Closer Than it Looked

November 11, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, NSW Demons, Sponsoring Olivia 

Round 10 – Brisbane V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Dees survive first quarter onslaught relatively unscathed.

Having dealt effectively with table toppers Adelaide in Round 8, Brisbane showed that they can be formidable on home turf. The Dees would have to bring their best game to Springfield in their first meeting since last year’s Premiership clash.

It was first blood to the Lions when Dakota Davidson marked, then kicked a 35m set shot to put the hosts on the scoreboard. A minute later, Brisbane had their second when Ellie Hampson marked the ball just inside 50, before turning and launching from 45m. The sherrin landed in the square and bounced serendipitously across the goal line.

It was all Brisbane, with Melbourne struggling to get out of their defensive half. The maroon tide was relentless and quarter time couldn’t come soon enough for the Dees.

Luckily it didn’t come too quickly though, as with two minutes to play, Melbourne found some space for the first time and made the most of it, getting the ball inside 50, where Casey Sherriff took an uncontested mark, 20m from goal. The conversion was clinical, and the Dees had their first six pointer of the match.

Melbourne redress the balance.

Having been dominated in every stat during the first term, especially inside 50, the Dees would have been satisfied to be trailing by just eight points.

Taylor Harris, making her return from injury, got Melbourne’s second when she took a contested mark to the right of the square, going back to slot the goal.

It was a high stakes game for both clubs, with every possession immediately challenged; the tackling ferocious and unforgiving.

Melbourne was doing a good job of containing the Lions early on, until they suddenly burst through and stormed up the ground. A series of accurate kicks and marks eventually got the ball to Charlotte Mullins inside 50. The forward ran on and slammed the ball into the open goal.

The lead was back to eight points but not for long, as Tyla Hanks was awarded a free after being taken high. Her 35m set shot was low flying but made the journey to safely cross the line.
Melbourne won the bounce and was back inside 50, where Kate Hore collected the ground ball and snapped it through from 10m.

The visitors were in front for the first time, but Brisbane again went on the offensive and retook the lead within a minute, after Dakota Davidson marked on the goal line and slotted her second of the night.

The Lions run amok.

It was a tight game at half time, but Brisbane had home advantage and what seemed like an almost deranged determination to avenge last year’s Grand Final loss. Maybe I’m reading too much into it though?

Kate Hore almost had another goal in the opening minutes of the second half, but just failed to get boot to ball as it crossed the line.

Up the other end, Taylor Smith was able to take possession in the open goal square and connect to stretch the margin back out to eight points. After the bounce, Brisbane was back inside 50, where eventually Sophie Conway marked the ball, then converted from 25m.

The Lions had three in a row when Ruby Svarc was awarded a free kick 10m to the left of goal. Then with thirty seconds left, Sophie Conway kicked her second of the term, from a 40m free kick set shot.

Dees unable to close the gap.

Melbourne are pretty much unbeatable in fourth quarters, but it would take a monumental effort of Herculean proportions to get home against a fired up Brisbane side on home soil, with a twenty seven point buffer. Still, you have to try.

The Dees pressed hard, attacking the Lion’s defence and dominating inside 50. However, they were unable to land any must have majors.

In the end Melbourne won the quarter but could only reduce the margin to twenty five points; again missing out on the minor premiership.

None of that matters now though. The Dees will be solely focused on their qualifying match again North Melbourne.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

Win Secures Melbourne Club the McClelland Trophy

November 3, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, NSW Demons, Sponsoring Olivia 

Round 9 – Melbourne V Fremantle

Liam Chambers

A wafer thin competition on the first quarter scoreboard.

With Melbourne sitting on top of the ladder, they would have felt comfortable hosting Fremantle, who currently reside in the lower half of the table. However, it was the Dockers who scored the first major, after Megan Kauffman was awarded a free kick in front of goal.

The equaliser for Melbourne took a while, but it was worth the wait, with midfield gun Tyla Hanks kicking off the outside of her right boot, on the run, landing the 15m shot.

The famous Casey breeze didn’t favour either side for the remainder of the quarter, as the players kicked a series of minor points; the term ending with the slimmest of leads for Freo.

The Dees flex their muscles.

Melbourne had the wind at their backs in the second quarter and they attacked enthusiastically, making the most of their advantage. It still took over five minutes to kick the first six pointer of the term though. That happened when Eden Zanker burst through after collecting the bouncing ball and running it in from the edge of the square.

A couple of minutes later and Paxy Paxman scored a rare but spectacular goal, when she turned and snapped from 20m, sending the ball across the open goal line. Not to be outdone in the spectacular stakes, Eliza West scooped up the ground ball, was immediately tackled, but held her footing and slammed one through the uprights from the top of the goal square.

Melbourne was powering ahead, leaving the shell shocked Dockers in their wake.

The surge continued after the bounce, but Fremantle finally managed to regain some composure in the face of the rampaging Dees. It didn’t last long though and Melbourne continued to pepper Freemantle’s defence with an assortment of shots on goal. Unfortunately they all resulted in minor scores and the dockers could consider themselves lucky not to be trailing by a substantially bigger margin.

