Dees overturn Grand Final result

September 2, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons 

AFLW – Round 1 – Adelaide V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Adelaide’s intent was obvious from the first touch. The premiers were going to go hard and fast in attacking the Dees. The Crows’ pressure paid off early with Ash Woodland able to get boot to ball in the goal square and notch up the first of the night.

Initially the demons looked shell shocked by Adelaide’s pressure, but slowly they started to find their feet. As Melbourne got more hands on the footy, they grew in confidence. They had some early opportunities but it wasn’t until Kate Hore’s centering ball from the pocket bounced favourably that the Dees had their first goal. Thank you lack of goal review system in AFLW.

The goal inspired Melbourne and their pressure and tackling became more ferocious; matching the Crows’ efforts. In the end, it was an even quarter with the Dees holding a slim advantage.

Melbourne made some good progress in the second term, penetrating the Adelaide defence but was unable to add to their goal tally. Both sides have strong back lines so potential scoring opportunities were quickly closed down.

The Demons were giving it their all; showing great skill, stringing hand passes together and trying to break through the Adelaide fortress. Finally the pressure paid off with Taylor Harris finding enough space 25m out to snap and claim the only goal of the quarter.

At the start of the second half, the Crows came out firing on all cylinders. They had the ball between the uprights within two minutes as Ash Woodland snapped her second, reducing the margin to four points. Then Woodland claimed her hat trick when she found enough room to the left of goal and chipped the ball off the outside of her right boot.

With Adelaide leading by a point, Melbourne kept their cool and started hunting for the next goal. It came via a Tyla Hanks’ effort. The midfielder was able to collect and control the tapped down ball before snapping goalward and watching it bounce across the line.

It was another Demon six pointer when Lauren Pearce marked at the top of the goal square and went back for the set shot. The Ruck’s initial kick was smothered by the player on the mark but Captain Daisy pounced on the rebound and snapped to claim the goal.

The Crows landed the first goal of the final term when Danielle Ponter snapped from 25m out to bring it back to five points.

Then Eden Zanker took an uncontested mark directly in front and slotted another for Melbourne. Finally Karen Paxman iced the cake with her mark and set shot from 30m to give the Demons a deserved eighteen point victory.

It’s going to be an interesting season now that there is the full quota of eighteen teams in the competition. Also, the fact that the top players are getting a half decent wage means they can devote more time to improving their skills and knowledge. The Dees are well place to repeat the success of season six with a good chance to go one better and claim their first flag.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!



Demons dominant in visit to Gabba

September 2, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

AFLM – Round 23  – Brisbane V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

The Dees had beaten Brisbane in their last three encounters. Our performances since the bye have been mixed though and the Gabba is always an intimidating venue for visitors. We could take inspiration from our last gasp victory against the Blues in Round 22 as we continue to build on our sense of self belief.

Fittingly it was the match winning hero of the Carlton game who kicked the opener against the Lions. It took all of eighteen seconds for Kysaiah Pickett to put Melbourne on the scoreboard.

The Demons dominated Brisbane early on, restricting them to their defensive half. Every time the Lions made progress, they were quickly driven back. When Jake Lever took a defensive mark and was deemed to have been push in the back, he was awarded a 50m penalty. His kick from the 50m line was accurate and had just enough distance to cross untouched. It was his first goal as a Demon and the look on his face was priceless.

After the bounce, it was straight back to work for Melbourne. Within a minute, Bayley Fritsch had marked the ball 40m out. His set shot split the middle and it was 0-20 to the Dees.

We knew it would be difficult to restrict Brisbane to no score for the entire first quarter and that proved true when Joe Daniher marked and kicked from the 50m line. The Gabba crowd was ecstatic but the mood returned to sombre when Ben Brown ran into space and marked the ball 45m out in the pocket, then kicked to claim his first of the evening.

Ed Langdon does a lot of running but doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to score. His contested mark on the square was impressive and he had no bother slotting his quickly taken set shot.

When Melbourne went to Perth in Round 20, they proved that they could play as well as they did at anytime in 2021. However, the big question being asked, was could they sustain the level of determination required to win another flag. Well, they certainly played like champions for the remainder of the quarter. Then when Pickett bookended the term with his second goal from two disposals, it looked like being the Dees’ night.

Brisbane came out looking determined to get on the board early. Their forward pressure was intense and Melbourne was under siege. The Lions were rewarded eventually when Daniel McStay marked the ball inside 50 and scored from the set shot.

After the bounce, Brisbane surged again. Joe Daniher got boot to ball in front of goal, but Michael Hibberd’s cat like athleticism ensured the ball was touched prior to crossing the line. Those sort of reactions can be the difference in a tight game and Hibberd was roundly applauded for his quick reflexes.

