Demons Slay Hawks (The Dream Continues)

September 20, 2018 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 






Semi Final – Hawthorn Vs Melbourne – Demons Slay Hawks (The Dream Continues)

By Liam Chambers

Suddenly Melbourne is looking like a contender. A month ago the chances of securing a finals berth was receding after we failed in our efforts against Sydney. The remaining games were against two in form sides that were looking to finish in the top four. Then we flew to Perth and confounded the critics. The following week we beat the Giants, showing our previous win was no anomaly.

Even though we were expected to put up a good fight against Geelong, the conventional wisdom was with the experienced Cats; yet we prevailed again. Finally, Friday night’s performance showed how much Melbourne has grown as a team. When Hawthorn applied unrelenting pressure in the third and especially the fourth quarters, the Dee’s response was magnificent. There may have been some concerns amongst the supporters but the lads rallied and rose to the occasion.

The first quarter was an even stevens affair at nineteen points apiece. There were two goals from T Mac and a six pointer from Petracca who was having the time of his life. Finals footy brings out the stars and Christian Petracca was making sure his name was up there in lights. Speaking of stars, Neville Jetta showed yet again why he is one of the best defenders in AFL. He should never have been over looked as an All Australian; if they were compiling that team this week he would be the first pick. He was a contender for best player along with Jack Viney who is turning and twisting his way out of impossible situations.

In the second quarter, Melbourne continued to take the fight to Hawthorn with Max Gawn showing more comfort in front of goal, scoring the opener. Sam Weideman was always going to struggle trying to match last week’s display but he got the second goal for the Dees in the eight minute. Similarly, Angus Brayshaw was less central but also kicked a goal to keep Melbourne in front. All in all a solid performance but the Hawks were still very much in the game.

The Dees were bringing the pride back to Melbourne and you could see how delighted the fans were at the way their team was playing. Hawthorn continued to threaten and piled the pressure on in an attempt to get the upper hand. Sam Weideman got his second at the start of the third quarter to extend Melbourne’s lead but the Hawks kept attacking. Paul Puopolo got one back before Tom McDonald secured his hat trick.

A turning point in the match came with just over four minutes to go in the quarter. Jack Gunston was storming in and kicked what looked like a certain goal, only to have it ricochet off the post for a minor score. Less than a minute later, after a beautiful run of play from the Demons, Alex Neal-Bullen scored at the other end. This was the first of three unanswered goals for Melbourne with Mitch Hannan and Angus Brayshaw both scoring before the siren.

Hawthorn knew they would have to produce something amazing in the last quarter if they had any chance of winning. Well, they almost achieved their aim. The Hawks kicked all of the first twenty points including three unanswered goals. When Jarryd Roughead slotted home his first goal of the game, reducing the margin to twelve points, something spectacular and inspirational was required from Melbourne.

Jake Melksham take a bow. In a post match interview, Max Gawn confided that he was supposed to take a rest at the same time as the opposing ruck man McEvoy. He defied the bench so he could be involved in the hit out and try to secure an advantage for the Demons. He was successful in the ruck, allowing Angus Brayshaw to kick the ball to Melksham who scored the goal of the finals so far. Satisfied, Maxy trotted off for a well earned rest. Moments like that show why Melbourne can go all the way. After that, the Dees had the momentum and the confidence to seal the deal and didn’t the fans love it.

The Eagles’ game will be a monumental task. Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling are back and the hostility of the Perth crowd will be hugely daunting. All supporters take their passion up a notch when a grand final spot is on the line but the parochial Perth crowd will be something else.

We will be the underdogs again but that’s the way we like it.  My predictions is for a Melbourne V Collingwood Final (sorry Tigers’ fans). We need to get revenge for that Queen’s birthday game.

“May The Dees Be With You!”








HAWTHORN 3.1 3.7 6.9 10.11 (71)
MELBOURNE 3.1 6.2 12.5 16.8 (104)
Hawthorn: Gunston 3, Schoenmakers 2, Roughead 2, Worpel, Puopolo, Smith
Melbourne: T. McDonald 4, Weideman 2, Brayshaw 2, Melksham 2, Spargo 2, Petracca, Gawn, Neal-Bullen, Hannan


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