Last Gasp As The Final Curtain Fell

September 15, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Round 23 – North Melbourne Vs Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Well that just about summed up the Dees season. I was convinced we’d secured a draw until Alex Neal-Bullen’s last seconds kick hit the base of the post. A draw would have been justifiable result for the way both sides played. Melbourne was much more committed this week though North Melbourne were lacking their killer instinct.

It was a good first quarter for the Dees. Bayley Fritsch continued his goal scoring ways with a doubled header in the first ten minutes. Neal-Bullen got his only six pointer (shame about his later effort) and Jake Melksham scored the Dees’ fourth.

Unfortunately the Roos Marley Williams took the opportunity to score his only goal of the season right on the siren. It seems fate has had Melbourne squarely in it’s sights all season.

When Williams went off due to injury early in the second half, it seemed that fate was just showing off.

Jayden Hunt scored the Dees’ only goal of the second quarter and the half time score was all even at thirty four points.

The third quarter was a goal fest for both sides. The Dees were lining up to add to their names to the hit list. Cory Wagner, Nathan Jones, Gawny (back to back), Bayley Fritsch and finally Jake Melksham all notching up the goals.

At fifteen points in front, Melbourne was looking dangerous. The Roos had plenty of missed opportunities but managed to kick two late goals to reduce the margin to a single point going into the final quarter.

Unfortunately the ensuing events didn’t favour the Dees. Coleman contender Ben Brown put North Melbourne in front with his second goal of the match.

The Dees kicked seven minor scores for the quarter with Gawn the only goal scorer (well done Max on a rare hat trick). Unbelievably, Melbourne were still leading with just over two minutes to go.

Anyway, we all know how it turned out. I’m glad the Dees showed some spirit this week after their poor showing against the Swans.

There will be a lot of soul searching over the summer. It will be interesting how the new blood in the coaching ranks will affect Melbourne’s game next year. I certainly don’t want to tempt that ole devil called fate so I won’t make any further comments.

Go the Mighty Dees in 2020!!!

NORTH MELBOURNE 3.4 5.4 10.9 13.10 (88)
MELBOURNE 4.2 5.4 11.4 12.11 (83)

GOALS
North Melbourne: Ziebell 2, Polec 2, Garner 2, Brown 2, Higgins 2, Larkey, Williams, Wood
Melbourne: Fritsch 3, Gawn 3, Melksham 2, Hunt, Neal-Bullen, C.Wagner, Jones

BEST
North Melbourne: Higgins, Polec, Dumont, Atley, Durdin
Melbourne: Gawn, Oliver, Harmes, Fritsch, Frost

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Felt Like A Swan Song

August 24, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Round 22 – Melbourne Vs Sydney

Liam Chambers

It didn’t look good when the Swans opened the scoring after 34 seconds. Another two goals meant Melbourne were behind by 17 points after just six minutes. Luckily Melbourne’s Man of the Match Jake Melksham steadied the floundering Dees with his first goal, then a second a few minutes later.

In form Bayley Fritsch capped off the Dees scoring efforts with a brilliant effort ten minutes from time. Melbourne finished the quarter six points in arrears after it initially looked like being a wipeout.

Unfortunately that was about as good as it got for the Dees on the night. Not quite a capitulation but maybe a bit of a “cue in the rack” display, as a former Coach once quipped. Melbourne conceded four goals while only managing two points for the quarter.

I wish I could say that the second half got better. It only got better for the Swans who’ve had an indifferent season themselves but their young side showed signs of promise and will be in contention next year.

Any hopes of a repeat of last week’s final quarter, when the Dees reduced the losing margin to a respectable seventeen points, were quickly quashed. A promising few minutes, where Jake Melksham and Alex Neal-Bullen brought us to within twenty eight points, was the high mark. The Swans went on another goal kicking spree and the end result was a disappointing 53 point loss.

Rumors abounded that the game was to be Jordan Lewis’s last game at the MCG. If that’s true then it was a sad way to end his playing career there. He will have many happy memories of his many highlights on that hallowed ground. I have a feeling this Round 22 match won’t be one of them.

I’ve tried to take some positives for this game but I’m struggling to find them. It was a pedestrian effort at best.

The last game is against our great rivals North Melbourne at Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

Go The Mighty Dees!!!

