It’s Raining in Dees’ Hearts

May 26, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

Round 10 – Yartapuuti V Narrm

Liam Chambers

There are a handful of sides you don’t want to play on their home turf. Brisbane and Geelong obviously but Port Adelaide (Yartapuuti) at the Oval can be formidable. Maybe not as scary as the Eagles in Perth pre covid but intimidating nonetheless. Factor in six wins in a row for Port and the Demons knew they would need to at their best going in. Oh yeah and don’t forget the tsunami conditions (bit of poetic licence there).

It started well when Narrm were gifted a 50m penalty after Max Gawn was restricted in attempting to run to the goal square. Kade Chandler was the beneficiary, and he kicked the goal from 10m in front. The Power’s reply was swift when Sam Powell-Pepper kicked the ball over his shoulder, a metre from the goal line, to balance the ledger.

The rain started pouring down in the latter part of the term, making conditions difficult. The players were slip sliding in all directions, making marking or even picking up the sherrin an exercise in frustration. Port had the better of the play but couldn’t make it pay on the scoreboard. Then with two minutes to go, Jeremy Finlayson was able to take advantage of the loose bouncing ball, tapping it in from 15m.

Trailing by one goal at quarter time would have been acceptable to the Demons considering how many opportunities the opposition had squandered. Unfortunately, with thirty seconds to go, Jason Horne-Francis was awarded a free kick. He booted his 40m set shot after the siren and Port was twelve points in front.

With Yartapuuti playing so well, they would have preferred to be ahead by more but had the game under their control. Narrm on the other hand needed to raise their game if they were to be competitive. Regrettably, the Dees didn’t get the start they were looking for. With less than thirty seconds played in the term, Ryan Burton took a contested mark 20m to the left of goal. He converted to push his team’s lead out to eighteen points.

Another centre clearance win and Narrm’s defence was really feeling the pressure. Fortunately, the Power couldn’t make the most of their chances, keeping the margin within the Dees’ reach.
Narrm was being held captive in their own defensive half and, more often than not, in their defensive 50. Even when they managed to break out, they were quickly corralled back. Still, they managed to valiantly hold off the marauding hordes.

Port finally broke through however, when Dan Houston took a hand pass and was able to launch from 45m and increase the lead to twenty five points. Then with everything seemingly going Yartapuuti’s way, the Dees got a pressure relieving break when Bailey Fritsch marked a beautifully placed kick from Charlie Spargo. Fritsch executed the 30m set shot perfectly to give Narrm their first goal since early in the first quarter.

Both sets of fans looked on in disbelief as Port continued to waste set shots in front of goal. They were playing some great footy, controlling and winning contested balls plus clearances but couldn’t dominate on the scoreboard.

Against the run of play, the Dees got consecutive goals when Fritsch marked again and went back to kick his 50m set shot. Narrm had a fair amount of luck in the term and with thirty seconds to go in the half, the angels looked to be on the side of the Demons as Darcy Byrne-Jones (what is it with Port and double barrelled names?) hit the upright with a relatively easy set shot.

Again it was the worst of starts for Narrm after running on for the third quarter. Ollie Lord marked the ball 10m from goal. Just to add to the misery, the rain started to pour down again. The outlook was grim on all fronts.

Then, Tom McDonald announced his comeback by taking a contested mark on his chest, directly in front of goal. His conversion was accurate, giving the Dees some much needed breathing space.
Just as Narrm was having their best spell of the game, the villain of the piece Zac Butters took a mark inside 50. His set shot from 50m sailed through, dampening the spirits of the Demon faithful.

All was not lost though as Christian Petracca was able to gather the slippery sherrin in horrendous conditions and snap it off the outside of his boot. The margin was back to fifteen. Narrm then got consecutive goals for the second time on the night when Kade Chandler’s kick found Jacob van Rooyen a mere 10m to the left of the square. The tables appeared to have turned in the Dees’ favour.

