Narrm comfortably win debut game

May 27, 2022 by
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons, Sponsoring James 

Round 10 – North Melbourne V Narrm

Liam Chambers

After last week’s stellar display against a passionate and determined Eagles in Perth, the Dees were back in Melbourne. Their first game under a temporary moniker, the players looked impressive in newly designed Indigenous guernseys. For the Sir Doug Nicholls rounds, I’ll be referring to our team as Narrm.

The more games the Demons win, the more our opponents want to beat us. The Roos would definitely go in hard initially but their 2022 form has seen them flagging in the latter stages of the game.

No first minute goal this week, in fact it took ten on the clock before Ed Langdon was awarded a free kick for what was deemed a dangerous tackle. It may have technically been within the rules, but Ed would have been feeling the pain. It didn’t interfere with his kicking skills though and he made the round the corner kick look easy.

North finally made it back inside 50 where Todd Goldstein was able to outmark Steven May (no easy feat) in front of goal. He converted and the Roos were on the board. The goal inspired the hosts and they were quickly back in their forward half. North were applying the pressure and creating chances. Young future hopeful Jason Horne-Francis intercepted the stoppage ball before being taken high in a tackle. His set shot gave North Melbourne their second goal in the space of a few minutes.

Now the Roos were brimming with confidence and putting Narrm’s defence under some serious strain. The disposal rate was impressive, as was their tackling and kicking efficiency.

However the Demons kept their heads and thought their way out of trouble before continuing up the ground. When Charlie Spargo spotted Tom McDonald in a favourable position, he pinpointed his kick to the big forward. T Mac easily took the contested mark and went back to score from 30m out. Shortly afterwards, Trent Rivers had a lucky break when awarded a free kick, then a 50m penalty. No comment. His 50m set shot was terrific and Narrm had a handy nine point lead.

North was full of surprises though and they won the centre clearance launching the ball straight inside 50. Cameron Zurhaar gathered the loose ball and snapped a rocket from 45m. The ball sailed through for the Roos’ third.

Bayley Fritsch had a second chance on goal after his tackle near the square won him a free kick. His round the corner snap was textbook and the Dees had a ten point lead at quarter time.

Ben Brown was playing his 150th game and his work rate was as good as ever. Unfortunately he was having difficulty connecting with the target when it came to adding to his tally for the season. Possibly the pressure of the milestone was a playing on his mind.

Nick Larkey had no such distractions when he went back to kick his 40m set shot. There was no doubt that the Roos were feeling the passion and the home fans were ecstatic. Unfortunately, it was bad news for the Dees when Ed Langdon was subbed out due to the earlier incident in the first term. On the bright side though, it gave Toby Bedford another chance to gain some top flight game experience.

First though, there was the question of a resurgent North Melbourne. Cameron Zurhaar got his second goal when his set shot split the middle. The Roos were in front and the roar of the crowd was deafening. Luck was on Narrm’s side though as Tom McDonald was awarded a free kick to the side of goal. North’s fans were far from happy with respect to the Umpire’s allegedly dubious decision.

Tom remained unflustered by the crowd’s boos reigning down from above and slotted another round the corner kick for the Dees. The luck continued after Christian Petracca’s kick from 60m landed out on the full. Kyron Hayden kicked it straight to Bayley Fritsch who kicked straight into the goal.

Trailing by two goals, North would need to dig deep to win back the momentum they’d built earlier in the term. Then it got just a little bit harder when Kysaiah Pickett marked 40m out in the pocket and kicked as clean a set shot as you could wish for.

Cameron Zurhaar continued to keep North Melbourne in the game. His round the corner snap 20m from goal brought up his hat trick and it was back to twelve points. The Roos were definitely making a competition of it but Narrm were proving increasingly difficult to fend off. Then Kysaiah Pickett got in his own Demon zone and when he does that, there’s no stopping him. It was a case of receiving the handball at 60m out, then a bit of bobbing and weaving before launching a kick from 30m and watching it sail through.

North continued to duke it out with the Dees but were unable to add to their tally by half time.

A lead of twenty points going into the second half was a solid base to build on but the Dees continued to face challenges form the Roos. When Jack Ziebell marked the ball from 40m out and kicked the set shot, North was right back in it. They continued to give it a red hot go but Narrm dealt calmly with the pressure. The defence performed all sorts of acrobatics but continued to hold North Melbourne at bay.

Eventually, the pressure proved too much, and the dam broke. It was Tristan Xerri who provided the final input needed when he received the handpass at the top of the square and drop kicked the ball to make it a one goal game. The Roos continued to believe and continued to keep Narrm goalless in the third quarter.

That was until Ben Brown took a mark on the the edge of 50m. Brown saw Toby Bedford running into clear space and didn’t hesitate to place the ball ahead of him. It bounced just in front of the small forward and Bedford collected, ran on before kicking through the posts and high into the middle of the adoring Demon fans.

Ben Brown was involved again when his lumbering gathering and passing of the ball found Jake Melksham. The forward snapped it from 50m and watched it land on the correct side of the goal line. It was a cruel blow for North on the cusp of three quarter time but also illustrated why the reigning premiers have not lost a single game in the last seventeen outings.

At the start of the final term, Narrm looked intent on finishing the game in style and set off with a focused determination. It didn’t take long for the effort to pay off when a Charlie Spargo hand pass to Tom Sparrow saw the midfielder with enough room to turn and chip one into the open goal.

Tom McDonald is proving adept at marking the ball in difficult circumstances and the control to take the ball just under his chest was impressive. He went back and scored his hat trick. The thirty four point lead was now looking unassailable for North Melbourne.

Max Gawn has been relatively quiet in front of goal over the last couple of games but he had an opportunity when he was awarded a free kick 25m out form goal. Gawny has scored spectacular majors from 50m this year but the fans are still nervous when he’s closer to the target. They need not have worried as Big Max’s aim was spot on and the margin ticked up to thirty nine points. Immediately after the bounce, Bayley Fritsch had another and the Dees’ total was ninety nine points on the board.

Overall, it was another solid win. When you’re top of the table, there as no easy games but Round 11 will be a major test for the Demons. Though not as unblemished after two loses in a row, Freemantle are still a formidable side. Is there rain forecast for Saturday afternoon?

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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