MELBOURNE 3.1 3.3 3.7 5.12 (42)
SYDNEY 4.1 7.3 10.3 15.5 (95)
GOALS
Melbourne: Melksham 3, Fritsch, Neal-Bullen
Sydney: Reid 3, Dawson 2, McCartin 2, Menzel 2, Papley 2, Rowbottom 2, Bell, Blakey
BEST
Melbourne: Melksham, Oliver, Viney, Gawn, Hibberd, Brayshaw
Sydney: Florent, Reid, Blakey, Kennedy, Parker, Rampe

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Pies Survive Against Late Surging Dees

August 16, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Round 21 – Melbourne Vs Collingwood

Liam Chambers

Well Melbourne finally won a last quarter. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to defeat Collingwood; a side who prior to last week’s thrashing of bottom side Gold Coast had lost four of their previous five games.

Why the Dees are sitting seventeenth on the ladder after such a positive end to last year’s season is confounding. Especially when they had been building steadily over recent years, slowing improving their position on the table.
Now the term aberration is being bandied about with annoying regularity. However, I’m confident that this season has been an aberration and that we will bounce back with a vengeance in 2020. Remember Richmond finished fifth in 2015, then sunk to thirteenth in 2016 before winning the Grand Final in 2017.

The weight of expectation can be daunting when your fans finally have a taste of success after so many years of disappointment. Melbourne had broken through and reached their first finals in twelve years. Then they performed above and beyond. Of course everyone believed we would qualify again and possibly go one better. Maybe even win our first final in fifty five years.

There were injuries but Melbourne has a lot of depth so that should not have been a major concern. However we all know how it turned out. Players like Max Gawn and Stephen May have given their all in games. I have a feeling though that despite some individually brilliant performances, the Dees have tuned out somewhat and are now focusing on next year. I hope I’m wrong because it’s important we play our best and win our final two games.

There were positives in our game against the Pies. Christian Petracca has been inspirational at times and of course Oscar McDonald scored his first goal. In our last two games both of our opponents are very capable of defeating us but conversely we are certainly capable of winning. It would be better to end our season on a high but at least let’s go down fighting.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

MELBOURNE 1.4 2.6 3.8 7.11 (53)
COLLINGWOOD 0.5 5.6 9.8 10.10 (70)
GOALS
Melbourne: Petty, Brayshaw, Fritsch, Petracca, Hunt, O.McDonald, Gawn
Collingwood: Mihocek 4, Pendlebury 2, Varcoe 2, Thomas, Crisp
BEST
Melbourne: Brayshaw, Petracca, Harmes, Frost, Oliver, Fritsch
Collingwood: Treloar, Grundy, Mihocek, Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Howe

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Tigers & Rain Quench Fiery Demons

August 9, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Round 20 – Dees v Tigers

by Liam Chambers

Melbourne were not expected to win. In fact all the smart money was on a Richmond side that hadn’t lost in five games. A side who were now becoming firm favourites to win their second Grand Final in three years.

It wasn’t a question of would the Tigers win but by how big a big a margin.

It was immensely gratifying then to see the Dees play so well and keep the Tigers on a tight rein.

Unfortunately the heavens opened in the third quarter and gave Richmond the advantage. Melbourne doesn’t perform at their best in a downpour; whereas the Tigers, like their namesakes, are in their element.

Still the Melbourne stats were impressive. Keeping up with Richmond in nearly all aspects except inside 50s and marks taken in that area. That’s where the Tigers really dominated more than doubling the Dees’ effort. Of course it was always going to be a struggle when faced with that reality.

Jordan Lewis is relishing his new found fame as a born again goal scorer. He opened the ledger for the Dees, with Cory Wagner doubling the tally a minute later. Bayley Fritsch, who seems determined to try for at least a hat trick in each game now, rounded out Melbourne’s three goals for the quarter.

Kyle Dunkley got the Dees off to a good start with an early goal in Q2. However Richmond hit back with three strikes before Bayley Fritsch and Angus Brayshaw stemmed the flow to reduce the margin to three points at half time.
As the rain came down at the start of the second half, Jordon Lewis, almost at ground level, managed to kick the ball over his head and into the Tigers goal. Lionel Messi would have been proud. Unfortunately that stupendous feat was the last Melbourne goal of the term.

Richmond’s stars lined up to kick their five goals for the quarter while the Dees struggled to hold onto the sherrin in the wet conditions.

We’ve mentioned the woeful final quarter record of Melbourne this season on more than one occasion in recent weeks. However it would have taken a Herculean effort for the Dees to claw their way back into contention when they were twenty nine points in arrears at the start of Q4.