As if to emphasis the change in fortunes, Kysaiah Pickett marked the ball 40m from home. He didn’t wait to set up his shot but instead quickly turned and kicked to bring Narrm with one point of Port. A minute later and Charlie Spargo turned and snapped from 20m to give the Dees a five point advantage. With just over three minutes remaining in the quarter, Lachie Hunter managed to control the bouncing ball in the pouring rain and from an impossible angle somehow booted it through the uprights.

It was just over a minute later when Brodie Grundy was held off the mark and awarded a free kick 35m from goal. He converted to stretch the lead to seventeen points; an incredible thirty eight point turnaround from earlier in the term. Under perfect circumstances, it would have stayed at that, but the ubiquitous Zac Butters was able to drag it back to eleven with his 50m set shot after the siren. If only…

While the rain continued to fall, the intensity continued to rise. Port piled on the pressure in a desperate attempt to win back the ascendency. Then disaster, when van Rooyen was pinged for retaliating against Jeremy Finlayson. It’s one of the cruel ironies of life; the put upon get rapped when they strike back. Finlayson made the most of his set shot and reduced the margin to four points.

After their almost complete dominance in the third quarter, the Dees were once again being held in their own half by Yartapuuti. Once again though Port struggled to land the knockout punch, only racking up some minor scores, but steadily tightening the gap. Then Ollie Lord took a diving mark 10m to the left of goal. He took his time before cleanly kicking around the corner to give Port back the lead.

However the Demons still had something left in the tank, and when Tom McDonald took a mark inside 50 from a Petracca kick, the fans collectively willed him to score. T Mac didn’t disappoint, splitting the middle with his 45m kick. Kade Chandler had a chance to extend the lead but his running banana kick from the pocket just skimmed the outside of the post.

The lead changed hands again when Connor Rozee was able to snap a goal from just outside the square landing on his back as the ball sailed through. It was again a four point game; this time with Narrm chasing. The stakes couldn’t be higher with players on both sides giving their all in an attempt to land the winning goal.

In the end Yartapuuti hung on for a narrow win and Narrm was left to wonder what could have been. Simon Goodwin said afterwards that the loss will help them grow as a side and that’s positive.

I think we still haven’t quite got back to that overwhelming team spirit that we showed week in week out in 2021 but we’re getting there.

Go the Mighty Narrm!!!


Marking time in the spirit of the game…

May 25, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons, Our history, Our stories 
Warne Smith cartoon

Happy 90th birthday Demons and let us not forget the incomparable Ivor Warne Smith

Nigel Dawe

NOT for the first time this decade, have I been dismayed by the temporal provisional nature of the manner in which modern day scribes and all-referring record purveyors herald the deeds of players who grace our fields.

The first was the way in which Dusty Martin was wrapped in platinum for being the inaugural player to B.O.G in three grand finals (not taking anything away from his incredible efforts in those three big dances) but it came at the direct expense of Percy Beames’ three grand final B.O.G efforts in a row (1939-40-41) – efforts I might add, that were not referenced in any way at the time (or since).

All this week I’ve been tormented by the same aversion by those ‘in the know’ when it comes to the actual facts behind the records we hold up and celebrate as such. While Darcy Moore’s 10 grabs in defence were stellar last week, they were not by any means ‘the greatest’, albeit anywhere near the output of Ivor Warne-Smith in the 1925 preliminary final (which was ironically against the magpies).

In what has clearly long since, and very sadly drifted into history, the future dual Brownlow medallist and all-time Melbourne great, Warne-Smith pulled in an almost unfathomable tally of 9 marks (in defence) in 11 absolute lightning-like minutes of the 3rd quarter of that prelim final (all whilst plugging the gaps caused by the side being reduced to 15 men). A match Melbourne would gallantly go on to lose by 37-points.