Then, in a complete 180 degree turnaround, Freo got the next major via, arguably the best play of the game. Megan Kauffman, having scored the visitors’ only other goal, chased the sherrin into the empty inside 50 arena, tipping it forward on the bounce, outpacing her opponent, collecting it on another bounce, then cleanly kicking it from 25m.

The goal energised the Dockers, but they were unable to build on their momentum or add to their tally before the main break.

Freo rallies late but Dees retain control.

After half time, a resurgent Fremantle attempted to hold on to the impetus gained at the backend of the previous quarter.

However, Melbourne proved too difficult to control and when Kate Hore soccered through the loose ball, a couple of metres from the goal line, the hosts were again in the ascendancy.

The Dockers did finally manage to work their way up the other end and secured a free kick in front of goal. Serena Gibbs went back to take the 15m set shot, reigning the margin back to eighteen points.

Melbourne again outclass the opposition in the final term.

The Dees have been unstoppable in virtually every fourth quarter this year, so they would have been very confident from the final opening bounce. Despite the best efforts of the hosts however, they had only kicked three minor scores by the halfway mark.

Then the Hibernian on hiatus, Blaithin Mackin, turned and snapped from the 50m arc, sending the ball long and straight and across the goal line.

Freo didn’t give up though and goal hero Megan Kauffman got her hat trick when she collected the ball from a stoppage in front of goal, then snapped it through the posts.

Next, there was another hat trick up the other end when Kate Hore ran through the seventh goal for Melbourne.

In the final goal of the game, Eden Zanker reclaimed her lead as the top AFLW goal scorer for the season, when her wind assisted 45m set shot cross the line.

Next week it’s the replay of last year’s Grand Final when we travel to Brisbane to face the brilliantly inconsistent Lions. Anything could happen but I’ve got a feeling we’ll be smiling by the end.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

Demons Storm the Bastille

December 1, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, Sponsoring Olivia 

AFLW – Grand Final Brisbane V Melbourne

Jacqui Parry

When the Demons squad are standing out on the field and they hear the Lions song before the start of the Grand Final on Sunday – we’ll be singing these words:

We are the pride of Springfield town
We wear the Demons Red and Blue
We will fight like Hell for victory
Like the Demon Squads of old

All for one and one for all
We will answer to the call
Go Lions back to Brisbane – (without that Shiny Cup)
We’ll kick the winning score
You’ll hear our mighty roar – (and then you’ll hear):

The Grand Old Flag

It’s a grand old flag, it’s a high-flying flag,
It’s the emblem for me and for you,
It’s the emblem of the team we love,
The team of the Red and the Blue.
Every heart beats true, for the Red and the Blue,
And we sing this song to you,
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the Red and the Blue.
Oh, the team played fine in the year Thirty-nine,
We’re the Demons that no one can lick,
And you’ll find us there at the final bell,
With the spirit of Twenty-six.
Every heart beats true, for the Red and the Blue,
And we sing this song to you,
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the Red and the Blue.

We are going to Paxinate them!!

Team Daisy Hold On For A Famous Win

April 8, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons, Sponsoring Olivia 

Preliminary Final – Melbourne V Brisbane

Liam Chambers

Melbourne have made it to their first AFLW Grand Final! It was so close in the end, but the girls put in a valiant effort to produce the win.

It was a nervous start all around but the Dees managed to keep the ball in their forward half for the first five minutes. They were unable to capitalise on their advantage and the Lions started to make headway into Melbourne’s defensive territory. Brisbane also struggled to get on the scoreboard with the Dees keeping their defence tight.

Shelley Heath effected a great tackle on Jesse Wardlaw, preventing the Ruck from scoring an almost certain goal. The wet conditions didn’t seem to be favouring either side as both sets of players struggled to hold onto the ball.

Melbourne had dominated the first term in the majority of the stats but their kicking efficiency was letting them down. They desperately needed a goal to settle their nerves.

That breakthrough came when Alyssa Bannan initially had the chance to collect the ball inside 50. There were no Lions blocking her path but Bannan was unable to gather up the ball before being tackled. After the ensuing stoppage, the forward finally found enough space to drill one through the pack and into the open goal.

It didn’t take long for the Lions to respond. Taylor Smith dropped a mark inside 50 but was able to recover, gather up the ground ball, snapping a kick towards goal. With five seconds to go, Eliza McNamara was awarded a free kick 25m from goal. McNamara went back to take the kick after the siren but just missed to the far side where her shot scrapped the post.

After the break, the Lions looked the most likely to score first. Their effort was rewarded when Dakota Davidson got a kick away that sailed through the uprights from 35m out. Brisbane continued the pressure after the bounce but Melbourne was able to break clear and make their way up the field.

While Daisy Pearce was bringing the ball to ground then gathering it up, Alyssa Bannan was running on to a good position inside 50. Daisy got the kick to the waiting Bannan to collect and then outrun her opponents before kicking into an open goal.

