Round 10 – Waalitj Marawar V Narrm

Liam Chambers

Eagles boosted by the home crowd

The hosts looked inspired early as Jake Waterman took a contested mark deep in the left pocket, then slotted the 50m set shot. Cabel Windsor returned the favour a few minutes later, when he was spot on with his own set shot from 50m.

A loose ball in the square then allowed Jack Darling to volley the ball from directly in front to put his side seven points ahead. Unfortunately Darling’s shin collided with Jake Lever’s head, forcing the key defender to leave the ground before eventually being subbed out of the game.

It was better news for Narrm when Kysaiah Pickett was taken high and awarded a free kick in front of goal. His 40m shot was on target, making it a one point game. Not for long though, as former Demon Jayden Hunt took a diving mark inside 50 and slotted the set shot.

Almost immediately, Waalitj Marawar was another goal up as Harley Reid grabbed the ball after the bounce, then tore up the field, sprinting and bouncing, while leaving Christian Petracca in his wake. His driving kick from just inside the arc sailed through.

There were no more goals before quarter time, but worryingly for Narrm, their opponents looked to be playing their best game of the season so far, with the home crowd cheering them on; drowning out the small cohort of Demon fans.

Narrm manage to stay in touch

Statistically, Waalitj Marawar was dominating Narrm in all the key areas and showing no sign of relenting, as the second term got underway.

Liam Ryan, returning from injury, showed he’s lost none of his good form, marking and scoring from 30m in front. The lead was now out to twenty one points. Another veteran, Jack Darling, was also showing good form when he marked and slotted his second of the afternoon.

Arresting their rivals momentum was debutant Shane McAdam, who marked in the square before immediately turning and kicking the sherrin across the goal line. It was back to back majors when Narrm won the hitout, then got the ball to Kade Chandler, who launched from just inside 50.

Narrm had three in a row when Ben Brown snapped form the boundary and watched as the ball bounced across the line. The big key forward even surprised himself with that amazing effort.

The margin was back to ten points and Demon fans would have been forgiven for thinking their side had turned the footy tide and it would be an easy sprint to the finish line. Sadly, a few minutes later Ryan Maric managed to take a mark just to the right of goal and the lead was stretched back out to seventeen points.

Then the hero of round 9, Christian Petracca, was infringed as he went for the ball in front of goal. His 30m set shot was cleanly taken.

No rest in the west as Demons continue to struggle for momentum

Waalitj Marawar’s thirteen point half time lead was quickly extended to twenty four, as first Jake Waterman snapped a 20m kick, then Reuben Ginbey grabbed the ball from the air, before running on to also snap from 20m.

Finally though, Narrm was able to score from a turnover, when Alex Neal-Bullen found himself on the receiving end of a mistake in defence and he punished the Eagles with a scorching 40m bullet. Bailey Fritsch was having a quiet game but was still able to take a contested mark, before going back to score form 40m.

Jake Waterman continued to build on his Coleman aspirations when he marked, then kicked around the corner for his hat trick. Straight after the bounce, the Waalitj was back inside 50 and Jack Darling was waiting near the top of the square. He also slotted his hat trick.

The margin was back out to twenty three points. Bailey Fritsch got his second of the term when he took contested mark deep in the pocket, then converted the difficult shot with ease.

Narrm was still struggling to find some consistent momentum as, to add further to the mountain of woes, their early efficiency in front of goal had now seemingly deserted them.

Then tragically, just before three quarter time, Harley Reid again strong armed a path towards goal, giving his side an eighteen point lead just before the siren sounded.

No exciting finish for the visitors

Fourth quarters have been a mixed bag for Narrm this season, but fans would have been hoping for a rerun of last weeks’ juggernaut.

The omens were not good though, as Jake Waterman quickly took yet another contested mark on the edge of the square and built on his already impressive tally.

Bailey Fritsch kept the dream alive briefly, with his contested mark and conversion from 50m. Narrm continued to hang on but were unable to make further gains on the scoreboard.

Then Jake Waterman popped up again to snatch another strong mark and drilled his 40m set shot. It only got worse for Narrm when Liam Ryan took a diving mark just inside the arc, then went back to make sure of his shot.

As the minutes continued to tick down, so did the last hopes of a momentous Demon comeback.

Then Jamie Cripps dribbled the ball across the line, in what seemed like an unnecessarily cruel pierce to the heart of the visiting fans and those of us watching around the country.

We undoubtably underestimated our rivals, who always raise their game at home, and we have to admit we lacked the desperation to raise our own game when challenged.

Next round we’re back at the MCG to face St Kilda. It’s been said before, but it bears repeating. There are no easy games.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!