Brisbane looked to have settled into a comfortable rhythm, controlling the footy and dominating territory with Melbourne unable to break out of their defensive half. Then against the run of play, the Demons got the ball up the ground and inside 50 thanks to a driving kick from Jake Melksham. Ed Langdon grabbed the ball as it was thumped away from the pack and somehow got a hand pass to Kysaiah Pickett, who turned and launched off his left boot to claim his hat trick.

After Pickett’s goal the Lions seemed to lose some of their drive and Melbourne slowly resumed control of the game. The next major came via a superb banana kick from the in form Ben Brown. By now the Dees were looking comfortable with a thirty six point lead.

Pickett’s fourth goal was classic Kozzie. He casually collected the tapped down ball, then ran forward before changing direction, spinning around and kicking the ball; watching it float to the very top of the uprights, then passing through for the goal.

They say when you’re in the zone, you can kick a goal blindfolded. That’s sort of what happened when Christian Petracca picked up the ball 30m out and chipped it over the pack. The ball landed on the edge of the square, then bounced high over Jarrod Berry’s head and across the goal line. I have a feeling that Petracca was slightly bemused by it all.

The complete domination continued after the centre bounce when Clayton Oliver’s streaming kick to inside 50 was knocked down, then collected by Jake Melksham. The forward then added his name to the scoreboard when his shot also bounced over.

Brisbane was still trying valiantly but nothing was working for them. Even when they had spells of playing in their forward half, the Demons found a way to thwart their efforts before counterattacking. It happened again when Trent Rivers’ long kick was collected by Petracca who hand passed to Bayley Fritsch giving him plenty of time and space to snap his second from the edge of the goal square.

The margin was now sixty points and there was still two minutes left in the half. Then with five seconds to go, Ben Brown took a heavily contested mark 25m out from goal. Kicking after the siren, Brown kicked his third to close out the term.

Trailing by sixty six points, Brisbane needed to be perfect for the remainder of the match if they were to have a snowball’s chance of launching one of the most unlikeliest comebacks of all time. They started well with Hugh McCluggage slotting a set shot from the pocket. Then a minute later, Joe Daniher marked from 20m out and reduced the margin to fifty four points.

That was about as good as it got for the Lions. The next goal went to Melbourne via a Bayley Fritsch mark and an around the corner snap for his hat trick. When Christian Petracca got his second unorthodox goal after somehow finding a clear path to dribble through, it was undeniably the night of the Demons.

Lincoln McCarthy restored Brisbane’s deficit to ten goals when his running kick from 35m sailed through. The hosts were unable to back it up though and their subsequent efforts only resulted in minor scores.

When Alex Neal-Bullen brought up the ton for Melbourne with his 25m set shot, the home fans could see the coveted top four spot slipping irretrievably from their grasp. As if to emphasis the impossibility of the task, Bayley Fritsch kicked his fourth after being on the end a chain that totally opened up the Lions’ defence.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Brisbane was now only playing for pride. Whether they could make a dent in Melbourne’s seventy point lead remained to be seen. The Dees would want to hang on to as much of the advantage as possible. The superior percentage meant that the Sydney Swans would need to defeat St Kilda by somewhere in the region of forty points. Second place on the ladder meant having a home game advantage which could prove crucial to the team who secured that result.

The Lions again got the first goal of the term thanks to a Hugh McCluggage snap from 20m out. After that the goals dried up for each side until Luke Jackson took an uncontested mark 20m directly in front of goal.

With two minutes to go, Mitch Robinson marked just inside the 50m line before going back to cleanly kick his set shot. Then right before the siren, Cam Rayner was awarded a free kick in front of goal and went back to reduce the final margin to fifty eight points.

The Swans won their game against St Kilda but not by enough to knock the Dees off second position. We face Sydney in our qualifier and if we continue with our current form, I like our chances.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

Sponsoring Liv

September 1, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

We’re sponsoring Liv Purcell again this season.

It’s time to get on the W train and support our team in AFLW season 7.

Olivia Purcell joined the Demons in 2021 and is starring in the midfield in 2022. Liv was amongst our best in the win over our arch nemesis Adelaide last week with the Dees focusing on contested possession and executing their roles under pressure. Olivia had 24 disposals displaying her innate competitiveness. Coach Mick Stinear commented after the game “She’s really strong, clean and a good competitor.”

Liv debuted for the Dees in AFLW Season 6 and played in the last 6 games including the Grand Final. Liv brought her competitiveness and work around the contest to our mid field strength.