Bayley Fritsch did his best to narrow the margin with his third goal for the day and Melbourne managed to keep Richmond at bay in the first half of the quarter. Then AFL’s most illustrated man Dusty Martin slotted one in from outside fifty to kill off any thoughts of a Demon fightback.

Kyle Dunkley got his second to keep the score looking more respectable but sadly for Melbourne fans, the Dees recorded their fourth loss in a row.

We’re back at the MCG on Saturday to face the old enemy Collingwood. The Pies, despite their run of bad form lately, look like they’ve done enough to secured a finals berth with their twelve wins for the season so far. They are a long shot to make it into the top four though; it will be interesting to see how hard they come out against Melbourne. Collingwood then have two important games against possible fellow finalists in Adelaide and Essendon. Should we beat them at the weekend, there will still be a lot of nervous Pie fans.

Come on Melbourne; just because our season is over doesn’t mean we can’t give the Collingwood faithful a few sleepless nights!

Go the Magnificent Dees!!!

MELBOURNE 3.1 6.2 7.4 9.6 (60)
RICHMOND 3.2 6.5 11.9 13.15 (93)

GOALS
Melbourne: Fritsch 3, Lewis 2, Dunkley 2, Wagner, Brayshaw
Richmond: Lynch 3, Graham 2, Castagna, Chol, Caddy, Lambert, Soldo, Rioli, Martin, Bolton

BEST
Melbourne: Gawn, Fritsch, Oliver, Jones
Richmond: Martin, Houli, Edwards, Prestia, Vlastuin, Lynch

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Dream Start But Nightmare End For Dees

August 1, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Round 19 – St Kilda Vs Melbourne

Liam Chambers

A dream start and Melbourne couldn’t have asked for a better opening five minutes. Bayley Fritsch, Jordan Lewis and Christian Petracca all found the space between the uprights and the fans were ecstatic. The Saints managed to claw back three midway through the term but late goals from Fritsch and Tim Smith gave the Dees a thirteen point advantage at quarter time. So far so good.

The second quarter saw both sides frequently turn the ball over to the opposition but it was at the halfway mark before Cory Wagner kicked the first goal. Unfortunately it was the only six pointer for Melbourne in a quarter where St Kilda dominated in clearances and scoring opportunities.
The Saints had managed to narrow the margin to three points at the half time.

St Kilda kicked the first goal of the third quarter to take the lead before Christian Petracca scored his second to put Melbourne back in front again. From that point on though St Kilda looked the more dominant team, kicking five goals for the quarter. However the Dees kept themselves in the game with important kicks from James Harmes, Petracca and Harrison Petty.

The fourth quarter started well for Melbourne with Clayton Oliver and James Harmes both finding the back of the net. Could the Dees finally put their final quarter hoodoo behind them? Alas no. The Saints were clinical in their dispatch of the footy, putting five more between the posts of Melbourne’s goal. Alex Neal-Bullen managed to score around the mid point of Q4 but by then St Kilda had set up camp in our inside 50 and eventually won by nineteen points.

There seems to be no end in sight to Melbourne’s dismal season except that there are only four games to go. Unfortunately two of those games are against in form Richmond and North Melbourne. Sydney are a mixed bag themselves this year but never easy to beat.

Ironically perhaps our greatest Nemesis, Collingwood could prove to be the one team we may well triumph over. They are in danger of missing the finals due to their current slump in form and may be desperate against a side everyone expects them to defeat. Now, wouldn’t that be nice.

The Dees have appointed Darren Burgess as fitness coach for next season. Interesting choice and one that may prove inspirational. The fact that he has worked predominately with soccer teams for most of his career means he will bring fresh eyes to the world of AFL. Melbourne definitely need to reset after a horror run of injuries and surgeries.

Anyway, we play the Tigers at the MGC next. They are now being touted as potential favourites to take out the honours in September. They certainly seem to be peaking at the right time. However, the way our season is going, we’ll probably end up winning.

Keep the dream alive!

ST KILDA 3.2 5.7 10.10 15.14 (104)
MELBOURNE 5.3 6.4 10.6 13.7 (85)
GOALS
St Kilda: Bruce 4, Membrey 3, Ross 2, Long 2, Langlands, Lonie, Hind, Billings
Melbourne: Petracca 3, Fritsch 2, Harmes 2, Lewis, Smith, C Wagner, Petty, Oliver, Neal-Bullen
BEST
St Kilda: Ross, Bruce, Gresham, Sinclair, Membrey, Wilkie
Melbourne: Gawn, Oliver, Harmes, Petracca, Lever, Frost

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