Demons Lose Dog Fight

July 20, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Round 17 – Western Bulldogs Vs Melbourne

Liam Chambers

After last week’s nail biter against Carlton, Melbourne were unable to cause an upset against the resurgent Bulldogs.

Jayden Hunt got the Dees off to a promising start with a goal in the opening five minutes. A repeat of last week’s hat trick was anticipated. However the Dogs looked in ominous form early on; scoring three goals in succession. A late flurry from Melbourne helped redress the balance. Jordan Lewis (fantastic opportunistic soccer kick) plus a splendidly chaotic goal from Christian Petracca kept the Dees within a point of their opponents at quarter time.

The Dogs extended their lead early in the second quarter with back to back goals from Sam Lloyd. An injured Angus Brayshaw and Jay Lockhart added to the Demons woes. Luckily it wasn’t too serious for either and both youngsters returned to the field.

Finally Harrison Petty got one back for the Dees, showing skill and nerve in front of goal to kick his first six pointer. Later Kyle Dunkley, playing against his brother Josh also kicked his first goal. Petty snagged a second goal in an even scoring quarter a few minutes before Josh Dunkley got one back for the Dogs.

The second half was an exercise in frustration for the Bulldogs and one of immense relief for Melbourne. The Dogs kicked six minor scores in a row before Harrison Petty recorded his third goal of the afternoon against the run of play.

Lack of efficiency in front of goal was a major concern for the Bulldogs but lack of scoring positions was also a worry for Melbourne. Good defensive play from Stephen May and Christian Salem got the Dees out of some sticky situations and help prevent further opportunities for the Dogs.

The last quarter saw Melbourne trailing the Bulldogs by a single goal. A much better position than both teams’ recent form would have predicted at the start of the game. An interesting statistic involves Melbourne’s fourth quarter performances. We have won just five fourth quarters from the previous sixteen rounds. Whether this has had an adverse psychological effect on the Dees is hard to say but it wouldn’t be a confidence booster.

Still when Bayley Fritsch’s early goal set the score to fifty five all, it gave hope to the faithful. A behind for Christian Petracca gave Melbourne the slimmest of advantages. Unfortunately, the next three goals all came from the Dogs. Then goals from Stephen May and Bayley Fritsch put us back in touch.

A nice run of play then saw Fritsch mark the ball to potentially put the Dees just two points behind the Bulldogs. Inexplicably he kicked it immediately only to see it sail wide for a minor score. It was so fast, the cameraman missed it. Normally Bayley is Mr Calm but the tension was affecting everyone. After that the Dogs hung on to take the game by eight points.

All in all Melbourne performed as well as we could have expected considering the season so far and how promising the Bulldogs have looked over the past month. However, you can’t help but feel an upset victory slipped from our grasp in the last five minutes of the game.

Next week we face the West Coast Eagles at Traeger Park in Alice Springs. We played exceptionally well against them in Perth in Round Nine but were overcome in the final quarter (familiar story). If we can exact revenge in the Alice next Sunday, then it will be one of the highlights of our season.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.3 6.5 7.13 10.14 (74)
MELBOURNE 3.2 6.4 7.7 9.12 (66)
Western Bulldogs: J.Dunkley 2, Lloyd 2, R.Smith 2, Richards, Schache, Hunter, B.Smith
Melbourne: Petty 3, Fritsch 2, Hunt, Lewis, Petracca, K.Dunkley
Western Bulldogs: Dunkley, Hunter, Duryea, Macrae, Lloyd, Bontempelli
Melbourne: Gawn, Viney, Salem, May, Petty, Harmes


Nope – not for the rest of the season

July 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Demons Get The Blues

July 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 16 – Carlton Vs Melbourne

Liam Chambers

We won. I may be a little bit older and my hair a little bit grayer but I’ll take every win and hug it close and tell it how much it means to me. Of course the win did come at a great cost. The most devastating was the injury to Tom McDonald. T Mac was philosophical the next day when he said he’d feel a lot worse about his season ending meniscus tear if the Dees had lost the game.

From the start, Melbourne completely dominated Carlton. Wave after wave of Demon onslaught failed to put any points on the scoreboard though. Finally Tom McDonald converted. An uncharacteristic miss by Christian Salem was symbolic of the Dees’ chances that went begging when they could have sealed the deal and locked the Blues out early on. A brilliant goal by the other Christian (Petracca) doubled our goal tally with Carlton struggling to contain the barrage from Melbourne. Tom McDonald kicked a second and seemed to have finally found the form that made him so impressive last year. Carlton managed a few minor scores before Levi Casboult got their first six pointer. Tom got his third but the Blues had managed to find a way back into the game and trailed Melbourne by twelve points at quarter time.

The Dees got a fifth goal courtesy of Alex Neal-Bullen early in the second quarter. When Christian Petracca scored his second it looked like Melbourne could pull away but Casboult got one back just minutes later. It seemed that as soon as we scored the Blues would get one on the rebound. T Mac got his fourth, then Matthew Kennedy evened it up for Carlton.