Incredibly, it is not known how many other marks Warne-Smith took that day nearly a century ago at the ‘G, but you’d hazard a guess it was considerably more than the nine he took in that confined blistering spell; the recording of individual statistics for things like possessions and all manner of other performance related metrics were absolute decades away from being outright captured, let alone even vaguely ‘looked for’.

I must admit I have a chronic red and blue tinged soft spot for Warne-Smith, to the point he is my all-time favourite footballer. The fact he was a returned Gallipoli soldier (who also lost a lung after being gassed in the trenches of France) before he played his first game for Melbourne, is something I consider so astonishing, that it will never be eclipsed.

Can you imagine the recruiter’s report in this day and age – “Candidate is missing one entire lung through active war service!?” The poor guy wouldn’t even get the nod for a time trial, let alone onto a team list to prove the science wrong through his own ticker and tenacity.

Another intriguing, albeit hugely endearing facet of this indestructible man is the fact he worked most game days shovelling coal for the railways very early in the morning, after which he’d enjoy a schooner or two with mates before heading off to the football to play in such a way that he is still considered one of, if not the greatest players to ever wear the red and blue.

If all the above weren’t deft defying enough, how’s the fact Ivor turned his back on the bright lights of Melbourne (after one season in 1919) and went to Tasmania for a period of 5-years in his early 20s (which are arguably any players ‘best years’ when it comes to footy) and became an apple farmer, which is something I admire.

Warne-Smith then resumed his career with Melbourne in 1925, within 12-months he had won his first Brownlow medal, but back then there was only one vote awarded by a field umpire for each game, which somehow makes the award seemingly much harder to win. The 3-2-1 method wasn’t to be introduced until after Warne-Smith claimed his second medal in 1928.

And finally, happy 90th birthday to our mascot-moniker of the demons, this weekend (being round 11) marks, at three-quarter time, the precise occasion that ‘Checker’ Hughes glared at his trailing troops back in 1933 and implored them: “Lift your heads and start playing like demons!”

Prior to this, our side were known variously through the years as the Invincible Whites (cricketers being the first to play the game) the Metropolitans, Reds, Redlegs, Fuchsias and then of course the mighty fear-inducing foot soldiers of Lucifer himself – the Demons.

Carna Demons cartoon
90 years drawing
the demons logo


Hawks Fly Momentarily But Dees Ultimately Prevail

May 18, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

Round 9 - May

Round 9 – Hawthorn V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

After last week’s intense battle against Gold Coast, on paper the Hawks game seemed like a slightly energetic practice session.

Hawthorn coped well defensively for the first ten minutes, with Melbourne only able to score five minor points despite being inside 50 nine times. Eventually though, something had to give, and Charlie Spargo found himself just inside the 50m arc where he marked a Christian Petracca kick. His set shot had the legs, and the Dees had their first goal.

Tracca was also involved in Melbourne’s second when he managed to get a boot to the ball while being pulled back in a tackle. Harrison Petty just managed to take the mark after a low running lunge. He converted to notch up his hat trick for the season.

Having pushed hard all quarter, it was a case of the dam wall breaking when a minute later Jack Viney snapped the Demons’ third from a stoppage 20m from goal. Max Gawn got in on the act when he grabbed the ball out of the ruck and snapped it cleanly. Having held the Hawks to one point, Melbourne finished the term with a second Harrison Petty goal when he kicked another 30m shot; this time after the siren.

After a dominant first quarter, the Dees struggled to break through Hawthorns’ defence early in the second term. Finally Tom Sparrow was able to launch from 45m to score the opener.
The Hawks had a few attempts at goal but with no success. It wasn’t until Mitch Lewis took a mark 25m in front that Hawthorn got their first major.

It was a case of one ruck to another when Max Gawn’s kick from 50m was marked by Brodie Grundy just outside the square. He converted to increase Melbourne’s advantage to thirty eight points.

It was beginning to look like a more even contest with Hawthorn starting to take to take the game on with more conviction. Then Jacob van Rooyen took a mark and kicked from 25m out to notch up the Dees’ eight goal.