You are invited to join us in sponsoring Liv again this year when we hope to go one better than our 2nd place finish in Season 6.

Join now

Sponsorship prizes – AFLW Season 7

In addition to supporting Olivia and the Melbourne Football Club members of the sponsorship will be eligible to win one of the following fabulous prizes:

* 2 x Invitations to attend the AFLW Season 7 2022 B&F
* 2 x Invitations to an event with all players in attendance
* 2022 AFLW Squad poster signed by the team

In addition all members of the Player Sponsorship will also have access to:
* A virtual AFLW update from the senior coach and team captain and
* A personal video from our sponsored player

** – The NSW Demons will invest $995 to sponsor Olivia and support the Melbourne Football Club in 2022. Each $50 share you buy is a vital a part of this investment and enables the NSW Demons to continue to sponsor Olivia and support the MFC.

Oh so sweet September

September 1, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons, Our history, Our stories 

September…. My favourite month of the year

Nigel Dawe

Before commencing this piece, I made a point of closing my eyes and taking a deep breath through my nose… and you can smell it… September that is – oh, so sweet September! There is nothing that stirs my inner 12-year-old to life than the thought of the Melbourne Demons headed to the finals.

Ironically, a book I was recently gifted by my sister called ‘Footy Banners’ sits at my elbow, and it has a snap on its cover which I figure in as a dot. It is the 1989 State of Origin at the MCG with the Vics streaming through their banner, and way up in the background between the major and the behind post (above the ‘M’ of the second Myer sign to the left) I’m there taking it all in as a then wide-eyed 12-year-old seeing his very first game at the ‘G.

As for that beautiful, mad 9th month of the year we call September (doubly so, seeing ‘sept’ stood for the numeral seven in ancient Rome) originally there were only 10 months in a calendar year. January and February weren’t added until quite some time later, and when they finally were, no one bothered to correct the other month names to reflect the ‘addition’.

Ancient history aside, our team is about to embark on its 41st September campaign, to hopefully net a 14th premiership, and if we do, it will be the 37th time in VFL/AFL history that a team has gone all the way after finishing the regular season in second place. Incredibly the Melbourne Demons have played in 90 finals matches, the exact same as the South Melbourne/ Sydney Swans. The ledger changes when you factor in the win/loss record though, the Demons having won 54 games to the Swans overall 40.

That’s the backstory, the one surging towards us concerns our third ever final against the red and white wearing Swans. For two foundation clubs, it is incredible that we’ve only met so few times. Who could forget the last time though? It was the second week of the finals in that magical year of 1987, a day in which our Demons left the field 76-point victors with Robbie Flower having kicked a game high four goals.

The first and only other time our two sides have met in September was way back in the preliminary final of 1936. That day we were beaten to the tune of 26-points by a then all-conquering team that won the flag three years prior, and were known as the ‘foreign legion’ because of the sheer number of players they had ‘acquired’ from abroad to bolster their ranks.

Back to the present day, and good luck Dees for our upcoming 91st finals match against the Swans, a wonderful omen – that being Jimmy Stynes Brownlow winning year. And let’s hope Simon Goodwin’s incredible post-season record continues, which currently reflects an 83% winning return.

Even the great Norm Smith claimed a 69% winning average in finals (mind you that was for 23-games in 11 different finals campaigns, compared to Simon’s six-games in his two post-seasons so far).

And ‘finally’, come what may, keep a quiet eye on the Geelong-Collingwood match, as there is an absolute potential hidden treat. Should our arch combatants in the black and white go down to the more favoured Cats, it will be their 100th loss in a final, making them the first team in the history of the league to notch up such a ‘wobble-some’ feat.

Dees’ result perfect remedy for the Blues

August 19, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 22 – Melbourne V Carlton

Liam Chambers

It was a must win game if we had any chance of finishing in the top four. Carlton’s position was even more precarious; win and they would play finals for the first time since 2013. Lose and they would have to do it all again next week and do it against one of the two most in form teams of the moment.

If Melbourne had any sympathy for their opponents, they certainly didn’t show it in the first ten minutes. Their pressure was intense, forcing errors from the Blues early on. Then a moment of individual brilliance from Christian Petracca, in which he kicked the ball 60m and found Jake Melksham in the pocket to the left of goal. Melksham launched a kick round the corner and the Demons were on the scoreboard.

It was a low scoring first quarter with Carlton taking until the last minute to score a major, courtesy of a Harry McKay set shot.

The Dees were again dominating inside 50s but lacking the killer blow when it came to finishing. Luckily Carlton had a similar problem down the other end. Then Kysaiah Pickett’s tackle on Liam Stocker was rewarded and he hammered a goal from the 50m line. A few minutes later and Harry McKay found himself unattended and running to inside 50, where he took a mark and chipped the ball from the goal square. All level at fifteen points a piece.

