How The Dees Won The West

March 24, 2021 by
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons 

Round 8 – Melbourne v Fremantle

Liam Chambers

The temperature was high at 30C but the stakes were higher. If Melbourne could win in Perth, they were in the finals without worrying about anyone leapfrogging them next week. Fremantle have gained a reputation as slow starters so the Dees needed to make the most of their early chances in front of goal.

The first opportunity came early when Maddi Gay kicked from the 50m line to Kate Hore who marked and converted to take the points. When Shelley Scott was held, Kate Hore had her second look at the uprights, substituting for Scott who ran off the pitch for treatment to a hand injury. Two in a row for the talented forward.

Since Daisy Pearce has taken up her new position up front, she has been even more influential and inspiring. Her mark and intelligent kick to Eliza McNamara set up the third Melbourne goal.

Up the other end Gabby O’Sullivan scored for the Dockers but the goal was disallowed due to free given for an off the ball push in the back incident. Kate Hore almost scored a fourth for the Dees in the last seconds but it drifted wide in a let off for Freo.

Melbourne started the second quarter tackling hard and limiting the Dockers’ chances. Karen Paxman and Jacqui Parry shots on goal only resulted in minor scores. Then Daisy again showed her footy smarts when she curled the ball brilliantly towards goal. The sherrin took a couple of lucky bounces before crossing the line to put the Dees 28 to 1 in front.

Of course Fremantle were always going to come charging back but their efficiency let them down. They peppered the goal with shot after shot but couldn’t land the crucial six pointer. Luck was definitely a lady to Melbourne and they finished the first half with a twenty three point margin. After the break the Dockers continued their fierce attack on the visitors but again failed to reduce the gap on the score board.

Finally Gabby O’Sullivan was awarded a free and scored from the set shot with two minutes to go in the quarter. Melbourne just needed to hold on and not do anything silly. Unfortunately a lapse of concentration in defence allowed Roxy Rous to scoop up the ball and run it through to score for Freo with ten seconds left on the clock. To add insult to injury, Rous got all up in the faces of the Melbourne players and there was quite a bit of pushing and pulling as tempers flared.

The Dees, who seconds earlier looked to be going into the final quarter with a nineteen point lead, now had a more precarious two goal margin. The Dockers were now brimming with confidence and the home crowd were cheering them on with a partisan passion unique to the west. Even in a small footy ground that crowd can be quite intimidating.

Melbourne just needed to forget the mishaps and focus on winning the game. Their victory against the Crows last week would strengthened their believe that they could withstand the immense pressure from a side used to finishing strongly. That belief was seriously shaken when Roxy Rous got her second and the pressure was all on the Dees.

Fremantle had the momentum and there was only one goal in it. When Gemma Houghton scored from a set shot and put the home side one point in front, the Demon fans were hiding behind the couch, occasionally poking their head up to see what was happening on the field. There was eight minutes to go but it felt more like eighty to the nervous faithful watching in Perth and across the country.

Daisy Pearce didn’t seem worried though as she took a contested mark in the middle of the ground. While she was looking for a Dee to kick to, she was awarded a 50m penalty for a Freo infringement. You can’t teach instinct and when Daisy spotted Maddison Gay in a great position 30m to the left of goal, she didn’t wait to run the full fifty metres, instead kicking the ball to Gay who obliged by taking the mark. The set shot needed to be perfect and it was.

Suddenly Melbourne were five points ahead and the pressure was back on Fremantle who lost some of their confidence. The Dees pushed forwarded and the Dockers made mistakes in their attempt to win back the lead. Melbourne remained composed and calmly got the ball out of danger again and again.

Fremantle threw everything at their opponents in the last minute but the Dees were equal to the task. When the final siren sounded, they knew they’d scored an historic win.

Next week it’s back to Casey to take on the Lions. I wouldn’t bet against Melbourne.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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