It was looking grim for the Hawks as they trailed by forty five points. The players, however, looked regenerated as they ran onto the ground at the start of the second half. Within twenty seconds of the centre bounce, Luke Breust had marked the ball 20m from goal. He didn’t miss with his set shot, giving the Hawks fans something to cheer about. Two minutes later, they had a second reason for optimism when young gun Cameron MacKenzie snapped his goal for Hawthorn.

The Hawks had suddenly found their mojo and were throwing everything at the Demons. Josh Weddle even felt confident enough to go back and kick after he marked right on the 50m line. Another first goal for a young Hawk and Melbourne was left slightly shaken by the remarkable turnaround in events.

Just when the home fans were daring to dream that a major upset was in the offing, they were brought abruptly back down to earth by Clayton Oliver’s kick along the ground that crossed over the line and steadied the ship.

Ed Langdon does a lot of running but has only kicked one goal this season. He doubled his tally when his set shot from the 50m arc comfortably sailed through. With the scoreline drifting back towards the half time margin, Melbourne were beginning to regain control of the match.

Then Lloyd Meek took a mark 25m in front. There was nothing meek about his set shot kick though and Hawthorn continued their third quarter goal fest. They also continued to win the centre bounce clearances, building on their momentum by taking on the Dees at their own game. That pressure again paid off when Sam Butler was awarded a free kick right in front of goal.

The Hawks now had back to back goals and five for the quarter, reducing the gap to twenty eight points.

After the bounce, Melbourne looked determined to regain the ascendancy and ran hard at Hawthorn. They were repelled initially but then Petracca launched from the 50m line. His shot dropped short but was marked by Kysaiah Pickett just shy of the behind line. Kozzie played on and kicked the ball high into the stands.

Hawthorn had a couple of opportunities to claw back more goals but only managed to kick minor scores.

The Dees also had their chances but couldn’t make them pay. At the end of the term, they were up by thirty five points. For all of Hawthorn’s dominance, Melbourne had only conceded ten points. The final quarter however was going to be interesting. Could the Hawks maintain their momentum, or would they run out of steam?

An unfortunate turnover in the first minute allowed Jai Newcombe to kick from 50m with no one home for Melbourne. The ball bounced across the line and the margin was back to an interesting twenty nine points. Considering that Hawthorn had only kicked one point in the first quarter, they had actually been competitive for the next two terms; especially so in the third.

However it seems all things must come to an end and the turning point was Trent Rivers’ bullet from the 50m line. It went high through the uprights and effectively put paid to any lingering ambitions the Hawks may have harboured.

By his standards, Bailey Fritsch has been having a couple of ordinary weeks. Nevertheless his 50m set shot to the right of goal was classic Fritsch. When Charlie Spargo gets an opportunity, he usually takes full advantage and his mark and set shot from 45m was no exception.

The Dees were pulling away at a rate of knots and there was little that Hawthorn could do about it. With two minutes to go Fritsch got a second when he snapped form 25m in front. His two goals for the term would have been a nice confidence boost for the talented forward. We will need him to be in top form when we visit Port Adelaide in round 10.

The Power are scarily good at the moment, and we will need to be at our very best to take home the goods. It’s no exaggeration to say it will be our biggest test since Brisbane at the Gabba.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


Suns Almost Burn Demons

May 13, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

Round 8 – Gold Coast V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

The Suns have promised to be competitive during the last few season but continue to fall short when it comes to reaching the finals. This year could the one though. They showed enormous courage against Melbourne in an attempt to reverse recent history.

Showing how difficult a task that would be was illustrated by Jacob van Rooyen when he took a contested mark, then went back to score the first goal, despite Gold Coast’s early dominance.

The Dees continued to hover in their forward 50 but the Suns’ defence was determined to keep them at bay. Melbourne broke through eventually when Kysaiah Pickett took a mark 30m out from goal and converted, increasing the advantage. Brodie Grundy got his name on the score sheet again this week when Mabior Chol was denied a mark close to the square. The quick thinking ruck collected the ground ball and snapped through for a goal.