The second term was proving to be as low scoring as it’s predecessor until the wily Jake Melksham again found a way to confound the Blues’ defence with his 30m snap as he emerged from the stoppage pack in front of goal. Less than a minute later Zac Fisher launched one from the left hand pocket to keep the contest tight.

The quarter still had one last surprise up it’s sleeve when Jack Newnes deliberately bumped into Tom Sparrow after he kicked the ball to Bayley Fritsch, who marked just before the siren. It must go down as one of the most bizarre scenes in the modern game as Melbourne and Carlton went for each other in the background while Bayley Fritsch lined up to take his set shot. The high scoring Fritsch wasn’t put off by the melee behind him and the Dees went in eight points up at half time.

The fight certainly didn’t do Max Gawn any harm. When he marked the ball 40m in front of goal, he thought about playing on but was discouraged by Angus Brayshaw. Perhaps it was Brayshaw’s Mr Miyagi moment “be the ball Max”. Whatever he said, the captain went back and kicked it straight through the uprights. Jack Silvagni brought it back to five points when he crumbed the ball and watched it bounce across the line.

After Melbourne won the hitout, Clayton Oliver was straight after the bouncing ball, controlling it enough to launch a driving kick towards the square, where Jake Melksham collected the tapped down ball, ran and turned to kick his hat trick.

Two minutes later Harry McKay also had three when his set shot from the 50m line made the distance. The margin returned to five. Then Carlton made it back to back goals when Corey Durdin managed to recover after stumbling just outside the square while collecting the loose ball. It was looking a bit grim when Jack Martin took a mark 30m out and didn’t make any mistakes with his finishing. It was an impressive turnaround for the Blues after converting an eleven point deficit into a seven point advantage.

Carlton were hanging on to their lead with the Dees only managing a few minor scores during the next ten minutes. Then Clayton Oliver showed his speed again when he crumbed the ball in the pocket before hand passing to his soul brother Petracca. The big midfielder didn’t hesitate as he launched off the outside of his left boot to put Melbourne back in front.

I must make honourable mention of Jake Melksham who was somehow able to mark James Jordan’s kick while simultaneously falling flat on his back. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to convert.

It was a slim margin as the teams went into the last quarter. We have lost the final term in all of our six defeats this season. No one could blame Demon fans for feeling somewhat paranoid as the siren sounded for second last time.

Both sides were obviously feeling the pressure of the occasion as it took ten minutes for the first goal of the term. Unfortunately the scorer was Jack Martin after he was deemed tripped in the goal square. The Dees hit back immediately with the midfield combining perfectly, allowing Max Gawn to kick the ball to Ben Brown in front of goal. Brown’s mark was knocked away but he subsequently got a boot to it where it sailed towards goal. Jake Melksham got a hand on it before Ed Langdon collected the falling sherrin and just managed to kick it over the goal line.

There was another change of lead with Jack Martin’s desperate attempt just shy of the square while having his guernsey stretched at the same time. Then the Blues stretched their advantage to seven points with seven minutes to go but there was still plenty of time for either side to prevail. It had taken all night but Ben Brown finally found the gap between the uprights to make it a one point game.

When Charlie Curnow took a mark 25m out with three minutes remaining, there was much gnashing of teeth from the red and the blue. Curnow’s goal looked to have locked it up for the visitors but they reckoned without Jake Melksham who was having the night of his life. His contested mark on the edge of the square was unbelievably good, taken under extreme pressure. He didn’t need it, but Carlton gifted him a 50m penalty and Melksham had four.

The goal hero was involved again with less than thirty seconds to go. Jayden Hunt kicked a long ball to the pack in front of goal where Ben Brown tapped it down. Melksham was able to collect at ground level and roll over, getting a hand ball away to Kysaiah Pickett. The small forward was living every footballer’s dream as he gathered the ball and got a kick away while falling back to earth. The sherrin sailed through with fifteen seconds left on the clock.

After experiencing those close losses in recent weeks, every Melbourne fan in the country would have been staring in shock at their TV screen wondering if they were still awake. The pandemonium from the red and blue spectators in the stands was incredible. Never has the term “snatched victory from the jaws of defeat” seemed so relevant. I had a fleeting moment of empathy for Carlton but it quickly passed.

With positions two to five on the ladder only separated by percentage, our visit to the Gabba in Round 23 is hugely important. Win and we may secure second spot, third at the worst. Lose and we could end up in sixth place with a potential elimination game against the Tigers. I know which one I prefer.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

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