Lions Slip Through The Net At The Last Minute

July 28, 2020 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 8 – Melbourne Vs Brisbane

Liam Chambers

So close you could reach out and grab it! Unfortunately we couldn’t get a tight enough grip and it slipped through our fingers in the end. It’s disappointing but we lost to a side sitting second on the ladder. Certainly we lacked the flow and energy of last’s weeks game; however the last quarter contained some encouraging signs.

Jake Melksham opened Melbourne’s account for the afternoon with a soccer kick from just outside the goal square. He’s shaping up to be a handy goal scorer for the Dees. Bailey Fritsch got the second with another soccer kick. He may still need more practice with his set shots but the grounds kicks are coming along splendidly.

After the even handed first term, the second quarter belonged to the Lions. Apart from Bailey Fritsch’s second goal, the Dees struggled. Then Neville Jetta sustained not one but two head knocks that took him off the field for assessment. However he returned, sporting a head bandage and continued his difficult job of looking after Charlie Cameron.

With the Lions leading 36-21 at the start of the second half, the game was still very much within Melbourne’s reach. Unfortunately Jetta’s attempt at a rushed behind went out on the full and conceded a free kick which Charlie Cameron converted. Matters didn’t improve when Kysaiah Pickett didn’t see a handball chance in front of goal and instead kicked wide for a minor score.

Finally, Bailey Fritsch, after slipping, got the ball to Mitch Hannan who also slipped before hand balling to Jake Melksham who kicked beautifully for his second goal. Suddenly Melbourne had a surge of confidence and Clayton Oliver’s hand ball to Harley Bennell looked like a certain goal. Bennell ran and kicked from fifteen metres out but somehow managed to just miss. It was just one of those afternoons. When Charlie Cameron ran towards goal and kicked his second less than a minute later, the Dees were left ruing their missed opportunities.

With Melbourne behind by eighteen points at the start of the final term, the odds seemed stacked against them. No one told Jack Viney though. The hardest working Demon kept grinding and finally got his reward with a tidy snap kick from fifteen metres out. Former captain Nathan Jones was awarded a fifty metre penalty which he didn’t waste. His ensuing kick from thirty metres sailed through perfectly and suddenly it was the Lions who were on the back foot.

When Jake Melksham kicked his third goal from the fifty metre line, the margin was reduced to two points and Demon fans reduced to nervous wrecks while the clock continued to tick down. We came tantalisingly close when Bailey Fritsch marked the ball just out on the full. For a split second I thought he had it but it was not to be. Bailey didn’t want to let go of the ball though. I think he was hoping it was all just a misunderstanding. Then he was penalised. Oh the injustice.

If only we could have played every quarter like the last one, we’d be knocking on the door of the top eight now. We only have a four day break before Round 9. It’s never easy playing Port Adelaide and this year will be even tougher. If we can sustain our brand for the four quarters I really believe we can cause an upset.

I’ll never be a Coach but the only thing I know that really works is extra practice. I remember training at my Karate club when I was a teenager and seeing the people who got there early and worked hard on the basic moves. They would be the same ones who stayed back and practiced when everyone else was getting dressed and having a smoke (I know, it was the Eighties). I used to think it was funny to waste your time practicing so much. That was until I had to face them when we did some individual sparring. Somehow it wasn’t so funny when I was getting my butt kicked all over the floor. Maybe there was something to this practicing thing after all.

Go the Mighty Dees!


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