The Suns finally got a major when they ran from their goal square, right through the corridor to inside 50 where Malcolm Rosas took a hand pass and made it to the edge of the square, kicking from point blank range. The tables had now seemingly flipped in Gold Coast’s favour as they piled the pressure on Melbourne’s defence. The tackling intensity increased from both sides with the fans now knowing they were watching a game.

Rosas had a chance to kick his second when he took a mark from Levi Casboult 40m in front. He didn’t disappoint the home crowd; reducing the lead to eight points. Mabior Chol reduced it to a single point when he took a hand pass and snapped the ball from 15m.

Just before quarter time, Kade Chandler continued his stellar season when he ducked and weaved his way through the Suns’ defence before kicking the ball high and bending it through the posts.

If Melbourne had any preconceived notions about emulating round 7’s high scoring demolition of the Roos, they were quickly fading as they ran on for the second term. They knew they were up against an opponent who wasn’t going to die wondering.

It was the Demons again who opened the scoring when Max Gawn took a mark from a well placed Jack Viney kick. His set shot from 20m in front went through cleanly and Melbourne was thirteen points to the good. The Dees had the majority of the play in the first five minutes, but the Suns managed to sneak one in when Levi Casboult took a contested mark in the pocket. He speared it through, putting the heat back on the visitors.

It had been a low scoring second quarter but then James Jordan got a lucky 50m penalty and made the most of it with his accurate 40m set shot. After the clearance, Melbourne got the ball straight to inside 50 where Grundy marked and converted for his second of the afternoon.

Up by twenty points, it looked like the Dees were pulling away and had the game under control; looks can be deceptive however. Melbourne again won the clearance, but this time Gold Coast was able to break out quickly and counterattack. Jack Lukosius marked right on the 50m line, then backed himself in to kick the 55m set shot. Suddenly it was a contest again.

Then it was a case of the Suns shining when Malcolm Rosas took a hand pass after a stoppage and snapped form 40m to clear the goal line. Emotions were high and rising when Mabior Chol took a mark 40m from home with half time looming. His successful set shot made it a one point game and a potentially explosive third quarter.

Then right on the cusp of the siren, Alex Neal-Bullen snapped a bullet to relieve the pressure valve, giving Melbourne the breathing space they so desperately needed.

With the margin still only seven points (recurring), the second term had been a see sawing affair. Could the Suns replicate their form from the first half, or would the Dees flick the switch and over run the home side? From the opening bounce, it was obvious Gold Coast had no intention of making it any easier for the Demons. The pressure and hard tackling continued.

Then, we witnessed one of those magic moment form Kozzie Pickett, where he effortlessly ducked, weaved and spun his way to the edge of the square before chipping high into the stands. The margin was back to out to thirteen points, but no champagne corks were popping just yet. We started the second term in similar fashion, then the Suns fought back quickly to be snapping at our heels.

As if on cue, Levi Casboult took a vice like mark a mere 10m from the goal and it was back to that mystical seven point number again. As Gold Coast continued to challenge the Dees, they could sniff an upset in the air. They were feeding off their own sense of belief and continued to put everything they had into the attack. The reward came with a Ben King free kick directly in front. He may have been inconsistent in the past but not anymore. The big forward kicked his twelfth straight set shot goal and took the Suns to within a point of Melbourne.

It was back to seven (again) when Jake Bowey almost casually plucked the ball from a passing Suns’ player and snapped a goal. Fun fact, Bowey has never missed; four goals and no behinds in his AFL career.

Brandon Ellis didn’t miss either. He converted his set shot and it was a one point game (again). Neal-Bullen almost got it back to seven but scored a minor instead, making it a two point game and breaking the one, seven cycle.

By now both sides looked like they were in the fight of their lives. It was a continuous tackle and counter tackle fest with no one able to fully gain the upper hand.

