Dees Outgun Suns

February 12, 2022 by
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons 

Round 5 – Melbourne V Gold Coast

Liam Chambers

Big surprise; Gold Coast took a leaf out of St Kilda and Adelaide’s playbook. Again it was game on from the first bounce. The Suns were looking for three in a row and the Dees were looking to make amends for last week’s result.

The first quarter was all pressure. Melbourne were making inroads into their forward fifty but Gold Coast kept repelling them. After ten minutes, the Dees had been continually dominating territory but only had two minor scores to show for their efforts.

The Suns only had one foray to inside 50 late in the term but it proved fruitless with the margin remaining three points in Melbourne’s favour at quarter time.

When play resumed, Gold Coast had the wind at their backs and took full advantage early on. Again though the Dees were able to push back and get close to their own goal square.

Melbourne’s determination paid off when Eden Zanker, under pressure, launched a wildly accurate kick, picking out Tayla Harris, who took the contested mark. The Dees leading goal kicker then had a set shot 30m in front but the breeze carried the sherrin to the right for another minor. A minute later, Shelley Scott did the same.

Almost immediately Gold Coast took control and the game to their own end. They had several chances in front of goal but were unable to get the points on the board. They kept up the pressure though and the Dees finally succumbed when Sarah Perkins’ spinning high kick landed fortuitously into Alison Drennan’s lap. The midfielder took the set shot and slotted the Sun’s first of the night.

Melbourne have a habit of striking back quickly and it was Daisy Pearce who again provided the inspiration. Her initial tap down 25m out then allowed her to run on and gather the footy before chipping it behind the goal line.

A minute later and Eliza McNamara was awarded a free kick after being held 30m out from goal. McNamara took note, learning from her team mates’ previous shots on goal, before guiding her kick perfectly through the sticks.

That’s the way it stayed and Melbourne went in, leading by ten points, at half time.

After a sterling finish to the first half, the Dees needed to remain focused and continue to control the game. They maintained the pressure on the Suns and waited for the visitors to make a mistake. Eventually Megan Fitzsimon was taken high in a tackle and awarded a free kick front of goal. Fitzsimon read the breeze correctly and notched up Melbourne’s third of the evening.

Again and again the Dees pushed forward but Gold Coast managed to hold them off. Melbourne then had to confront an attack by the Suns but wrested back control before Lily Mithen took off back down the field. She stole a bounce along the way before hand passing to Eliza McNamara who tried to pick out Tayla Harris with her subsequent kick.

The ball sailed over the heads of the waiting pack, but Harris was awarded a free for a push in the back. The set shot was 25m directly in front and the forward had no problems in converting to score Melbourne’s fourth of the match.

The challenge now for the Dees was to maintain the momentum and not let Gold Coast back into the game. Unfortunately Ellie Hampson scored possibly the best accidental goal of the season when her stumbling soccer kick found a way to cross the line.

Then with the seconds ticking down, Daisy Pearce took a diving mark 15m out from goal. It’s well known that the captain is adverse to taking set shots so her seemingly inexplicit action in playing on is understandable. However the Suns’ fans everywhere would have been taking a big collective sigh of relief at having dodged a very late bullet.

As the teams headed into the final term, Gold Coast were thankful to be only trailing by nineteen points.

The tackling continued at a frenetic pace but the Dees looked comfortably in control. That confidence was boosted when Daisy Pearce took another contested mark inside 50. She immediately spotted Tayla Harris and placed her kick perfectly into the path of the key forward. Harris finished flawlessly and the margin stretched to twenty four points.
A few minutes later Kate Hore had an opportunity to hammer in the final nail but her running shot veered left for a minor score.

With ten minutes to go, Gold Coast wasn’t giving up as they managed to retake the ball before launching their own offensive. There was no one at the back for Melbourne and Jamie Stanton had the inside 50 area to herself as she ran into an open goal. The Suns sensed that there was still time and the Dees knew they had to maintain possession to slow down the game.

Gold Coast kept driving forward though and eventually Kalinda Howarth was able to gather, spin and kick the ball, watching it bounce across the square for another goal.
Melbourne’s lead was cut in half but the girls managed to hold off successive Coastal waves to claim an important two goal victory.

Today it’s the Giant’s turn. We’d be foolish to expect an easy competition just because GWS has had less game time this year. They’re a tough side and made the Bulldogs look ordinary in their last outing.

When we remain disciplined, we can beat anyone. We have the talent and have proved we can handle the pressure. The final part of the puzzled; the self belief and confidence is still a work in progress but I’m backing us to take home the goods in Round 6.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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