Dees Enjoy A Sundowner

August 8, 2021 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 20 – Gold Coast Suns V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Approaching the pointy end of the season, Melbourne needed to rediscover their winning ways or risk falling out of the top four. The run up to Round 20 was far from ideal. Having travelled to Queensland, the Dees were advised, mere hours before the kick-off, that their fixture against the Suns was to be rescheduled to the following day; forcing them to return to Victoria. Even though Melbourne had less than 24 hours to adjust and refocus, the disruption seemed to reinvigorate the team and they put on a classic performance.

Playing to the virtually empty Marvel Stadium, the Dees got off the mark when Tom McDonald curled one in from the pocket. Bailey Fritsch continued his recent good form when he put the perfect finish on his set shot from 45m to the right of goal. Despite Gold Coast being competitive in the quarter, it was Melbourne racking up the early points as Ben Brown took his first mark in front of goal.

The Suns finally kicked a major when Chris Burgess took a mark inside 50 and converted. The goal proved inspirational with Alex Sexton then getting boot to ball as it was heading behind, scoring GCS’ second. Melbourne responded quickly when Fritsch was in the right place to pick up the loose ball near the goal square and walk it in.
The Suns showed they weren’t done yet as Josh Corbett took an uncontested mark 40m in front to bring the margin back to a single kick.

Gold Coast’s joy was short lived though, as Melbourne pulled away again with Luke Jackson finding an empty space in the Suns’ defence. Then it was just a matter of strolling through to the goal. Jackson was able to double his tally by marking just inside the 50m line before placing the ball nicely between the sticks.

The first quarter showed Dees had certainly recaptured their kicking efficiency. When Clayton Oliver was tripped and awarded a free kick early in the second term, his set shot was typical of Melbourne’s accuracy in front of goal. Their confidence was infectious and Ben Brown’s aim was true as he kicked his second from a 40m set shot. Luke Jackson was on a hat trick when he was awarded a free after being pushed in the back inside the goal square.

In addition, Melbourne’s pressure was keeping their opponents scoreless while they continued to add to own goal tally. Charlie Spargo got in on the act when a fumbling hand pass from Christian Petracca saw the small forward score from directly in front. Even Max Gawn succeeded with his set shot attempt on goal. By now the Dees had added 33 to the Suns’ 1 point in the quarter and it wasn’t over yet. Luke Jackson must have spent the previous week practicing set shots. His fourth goal from the 50m line was a pitch perfect performance.

Having clocked up one of their highest first half scores in recent times, Melbourne could have been forgiven if they took their foot off the accelerator and relaxed a bit. However, Kysaiah Pickett doesn’t have an off switch and his running 50m kick to the open goal square was a thing of beauty. Immediately after the centre bounce clearance, Ben Brown was pushed inside 50, allowing him to score his third goal form the ensuing set shot.

Not satisfied with his previous effort on goal, Max Gawn launched a banana kick from the boundary line to bring up 100 points for the Demons. Melbourne had their fair share of luck too as Kysaiah Pickett discovered when Angus Brayshaw’s kick towards goal bounced favourably into his hands. Pickett didn’t waste any time and ran around to snap his second of the afternoon.

Jake Bowie almost capped off a dream debut with the perfect mark from the shoulders of Darcy MacPherson. Unfortunately, Bowie couldn’t hold on to the ball long enough but great effort! For his fourth goal, Ben Brown showed unusual dexterity by scooping up the sherrin and tapping it in from just outside the square.

The last term was a low scoring affair for Melbourne, but Christian Petracca added his name to the scoreboard with a perfect set shot on goal. The lads almost made it a 100 plus victory, but Sam Flanders denied us that pleasure when marked and scored from inside 50. I’m sure Simon Goodwin will be happy with the result anyway. The win gave a nice boost to our percentage which could be crucial when the final siren sounds at the end of the regular season.

We fly to Perth for Round 21. The Eagles lost badly to Collingwood but they’re a different beast at home. The Stadium will be full of partisan fans baying for Demon blood and the pressure will be a big test of Melbourne’s character. There’ll be an enormous amount of energy whooshing around Optus Stadium and if the Dees can harness that and channel it towards their goal, then I don’t doubt we’ll come away with the win.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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