Finally Matt Rowell had the chance to put the Suns ahead for the first time all afternoon, but his set shot from deep in the pocket was punched through for a behind. Back to one point. It looked like the third quarter would end with the smallest of gaps dividing the two sides.

Then with just over one hundred seconds remaining, Tom Sparrow kicked from the 50m arc. The ball sailed high and long, just skimming the paint work on the upright. Back to seven points. But wait! With one minute remaining, Jack Lukosius marked again on the 50m line. This time his shot went wide, and it was a one goal game.

Then, when we thought it couldn’t get any more dramatic, Ben King was awarded a free kick in front of goal right on the siren. His set shot was true, and it was all even at seventy two points apiece.

After a frantic and frenetic third quarter, the last term was going to test each side’s capabilities and resolve to the limit. This year Melbourne have played some great final quarters. They would need to produce their best to emerge victorious against a Gold Coast side now brimming with belief.

For the first five minutes, the game plan just wasn’t clicking for the Dees. Then Christian Petracca pulled one out of the hat. His round the corner kick from deep in the pocket flew high and long, bending just enough to sail through the uprights. After that there was a couple of missed opportunities, but then Max Gawn was gifted a free kick 10m from goal that stretched the lead to fourteen points.

Demon fans by now were into the fingernail biting stage. The Suns had fought back so many times in the previous two hours that another resurgence seemed highly likely. With nine minutes to go, Noah Anderson did a Kozzie and collected the ground ball before weaving around the Dees’ defence and tapping it over the line.

There was another couple of chances for Melbourne to sew it up, but they were unable to connect. Then quelle horreur! An uncharacteristic mistake in defence allowed a turnover and Malcolm Rosas to snap through the ball. The Suns now trailed by only four points.

With six minutes to go, the Dees just couldn’t get that crucial goal to seal the deal. A couple of minor scores had them up by solitary goal. Then with fifty seconds remaining, Darcy McPherson took a diving mark 40m from goal. Every Demon fan in the country was willing the defender to miss the target and he didn’t disappoint.

With fifteen seconds left on the clock, and in an eerily similar scenario to the end of Q3, Steven May kicked the ball back into play. The ball returned again but this time into the safe hands of Jack Viney where clutched the sherrin lovingly to his chest, and Melbourne supporters released a collective sigh of relief. Post match, every Melbourne player interviewed knew they had been in the fight of their season so far.

We visit the Hawks in Round 9 but don’t expect a walkover. We all know by now that there are no easy games.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


Not Quite A Century

May 6, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

Round 7 – Melbourne V North Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Remember a few short years ago when North Melbourne was guaranteed to take the wind out of our sails? To abruptly end any winning streak we managed to cobble together? Thankfully those days are over and lingering doubts vanquished.

We were the clear favourites on Saturday night and within a minute, Kade Chandler was on the board when he controlled the bouncing ball out of the square to claim his first. Bailey Fritsch continued his impressive record of kicking a goal in each of his last thirty five games when he effortlessly struck from 30m in front. Two minutes later and Fritsch had his second. This time from a 40m set shot.

When Kysaiah Pickett scores, he scores spectacularly well. His first was a curling kick from the 50m line which soared high and dipped behind the goal line for Melbourne’s fourth. A clearance win, and Jack Viney launched a kick to Tom Sparrow waiting just inside 50. Sparrow’s successful set shot meant the Demons had five goals inside ten minutes of play.

Melbourne’s dominance was interrupted by the tragic injury to Charlie Comben, who was stretchered off with a suspected broken leg, possibly ending his season. When play resumed, the Dees continued to deny North any points on the scoreboard; the Umpire adding to the Roos’ pain by awarding Brodie Grundy a 50m penalty. The Ruck slotted his 20m shot to extend the lead to thirty seven points.