The Dees then had the advantage after Lauren Pearce grabbed the ball out of the ruck. Turning towards goal, Pearce launched a kick, securing Melbourne’s third goal. Eliza McNamara then had another opportunity to go for goal and this time she opted to kick it along the ground and through the Lions’ defence, incredibly finding a gap and watching the ball dribble across the line.

Brisbane continued to chase a late goal but the Dees managed to hang on to their eleven point margin.

Melbourne had the perfect start to the last quarter when Alyssa Bannan again used her speed to chase the ball before picking it up and strolling into the waiting goal. Bannan had three under her belt and the Dees had a seventeen point lead.

The reigning premiers wouldn’t go down without a fight and for the next five minutes the Lions continually made inroads to their forward 50. They couldn’t manage a breakthrough though until Shannon Campbell was able to crumb the ball and snap a kick from 30m out.

Now with only a ten point lead and six minutes remaining, Melbourne needed to play some smart footy to prevent Brisbane kicking another two goals. The Dees had opportunities to extend their lead but the Lions defended well before initiating an offensive of their own but without much success until the last forty five seconds. Greta Bodey (who else?) kicked a goal from a set shot and clawed Melbourne’s lead back to four points.

The last thirty seconds was a frantic push forward by the Lions and equally frantic attempts by Melbourne to clear the ball. The Dees prevailed, securing their first win in a preliminary final.

There’s no doubt that Adelaide is the firm favourite. They are an extremely difficult team to score against and they have some very strong players. However, one thing we know about Melbourne is their ability to preform above expectations when they’re given the status of underdog.

Also, the team will want to do it for Daisy, arguably the one person who has done more than any other to promote and champion AFLW.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

AFLW – Dees Scrap And Scramble

March 25, 2022 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons, Sponsoring Olivia 

Round 10 – Melbourne V Carlton

Liam Chambers

After Round 9’s emphatic win in Perth, the Dees were back on home soil to face Carlton. The Blues season had started poorly with only one win from their first six outings. Now they were coming home strongly with three victories in a row and looking to make it four from their visit to Casey Fields. With no chance of playing finals, Carlton was ready to try a spot of giant slaying.

A win for Melbourne would secure a top two place on the ladder; lose and the Lions could leapfrog their rivals and take the coveted position. The Dees had everything to gain, Carlton had nothing to lose.

The pressure showed as Melbourne grappled to play their preferred game. The Blues were determined to close them down at every opportunity. It took a while but eventually Daisy Pearce was on the receiving end of an Alyssa Bannan kick which was marked directly in front of goal. Daisy’s conversion helped settle Demon tremors.

With a minute to go Pearce returned the favour when she slotted a kick inside 50 where Bannan jumped to take the mark. She kept her set shot low and it sailed through for Melbourne’s second.

At the start of the term two, the Blues continued pressure paid off when Nicola Stevens was able to scoop up the ground ball and snap it into the waiting goal.

Melbourne responded quickly when Alyssa Bannan was taken high, then awarded a 50m penalty. Her set shot restored the margin and delivered Bannan her second of the evening.

Later in the quarter, Nicola Stevens also got her second when several bounces favoured Carlton and the defender was able to get a kick off the deck and across the line. It was back to back goals when Georgia Gee had a set shot from a similar position to Alyssa Bannan’s kick in the previous quarter. Like Bannan the midfielder kept the kick low and it ended up between the posts, reducing the Dees’ lead to two points.

It was stretched back to nine points when the aforementioned Bannan took a mark directly in front and claimed her hat trick. Then like the proverbial see saw, the margin was cut back to two points again as Keely Sherar marked from 40m out and converted with an impressive kick.

Each side continued to apply extensive pressure on their opponents but neither team could make the breakthrough in the third term.

In the end it was Daisy Pearce who stepped up to break the drought deep into the quarter. Lily Mithen had a set shot from just inside 50and her kick was collected by Daisy in a diving mark. The skipper snuck it through and Melbourne went into the break with a handy eight point lead.

The fourth quarter turned out to be an exercise in nail biting tension for the army of Demon fans. The stress was only ratcheted up when Nicola Stevens was to get another kick off the deck five metres in front of goal and celebrated her own hat trick. Suddenly it was a one point game and the faithful watched the remainder of the match through the gaps in their fingers.

With thirty five seconds to go, every red and blue heart stopped beating truly when Darcy Vescio had a set shot to the left of goal. She missed the big target and the supporters around the ground exhaled en masse. Having dodged the late bullet, Melbourne was able to hold on to the slimmest of leads and finally claim victory when the siren sounded.

Carlton had put up one hell of of a fight but the Dees did what good sides do and found a way to win. There was an element of luck for the Blues but there was no denying their talent. They unnerved and unsettled Melbourne at various stages, especially in the final term but the girls will use the experience to improve their strengths.

They now get to enjoy a well deserved few weeks(!) off but there’ll be plenty happening behind the scenes. Our most likely opponent in the preliminary final is Brisbane, who get to play at home in their qualifier. However, the Pies have been impressive in recent weeks so who knows. Either way…

Go the mighty Dees!!!

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