Dog Day Afternoon – Dees v Bulldogs – AFLW

March 26, 2018 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 7 of the AFLW and a blustery evening on Whitten Oval when the Dees faced off against the Bulldogs.

Liam Chambers

This was the most important game of the season. A win for the Dees was crucial; no second chances.

Melbourne went out blazing with the wind at their backs. They had to score goals early & put as many as possible between the Doggies sticks in the first quarter. “Rocky” Cranston was determined to bring her best game to the showdown hitting well in the ruck and tackling fiercely. Paxman got a free early on & used the wind to her advantage kicking beautifully at goal only to have it touched on the line. Bianca Jakobsson was back after a week off & marking brilliantly. The Dees were throwing everything at the Bulldogs but couldn’t seem to break their defence. Then a free awarded to Cranston finally changed that. The kick from 40 metres out sailed through the uprights with no chance of being touched this time. It was looking like Cranston & Paxman were going to provide the inspiration for the historic win. Inspired by Rocky’s goal the team upped their efforts Daisy Pearce, Paxman & Newman going full bolt.

Even Mel Hickey joined in with a few coaching tips from the bench. Then with less than 5 minutes remaining in the quarter, Lampard landed awkwardly & had to be assisted from the field. After the season ending injury to Hickey last week everything was crossed for Sarah. Cunningham, so crucial to last week’s big win was unable to move freely as Lauren Spark stuck like glue preventing Tegan’s natural game. The Bulldogs, barely inside Melbourne’s 50m line all quarter launched a major offensive in the last 90 seconds. Luckily our defence held well and was able to prevent the Doggies from breaking through.

The 2nd quarter started well for the Dees; limiting the Bulldogs to 2 behinds in the first 5 minutes. They knew that the wind was against them now and they fought to stop the Dogs gaining any momentum. Then Emma Kearney was high tackled, awarded a free & slotted in a goal from 45 metres out. A few minutes later Katie Brennan was gifted a shot on goal from a few metres out. With their confidence sky high, everything seemed to be going the Bulldog’s way & a loose ball was scooped up by Berry who has a clear run at goal and she didn’t waste the opportunity. The Demons needed an answer and the talented Ms Paxman provided it. Seizing an uncontested mark she held her nerve & the ball soared through the uprights bringing the scores to 20 – 14 just before half time.

The third quarter started very well for Melbourne with Smith kicking a goal to put the Dees back in front. Then it looked like Alisha Newman was going re-enact her brilliant goal from Round 2 but unfortunately this time she just shot wide & her punch to the goal post summed up all the fans frustrations; we all felt her pain & the missed opportunity would proved critical. For all their great tackling and tactics the Dees went in at the end of the third quarter only 5 points ahead. This was all going to come down to the last quarter. Every Demon fan was on edge but no one could doubt the Girl’s determination and they were not going to die wondering.

I try not to comment on umpiring decisions but the free given against Harriet Cordner was something that we can justifiably feel aggrieved at. “A dubious free at best” I believe were the commentators words. I think he was being very generous but them’s the breaks. Conti didn’t make any mistakes with her kick in front of goal and suddenly it was 27 – 20. Melbourne wasn’t done yet and with seven minutes to go Newman kicked the ball well inside 50 where a diving mark by Kate Hore had hearts thumping. She didn’t disappoint with her superb kick from distance and at 27 – 31 in favour of the Dees, it was all to play for.

We defended and played with brilliant tactics to deny the Bulldogs until 90 seconds from the final siren. Much as it saddens me to write the words, a nice close lob to Lochland who turned quickly and put it though the sticks sealed the game for the Dogs. The pain of that moment will stay with me for a long time. We played so well and out played the Bulldogs in three of the quarters it’s only natural to feel a sense of injustice at the final score of 33 – 31.

Nothing else to say really except well done to all the players for a great season, short though it was and let’s come back better than ever in 2019


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