Heaven 17 – Melbourne v North Melbourne

February 20, 2021 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons 

Liam Chambers

I’m not sure what the players had for breakfast but both sides began at a frenetic pace that barely slowed for the entire game.

Kate Hore had an early chance but only managed a minor score. Karen Paxman was typically on form apart from a miskick back across goal which was collected by North Melbourne, allowing Grace Campbell a set shot in front of goal. Then Melbourne were penalised for not returning the footy and Emma Kearney slotted the Roos’ second.

The Dees would have been frustrated to give the opposition two easy goals so early in the game but they fought on, tackling hard. They were rewarded when Shelley Scott marked the ball thirty five metres out but disappointedly converted for a minor score. Then Kate Hore’s banana kick from the sideline was marked by Jacqui Parry from the pack in front of goal. Her easy miss from Round 2 would have been in the back of her mind, however she didn’t miss this time and Melbourne went in at quarter time only trailing by four points.

The second term started at 100mph. Jacqui Parry continued to mark well and her passing play was impressive. You could see the Dees upping their game as Kate Hore kicked their second. When Tegan Cunningham marked and scored from thirty metres, the margin stretched to eight points. Melbourne’s tackling was ferocious and effective; especially Lily Mithen who seemed to be everywhere. Niamh McEvoy’s kick to Scott was marked and kicked for one of the goals of the match.

The Dees onslaught was interrupted briefly when Daisy Bateman got one back. North Melbourne were good in defence but the Dees were making the most of their opportunities. Parry didn’t waste her chance when she was awarded a free kick twenty metres in front of goal. Melbourne was pouncing on everything and everything was going their way. Tegan Cunningham got her second from another free to increase the lead to twenty points. However the icing on the quarter came when Parry launched a superb running kick in the last minute of the term to score her hat trick.

After an incredible second term, the Dees needed to be careful not to let their guard against such a quality opposition. However, nothing was going to stop the Roos’ attempt to redress the balance. Jasmine Garner’s opening goal of the second half was an important strike for North Melbourne and put the Dees on notice as the margin was reduced back to twenty points.

The Roos were going in hard and Melbourne struggled to hold them off despite the valiant effort in defence. Daria Bannister was channeling Alyssa Bannan from last week when she scored back to back goals for North Melbourne in less than a minute. With Dees nerve’s fluttering, Karen Paxman provided the perfect antidote with her kick from thirty five metres in front of goal.

The Roos continued to push hard but Melbourne’s defence fought equally hard. Unfortunately Sinead Goldrick gave away a free kick in front of goal and Sophie Abbatangelo didn’t miss from point blank range. With the difference only seven points North Melbourne threw everything at their goal. The Dees were equally motivated to prevent a last minute tragedy. Then Goldrick redeemed herself brilliantly by marking the ball in front of goal with only seconds to go.

Melbourne knew they couldn’t afford to sit back trying to protect their lead for the full final term so they went in hard to try and sew up the result. Now it was North Melbourne’s turn to scramble in defence as the Dees tackled hard, hoping to get the upper hand. With the Roos getting a break against the run of play, Captain Daisy Pearce, stellar in defence all night, made an important smother and chased the attack to the sideline. The Dees defence was in overdrive.

Suddenly back up the other end, Casey Sherriff tried a soccer kick at goal but only just missed, slipping wide for a minor. Just as suddenly, the Roos were on the of Melbourne’s defensive inside 50 and Isabella Eddey received a good pass before kicking directly into goal and reducing the Dees’ lead to two points.

Melbourne went on the offensive, desperate not to lose, having been twenty seven points ahead at half time. Alyssa Bannan has a chance from 35 metres out but only managed a minor score. The Dees kept pushing forward and the Roos, under extreme pressure, got a lucky break when a high tackle on Goldrick was overlooked by the Umpire. Instead a free was awarded to North Melbourne. The Roos made it all the way to their inside 50 with ninety seconds left but a free kick was given Melbourne’s way.

It was back and forth for the next minute until Bannan snared a free kick on the sideline half way down the pitch. As the ball made it’s way towards the uprights, Bannan reappeared but her kick to goal is touched. However Shelley Scott was taken high as she scrambled for possession. As the siren sounded, it was all academic but Scott took two steps and kicked beautifully to give Melbourne a nine point win.

The victory put the Dees on top of the table for the second Saturday night in a row. This time though, their position was less precarious as they claimed three wins from three games. Last week I felt we were being sorely underestimated when the tipping competition had us a 17% chance to win. Fast forward a week and we’re currently an 82% chance to defeat the Bulldogs on Sunday.

The Dogs have two wins under their belt and a close loss against the Saints, so they won’t be a pushover. If we can play sustain the fighting spirit and skill that’s got us this far, then we’re in a good position to make it an unprecedented four wins in a row.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

AFLW – Heaven 17 – Melbourne v North

AFLW – Dees Win A Tonic For The Troops

February 13, 2020 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons 

Round 1 – Melbourne Vs North Melbourne

First game of the season and expectations were modest. Last season was disappointing after getting so close to qualifying for the finals; especially having secured more points in Conference A than the two top sides in Conference B. A win for Melbourne was vital therefore as the AFLW has decided to keep the Conference system for the 2020 season.

