Dees Play Like Demons

March 20, 2021 by
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons 

Round 7 – Melbourne v Adelaide Crows

Dees Play Like Demons

Liam Chambers

With such a limited competition, every game is a must win. However, if Melbourne were to be considered serious contenders, then a victory over the two time Premiers was essential. After their performance against Adelaide I think the Dees have removed all doubt.

In a no holds barred game, it looked like Melbourne had secured the opening goal when Maddi Gay’s shot slid through; only to be denied as it was deemed to have clipped the post. Eventually Chelsea Randall gave the Crows the upper hand when she soccered one in amid high traffic. For awhile Adelaide had the ascendancy while the Dees scrambled to defend.

Then for an insane few minutes, the running and tackling went to another level. Lily Mithen was thrown around like a rag doll. Ultimately Melbourne make a break for it and headed towards their 50. A brilliant intercept mark from Karen Paxman and follow on kick to Eden Zanker saw the tall forward strike her first after a few disappointing weeks in front of goal. At 8-7, the scoreboard was a fair reflection of the first term overall.

The Dees continued just as ferociously in the second quarter. Their tackling and chasing down every loose ball was impressive. No one looked like even thinking about slacking off. The only question was could they maintain the same level of energy for the four quarters? For the moment though, the Dees were launching themselves at Adelaide with frightening intensity.

They were rewarded when Tyla Hanks intercepted a pass and running on, booted a high kick straight through the uprights. The Dees continued to lock the ball in their forward 50 until Adelaide broke free and applied some pressure of their own. Melbourne defended well and held off the attack until they again made some headway up the field before the Crows turned them around. The hand to hand combat meant neither side made any notable gains. The Dees didn’t let anything go though. Each incursion was aggressively put down.

I’ve never seen Melbourne play so well. Not only in their aggression but how they maintained their composure under pressure; their efficient, accurate kicking and hand balling was stellar. Zanker in particular has shown enormous improvement in her power and efficiency. Her brilliant kick to Alyssa Bannan near the goal square showed great vision.

When Lily Mithen was awarded a free for her tackling pressure, the subsequent kick to Lauren Pearce was impressive as was Pearce’s stumbling mark. Pearce’s goal gave the Dees a thirteen point half time buffer. After a hugely energetic half, could Melbourne maintain the rage?

That question was answered quickly when any Adelaide momentum was forcefully reeled in.The Crows came close to scoring when Anne Hatchard hit the post, then the Dees were off and running again. Hanks looked to have secured her second but it was ruled a behind. I’ve watched the replay several times and the only conclusion I can reach is that the goal umpire should have gone to Spec Savers.

Melbourne continued to throw everything at the Crows but just couldn’t land the knockout blow.Finally though, battered and bruised, the amazing Kate Hore  kicked one in off the deck. With four goals under their belt, the Dees didn’t relax. Instead, they dialled it up to eleven. Any Adelaide foray outside their defensive 50 was ruthlessly crushed by Melbourne.

Lily Mithen was incredible. Wearing quite a bit of the Casey pitch on her face and arms, she picked out Kate Hore in front of goal. In the struggle for possession, Hore was awarded a free kick for a push in the back. Her goal gave the Dees a twenty seven point advantage.

Melbourne had dominated in all stats so far and showed no signs of slowing down. They were in the drivers seat and were in no mood to hand over the reins. Their persistence paid off when Kate Hore got another chance in front of goal. Kate’s aim was true and she slotted her hat trick for the game.

Even with a thirty three point advantage, Melbourne knew they couldn’t afford to relax against such a quality opposition. A belief that was clearly illustrated when Rachelle Martin collected and was able to turn and snap from twenty metres out. As the Dees went straight back on the attack, their composure was so impressive. They continued to tackle hard but their kicking was calm and measured to the end.

Melbourne have certainly answered their detractors. Their game has moved up another level. Will they be able to reproduce it in Perth on Sunday? Fremantle will have dissected their opponents tactics and will be prepared to take us on. They’re a team who can take control even when trailing by a few goals so the Dees can’t be complacent.

Melbourne will be grateful for the extra day to recover but the notoriously partisan crowd out west will be unforgiving in their loathing of our players.

For now though, all Demon fans can be justifiably proud of their team and their superhuman performance.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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