Cameron Zurhaar managed to stem the onslaught when took a contested mark inside the goal square and kicked the visitors’ first. It was a brief respite though, because Bailey Fritsch claimed his hat trick when he marked in the pocket before kicking a high round the corner kick which was cleared by the score review. Kozzie Pickett had his second when he marked a bullet from Christian Petracca out of the centre. The small forward went back and kicked cleanly from 35m.

After being totally overrun in the first term, the question was how would North Melbourne adapt their game to avoid the same fate in the second quarter. The first few minutes didn’t look promising for the Roos and when Jaidyn Stephenson gave away a double 50m penalty, it was like shooting fish in a barrel for the lucky recipient Trent Rivers.

The perceived injustice seemed to momentarily fire up North but there was no reward for effort and the Dees slipped back into their comfortable dominance.

In contrast to the first quarter, Melbourne goals were thin on the ground for the first ten minutes. That changed when Kade Chandler kicked another; this time a 25m set shot from the pocket.

The Roos finally got a second when Nick Larkey took a handpass and kicked form 20m in front. Within a minute though, the Demons had stretched the lead back to fifty six points when Petracca marked 45m from goal and converted the set shot.

Alex Neal-Bullen typified the Dees’ fighting spirit when he crashed tackled a North Melbourne defender as he went to kick the ball from the goal square. The forward quickly scooped up the loose ball and tapped it across the line. Kozzie had another kick from just outside 50. His shot sailed towards goal and was guided through by Fritsch who protected the ball as it bounced across the line.

With a sixty six point lead, Melbourne needed to keep up the pressure and build on their score, ensuring a big percentage boost. It was a good start with Petracca running onto the loose ball from a stoppage and snapping from 10m to the right of goal. Jacob van Rooyen’s long kick was pinpoint accurate in picking out Bailey Fritsch inside 50. Fritsch almost took the mark but let it slip. He quickly recovered to gather, turn and slot his fourth.

To the relief of North fans, Nick Larkey was clean with his 35m set shot from deep in the pocket. Even better for the visiting faithful, was Cameron Zurhaar’s goal from a set shot directly in front.
The margin was back to the half time’s sixty six points. North Melbourne appeared to have achieved some late momentum, but the Dees continued to apply pressure on the Roos’ defensive 50.

JvR got his only goal when he took a diving mark from a Kade Chandler kick. He went back and did his usual ritual, raising the ball to eye level, measuring the kick, before running up and chipping the goal.

Melbourne started the final quarter with the same hunger they showed throughout the match. The players would have been keenly aware of the advantages a significant percentage boost would bring; especially at the end of a tight season. There was a couple of early chances, but it was the high performing Petracca who got the first, marking and scoring from 25m.

Jack Viney got one when he collected the ground ball from a stoppage, increasing the Demons’ lead to eighty five points. Then it was another goal for Chandler, ably assisted by Kozzie, when he marked the ball right next to the goal square.

Josh Schache kicked his first as a Demon when his set shot from 25m went through. There was much rejoicing with his teammates gathering around. He didn’t escape unscathed though. They do say a debut goal is better than a poke in the eye. Well, Schache seemed to have got both while being congratulated but he didn’t mind while he was being treated on the bench.

With the goal fest in full swing, the question was who would push the margin past one hundred. Of course it had to be Jake Bowey, the player who didn’t experience a Dees’ loss until his eighteenth game. Having reached the ton, would Melbourne be able to maintain the margin with less than seven minutes left on the clock? Brodie Grundy got it up to one hundred and eight with his second of the night but that’s as good as it got.

North seemed determined to salvage something from the night, even just denying the Dees a hundred plus victory. Zurhaar got his hat trick and pared it back to one hundred and two. Then Liam Sheils reduced it again with his set shot before Ben Cunnington brought it down to ninety, right on the siren.

A great result despite the late flurry from the Roos.

Next week we venture north to take on the Gold Coast Suns who’ve won back to back games for the first time this year. Melbourne will again be favourites but not complacent.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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