Dees Get to Crow Over Adelaide

August 20, 2021 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 22 – Demons v Crows

Liam Chambers

Having been the first side to beat the Demons this year, the Crows were keen to repeat the feat. Melbourne however, just needed a win to keep the top spot and potentially take out the minor premiership for 2021. No need for heroics; business as usual would do. Staying injury free would be the main priority.

Jake Melksham opened the scoring for the Dees with a well taken set shot from 45m. Adelaide was in good form early on though and a brilliant run of play culminated with Shane McAdam receiving the ball on the edge of the goal square. From there, he tapped it in easily. Even though their subsequent effort were impressive, the Crows failed to hit the target and Melbourne were lucky to be only 6 points behind at the halfway mark in the term.

Ben Brown continued his run of good form, showing he’s getting into his stride at the perfect time, by taking a nice mark in front of goal and splitting the middle with his set shot. Brown almost had a second in quick succession, but it was deemed touched by the review. He had another chance a minute later and kicked confidently from 45m.

After the break, Bailey Fritsch got his name on the scoreboard with a goal involving a bit of twisting and turning, as well as some candy selling, before he booted the ball through the posts.
Charlie Spargo has had a great year involving numerous goal assists as well as racking up a few of his own. His set shot from the pocket was perfectly hooked and one of his best efforts so far.

Luke Jackson has started putting away the set shots more consistently and he didn’t waste the opportunity when it was presented to him, notching up Melbourne’s six of the afternoon. The Dees looked in danger of running away with the game as they mounted wave after wave of attack in their forward half and threatening to overwhelm their opponents.

Adelaide earned some reprieve though when Paul Seedsman finished perfectly from 55m to score only their second of the game. As is often the case, the goal proved a turning point and a minute later, David MacKay received a handball after a stoppage and was able to run on and score from the goal square. Up the other end and just before half time, Christian Petracca also found some space in the Dees’ goal square to mark the ball before kicking his first.

Despite the Crows’ late rally near the end of the first half, Melbourne was sitting on a comfortable lead and looked in control. A set of affairs that didn’t last long when Adelaide launched a counter offensive. First goal came from Darcy Fogarty, as he took a contested mark and converted. The Crows then started to build on their momentum and applied some desperate pressure to the Dees’ defence; pressure that paid off when Lachlan Murphy took a hand pass from the pack and slotted the ball through to reduce the margin to single figures.

When Shane McAdam took a mark 30m from goal, he found the target and made it a three-point game.

I’m sure there was flashbacks of Round 10 in the collective minds of the Dees but again the lads proved they could remain calm and keep their cool in a crisis. Ed Langdon’s dogged played on the edge of the 50m line was truly brilliant as was subsequent kick towards goal, picking out Petracca. The midfielder was quick to pounce on the sherrin and send it packing for home, easing the fans’ concerns in the process.

If Adelaide was deflated by the turn of events, they didn’t show it as Darcy Fogarty took a contested mark inside 50 and scored from 35m to bring the Crows back within touching distance.
Bailey Fritsch accelerated the Dees away again with his confidently taken set shot from 45m. Already there’d been six goals kicked in the quarter and we were only two thirds of the way through.

Christian Petracca continued to stamp his mark on the game with a perfectly placed kick to Kysaiah Pickett on the edge of the goal square. Pickett thought about stepping back to take the set shot but instead just turned around and slammed it through the uprights. The Crows refused to be scared off and looked determined to make a game of it. Tom Lynch received a hand pass from ground level and snapped it through to rein the lead back to 10 points.

Luke Jackson is fast becoming the Mr Steadfast of set shots and he proved it again while providing the perfect finish to his second goal. Bailey Fritsch was on a hat trick after his shot was ruled a goal when the ARC showed the ball crossing the line before being marked.

After the goal fest of the third quarter, it took over 10 minutes for the first point of the final term. Unfortunately, Kysaiah Pickett’s kick on goal saw the ball bounce the wrong way for a behind. Fritsch got another when he read the ball perfectly in the air and marked it from the back of the pack. With a 30 point lead, the Dees looked like they were cruising to victory but not before Darcy Fogarty got his hat trick after a brilliantly contested mark. It was too little too late though, with only 2 minutes left on the clock.

It wasn’t too late for Bailey Fritsch however as he went about adding some more goals to his already impressive tally for the season. I’m not sure how many players have scored a hat trick in the last 90 seconds of a match, but I wager it’s not many. His first came via a hand pass from Alex Neal-Bullen, which Fritsch snapped through easily. Neal-Bullen was also involved in the second when his kick was marked by Fritsch, 25m to the left of goal. Charlie Spargo provided the kick to the Magnet for his last effort; this time 25m to the right of the goal. The siren sounded just as the ball crossed the line.

Round 23 promises to be a classic showdown between two fierce rivals. Geelong has a slight edge as they’re playing on their home ground. The Cats know a win will guarantee them the minor premiership whereas a Melbourne victory will automatically see them finish top of the table.

I’m an eternal optimist though and believe this is Melbourne’s year; also, because I live in NSW, I will be unable to attend the grand final in person. I’m not saying the footy gods are involved but I’m sure the other NSW Demon fans appreciate the irony.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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