Round 6 – Melbourne V Adelaide
The Dees keep their opponents in line.
The top two sides met for the first time this season and there could only be one winner. Melbourne had the home advantage; however the other side were seasoned travelers and dangerous on any ground.
Eden Zanker took a contested mark 20m in front and opened the scoring for the Dees with her clinical set shot.
Melbourne were in control early on, but the Crows slowly eased their way into the game attacking the Dees backline. Our defence held up well and got the ball out, allowing the midfield to counter-strike.
Up the other end, Zanker took another, even more spectacular, mark. This time however, she was unable to convert, instead shaking the upright with the kick.
Melbourne continued to set the tone but struggled to make the most of their chances, only landing a few minor scores.
Zanker was determined to make amends for the previous set shot miss, outpacing two Adelaide players, before soccer kicking her second from the goal square.
The Crows turn the scores around.
Melbourne may have dominated the first term, but the Crows began to look dangerous at the start of the second quarter.
The visitors managed a couple of minor scores early on before Danielle Ponter juggled and landed a difficult mark, then kicked her set shot from 30m.
Having closed the gap to eight points, Adelaide continued to pile on the pressure. It paid off with Ebony Marinoff scooping up the ground ball from a stoppage, then turning to snap it through.
The Crows made the most of their new found momentum, tackling hard and preventing Melbourne from playing their natural game.
The Dees defence was under tremendous pressure but having finally managed to break free, they were turned around when they were only halfway up the ground.
Again, Melbourne held off the Adelaide storm; this time until the dying seconds when Jessica Waterhouse marked deep in the pocket. She converted for a minor score, and it was all even at sixteen points apiece.
Adelaide have all the momentum.
It had been a game of two quarters, with the Dees’ early dominance being flipped to the Crows favour during the second term.
Adelaide continued their good form in the minutes after the main break, again applying extreme pressure to the Dees’ defence.
Anne Hatchard kicked the first goal of the second half after she took a contested mark at the top of the square.
Then Ebony Marinoff slotted her second from a difficult pocket shot, giving the Crows a twelve point lead.
The situation only got worse for Melbourne when Caitlin Gould marked to the right of goal. She tapped it back to Eloise Jones, who kicked cleanly from 20m.
All the momentum was with Adelaide now; Melbourne having failed to score a single point since the first quarter.
The, with one minute remaining, Danielle Ponter found herself on the receiving end of a lucky bounce in the square and she snapped through the Crows sixth of the game.
All was not lost however, and with twelve seconds to go in the quarter, Eliza McNamara was able to snap one on the run from 20m, keeping the Dees in contention.
Melbourne launch comeback.
Melbourne desperately needed to score the opener of the final term and Eden Zanker duly obliged. Her contested mark from 15m in front was perfect and her conversion was spot on.
Two minutes later, Zanker had her fourth, after marking at the top of the square and kicking the set shot.
It was an initial whirlwind start to the quarter for the Dees, but Adelaide were able to recover and started applying some pressure on the hosts.
Unfortunately the Crows were gifted a downfield free kick for an infringement on the 50m arc. A dubious call if you ask me.
Hatchard took the set shot and extended the margin back out to fifteen points.
Melbourne hit back immediately after the bounce, winning the ball and heading for goal. McNamarra took a handpass from Eden Zankar and ran on to snap from 20m and claim her second goal.
Zanker was having the game of her footy life when she was awarded a free kick from 30m out. She smashed the set shot to land her fifth major of the afternoon.
Suddenly it was a three point game after the Dees had trailed by twenty five points later in the third quarter.
Sadly it was not to be, as Adelaide was able to launch a final attack which allowed Caitlin Gould to run into the open goal and seal the deal.
It was a valiant fightback by Melbourne, but it proved too difficult to achieve in the end.
It’s off to Perth for the Round 7 game against West Coast. It should be a win for the Dees, but they won’t be underestimating their Western rivals.