It was a forgettable first quarter for the Dees. They conceded two goals. The second as a result of an encroachment. The umpires were unforgiving in their determination to enforce this sometimes confusing rule. There were opportunities for Melbourne to score but they didn’t take their chances and were down by thirteen points at end of the term. Definitely not an ideal start to the campaign.

The second quarter was much better with Kate Hore slotting home two goals. The second one came right before the siren. Eden Zanker calmly kicked the sherrin across the face of goal to Hore who was then able to score from point blank range. As a bonus, the Kangaroos were kept scoreless for the quarter.

The pendulum swung back to North Melbourne in the third quarter when it was the Dees’ turn to remain scoreless. A chance for Tegan Cunningham to score went behind for the point. The wind didn’t favour either side but it was frustrating at times to see potential chances thwarted.

The final quarter saw the Dees in the driver’s seat after Eden Zanker found herself in the perfect position when Ainslie Kemp kicked down the field towards goal. A favourable bounce and Zanker was able to collect and run with the ball ultimately kicking Melbourne’s third for the afternoon. The Dees maintained control of the game from that point. North tried to seize back seize back the initiative but Melbourne held on to secure the win and get the points on the table.

With strong wins for four of the teams in Conference B, the Dees will have to keep winning to ensure a top two spot. They travel to Whitten Oval to face the fancied Bulldogs on Friday night. A loss there would be a huge set back. However, Melbourne will feel confident after their first round victory in a game they were not expected to win.

Daisy Pearce played well in her first game back after a two year sabbatical to raise her twins. Silvie and Roy made an appearance at the end of the game to congratulate their mum on a job well done.

Other debutantes included Sinead Goldrick from Dublin’s fair city. It’s nice to see some Irish players in the side, though the other Hibernian Niamh McEvoy was unable to play due to injury. Hopefully we will see both players on the field together in the near future.

Go the Mighty Dees!

Round 4 – Melbourne Vs North Melbourne

March 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons 

Round 4 – Melbourne Vs North Melbourne

Liam Chambers

As expected, the Roos started strongly. Melbourne defended well but couldn’t prevent Mo Hope’s great effort form 40 metres out. The Dees rallied however with strong displays from Karen Paxman and Lily Mithen helping to apply some great forward pressure on the opposition.

The Dees were rewarded with Cat Phillip’s turn and kick resulting in Melbourne’s first goal. Again, their handball game has been pivotal in getting into scoring positions, as well as out of trouble on occasions. North Melbourne again piled on the pressure at the end of the quarter. A misjudged kick by Lauren Pearce to Paxman was fumbled before Paxman recovered to handball The Dees out of danger, potentially avoiding a last minute goal to the Roos.

North Melbourne scored a lucky goal in the first minute of of the second quarter when a wayward kick from Mo Hope was marked by Emma King. Then within another minute, King got a second after being awarded a free kick against Harriet Cordner just in front of goal. A dubious decision in my mind.

The Dees looked in trouble at 6-19 down. Then Maddi Gay snapped what looked like a certain goal but which was unfortunately touched and only one point awarded. All the luck seemed to going in the Roos’ direction. On the plus side the Dees were marking well with O’Dea & Cunningham making some nice grabs.

The Dees starting applying more pressure and Cunningham converted from a one handed mark to pull one back. Then the Dees were accused of holding Sophie Abbatangelo (another dodgy call). The free kick resulting in a goal for the Roos. When Paxman’s kick was touched on the line, you had the feeling that this was not going to be Melbourne’s day. One of the stars of the half was Lily Mithen, having a great game on either side of the field.

The Dees started the second half well. Nice displays of handball passing and defending. Cat Phillips having a good run. The highlight of the game though came when Aliesha Newman got the ball after good spell of play by Melbourne. Newman ran and bounced the ball nicely before kicking at the open goal approx. 30 metres out.

The ball bounce favourably between the uprights with Aliesha running hard just in case it didn’t make it. Then Maddi Gay handballed a pass to Tyla Hanks who took the shot on the outside of her boot to slot home a perfect goal. The Dees were in front for the first time in the game and now the Roos knew that they were in a game of footy.

Mo Hope got one back with a kick from 45 metres out to again take the lead. However Melbourne went into the last quarter 28-31 behind but with a renewed sense of purpose.

The Dees had the best start they could hope in the final quarter with Newman getting her second goal from a set shot. Unfortunately Emma King got her third goal and Melbourne struggled to regain the momentum in a very tight quarter of football. They defended well but just couldn’t convert their chances and North Melbourne were the victors at 34-38.

Round 5 against GWS should be a challenge but I’m confident we can win in Sydney. Let’s hope we see a good crowd of Melbourne supporters on the day.

On a final note I think Daisy Pearce is putting her organisational skills to good use with her latest recruits.

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