Grimes marked directly in front of goal just before the siren. His kick missed the main target; the defender steering his shot to the right, but his effort put his side ahead by a single point going into the main break.

Melbourne’s class finally reveals itself

After half time, play resumed in the same fashion with neither side showing any great ambition to take the reins and break on through.

Some form of catalyst was required. Then, as has happened so many times before, Captain Max Gawn answered the call. His mark on the behind line allowed him to snap an around the corner set shot kick, reclaiming the lead for Melbourne.

A minute later, Daniel Turner took a diving mark deep in the pocket. His subsequent 50m kick sailed high and long before dropping behind the goal line. Now the Dees were playing with a greater sense of purpose and eventually Turner again marked just inside the 50m line. Again his set shot was spot on, and he had his hat trick.

Star player and new Dad Kysaiah Pickett, made it four in a row for the Demons when he collected the ground ball in the pocket, ran around and snapped the goal.

Just as Melbourne looked to be running away with the game, up popped Maurice Rioli to again stem the Dees’ momentum. The high scoring medium forward marked 30m out, fumbled briefly, then turned, ran and kicked from the top of the square.

Richmond started to build on their new found belief but their accuracy on front of goal continued to let them down and the Demons were able to ride out the storm.

To add to the Tigers’ woes, Cabel Windsor took a brilliantly opportunistic intercept mark just before the siren. His 25m set shot was successful and Melbourne was ahead by twenty three points.

The Dees gallop to the finish line

Despite the hiccup at the end of term three, the Tigers continued to charge forward at the start of the final quarter, with Shai Bolton marking and converting from the pocket.

Bailey Fritsch was having none of it though, snapping his second goal from a 40m running kick on his non preferred side. After the bounce, the ball was back in Melbourne’s forward 50 where Kozzie Pickett marked it just inside the arc. His 45m set shot was successful and the Dees were pulling away at a rate of knots. Next up, it was another debut goal when Bailey Laurie kicked a right foot banana from the edge of the square.

Melbourne was thirty eighty points in front when Laurie slotted his second in a row via an around the corner kick from the pocket. Christian Petracca was having another solid game with twenty two disposals and twelve clearances when he awarded a free kick after being held. His 45m set shot was on target and the Dees had an unassailable lead.

We may be enjoying our top four spot on the ladder but Round 8’s showdown with table toppers the Cats will be anything but comfortable. Geelong haven’t put a foot wrong so far this year, but every cat has a bad day and Melbourne has the depth of talent to punish any complacency from the undisputed league leaders.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

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