Dees Quench The Firey Suns

July 18, 2020 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 6 – Melbourne Vs Gold Coast Suns

Liam Chambers

Finally Melbourne got off the canvas and started floating and stinging. Still a long way to go but the fight is there and Simon Goodwin is a very relieved Coach.  Both sides looked determined from the start and the Suns exerted the early pressure to score first, courtesy of Brandan Ellis, from 40 metres out.  The Dees recovered and hit back in style.

An outward kick from the edges of Gold Coast’s goal square was grabbed by Christian Salem, who was immediately tackled. Salem though, was on his feet immediately to received a vandenBerg handball, which he cleverly tapped to Jack Viney. Viney twisted and turned 180 degrees before kicking to an unmarked Christian Petracca. Tracca spun and ran before kicking a perfectly placed goal to put Melbourne on the scoreboard. Later, a turn and spin snap kick from 40 metres gave debutant Izac Rankine his first goal. Not a bad start for the young lad.

With three minutes to go, The Suns showed why they’re so dangerous, even without star recruit Matt Rowell; Lachie Weller outwitting Jake Lever in a game of cat & mouse to score from a tight angle and 55 metres out. At the end of the quarter, Melbourne was looking more confident than in recent weeks. Unfortunately, Tom MacDonald suffered an eye injury and would spend the rest of the game on the bench. For once we couldn’t blame Toby Greene.

The second term started with Kysaiah Pickett awarded a free kick on the 50 metre line. Spotting James Harmes, Pickett delivered another accurate kick to set up a scoring shot. Harmes didn’t disappoint. Melbourne’s next goal was a combination of opportunism, luck and skill as Christian Salem plucked the ball from a Suns’ free kick inside 50. Salem ran towards goal and calmly kicked the ball beautifully to put the Dees in the lead. A brilliant and rare goal from the number three. As the camera swept over the ecstatic Demon fans, Coffs Harbour representative Jacqui Parry was seen cheering enthusiastically.

It seemed more Dees were anxious to get on the scoreboard and Michael Hibberd didn’t waste a 50 metre penalty. His kick from the inside 50 line sailed through perfectly. Melbourne had more chances to put further pressure on Gold Coast but unfortunately couldn’t add to the tally. Tracca’s fresh air kick is destined to be replayed many times, much to his embarrassment.

Harley Bennell was determined to make an impression and his kick was acrobatically marked by Sam Weiderman and duly converted.
Despite trailing by eighteen points, the Suns, sensing a possible change in momentum, upped the ante and put two away to reduce the margin to 41-34 at the half way mark.

Melbourne went into the second half determined not to let the Gold Coast’s resurgence unsettle them. Viney was proving to be instrumental to the Dees’ scoring chances when he got the ball to Max Gawn who saw Mitch Hannan waiting. Hannan noticed Jake Melksham in a good position who then marked and subsequently scored from 40 metres out. An encouraging sign was the increasing accuracy of Demons’ kicks from set shots.

Also, both captain Max Gawn and last season’s co captain Jack Viney were lethal in their execution from the initial centre bounce of the game; no doubt stinging from the overwhelming criticism of their underwhelming start to the 2020 campaign. Harley Bennell was still desperately searching for his first goal in Demon colours. Just when he thought the breakthrough had come, the video ref deemed his kick to have been touched. Not by God as he first hoped but by Gold Coast.

Izac Rankine continued to have an electric effect on the game and his second was a soccer chip from a chaotic scramble 20 metres out from goal.
Bailey Fritsch took the tip and kicked one back from ground level at the order end. The preceding clever tap on from Kysaiah Pickett landing nicely for Fritsch.

Melbourne was ahead by a less than inspiring three points going into the final quarter but luck seemed to be on our side when the Suns hit the post in the opening thirty seconds. Mitch Hannan proved his mettle when his tackle inside 50 won him a free kick which he converted for the Dees’ eight of the game. Sam Weiderman was determined to keep his place in the side with a mark in front of goal from a Hannan kick. Goal number nine for Melbourne and counting.

In a sign of how vitally important a win was for the players, fans but especially the Coach, was Simon Goodwin’s presence on the sideline. Clayton Oliver, also having a revival of his own, then conveniently placed an accurate kick into the waiting hands of Petracca. Tracca’s ensuing accurate kick from 50 metres out showed how much his game has matured this year. A visibly relieved Goody cheered from the sideline.

Well, a Hollywood script requires a Hollywood ending and in almost saccharin sweet style, Jack Viney kicks down the field, willing the ball to get as close to goal as possible. In hot pursuit was catalytic goal converter Kysaiah Pickett. Pickett grabbed the ball from a high bounce and kicked a perfect sideways strike across the goal square into the grateful hands of Harley Bennell. The former Sun was never going to miss the opportunity and the resulting goal after the siren had the entire contingent of Melbourne players piling on to congratulate Bennell; eventually totally obscuring him from view.

A convincing win in the end but Melbourne knows there’s a long way to go and Round 7’s game against the Hawks will be tough. Even though the players are out of the Melbourne press glare, they will still be aware of the relentless criticism directed at them. If they can used that as constructively as they did against Gold Coast then there’s hope for the red and the blue this year.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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