The second half started promisingly for Melbourne with consecutive goals for Tom McDonald and Jayden Hunt. Hunt has been a relatively safe pair of hands with set shots this year, holding his nerve in front of goal. It turned out to be somewhat of a goal-fest for the Dees in the third quarter with Sam Weideman, James Harmes and Christian Petracca adding to the total as well as another one each for Hunt and McDonald.

Unfortunately disaster struck when McDonald injured his knee late in Q3 and would take no further part in the game. Along with injuries to Marty Hore and Harrison Petty, the Melbourne bench would be severely limited in the final quarter. Though we went into the Q4 with a thirty point advantage, the Melbourne players knew they would be roundly tested by their interchange restrictions. A situation made worse when Petracca went off due to injury. Fortunately he was able to return supporting a blood stained headband.

Then the Blues attack started in earnest. Goals from Silvagni, O’Brien, Gibbons and two from Setterfield saw Carlton draw even with Melbourne for the first time in the game. A minor score from Kennedy put them a point in front and had Dees’ fans chewing their toenails. Then cometh the hour, cometh the man. Jayden Hunt kicked a goal from forty metres out to put Melbourne back in front. The final three minutes were a desperate attempt by the Dees to hold onto their slender lead and prevent Carlton taking the honours. When Mitch McGovern hit the post in the dying seconds, the realization that Melbourne had won by the skin of their teeth sent Demon fans into raptures of delight.

It wasn’t pretty but our fifth win of the season showed what Melbourne can do when they take a never say die attitude.

Next week we pay a visit to the in form Western Bulldogs. It looks like Jake Lever will be back but it would be a very brave Demon to predict a win for Melbourne. Still, I prefer not to think of next week yet and will just savour the sweet taste of victory that still lingers on my taste-buds.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

CARLTON 2.4 5.4 10.6 15.10 (100)
MELBOURNE 4.4 7.11 14.12 15.15 (105)
Carlton: Casboult 3, Silvagni 3, Kennedy 2, Setterfield 3, Dow, Fisher, O’Brien, Gibbons,
Melbourne: T.McDonald 6, Petracca 3, Hunt 3, Neal-Bullen, Weideman, Harmes,
Carlton: Silvagni, Murphy, Curnow, Newman, Walsh, Setterfield
Melbourne: McDonald, Oliver, Fritsch, Harmes, Petracca, Frost


Lion’s Final Quarter Roar Drowns Demon’s Chant

July 5, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Round 15 – Brisbane Vs Melbourne

Liam Chambers

The September dream is fading fast but we’ll continue to fight while there’s still a chance. We will need to win all the remaining games though. Don’t despair yet, there’s still hope! However to quote the film Clockwise: “It’s not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand”.

Melbourne played well in the first two quarters but it started to unravel in the second half when Brisbane found their momentum. In the first three minutes when Tom McDonald marked inside 50 and converted to score the Dees’ first goal, it seem both T Mac and Melbourne were going to continue their resurgence. Christian Petracca got the second for the Dees after missing a set shot several minutes earlier. Petracca then rounded off the quarter with another goal to give the Demons a small lead going into the break.

Jay Lockhart extended the Dees’ lead with a goal in the first three minutes of Q2. However the Lions were dominating the quarter, though they couldn’t convert their advantage. Mitch Hannan kicked his first and Melbourne’s fifth goal at the midway point before Charlie Cameron got his only goal of the game.

Stephen May did a great job keeping the Cameron goal machine in check. Bayley Fritsch got the final goal of the half to give the Dees a six point advantage.

One of the bright spots of the second half was the sight of big Maxy Gawn running on to the field after his first quarter ankle injury. He’d been strapped up and dosed with happy pills but it did seem that his injury was less serious than first feared.

Sam Weideman got a goal after nine minutes, then Steven May got his first goal since joining the Dees. May’s form was impressive all afternoon and the goal was richly deserved. At this stage Melbourne looked competitive and it seemed that Brisbane had wasted a lot of opportunities. Maybe the Dees could cause another upset for a top six side.

Unfortunately Eric Hipwood had other ideas. His three goal spree in six minutes turned the game on it’s head and gave a huge boost to a deflated Brisbane. Suddenly the Gabba crowd were roaring for the Lions. Jack Viney got one back for Melbourne but Hipwood kicked his fourth on the siren to put Brisbane twenty four points ahead going into the last quarter.

Any chance of a fourth quarter revival by the Dees was quickly dampened when Hipwood kicked his fifth in the second minute. Mitch Hannan double his tally but this was answered a couple of minutes later when Mitch Robinson scored for the Lions.

Jayden Hunt scored with ten minutes to go but it was all too late for Melbourne and Brisbane won the game by thirty three points.

It’s been an amazing season for the Lions considering they had only won two games at this stage of the competition last year.

Next week we play Carlton at the MCG. We would be foolish to think we can win easily. Carlton may be below us on the ladder (just) but they have played some good games this year. They beat Fremantle at home in Round 14. Admittedly Freo have some injuries and struggling but they’re never easy to beat at home.

One positive about our lowly position this season is that expectations are low. I hope the lads go out there and have fun. When they’re having fun they also surprise and delight.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!

BRISBANE 2.6 4.11 10.14 15.17 (107)
MELBOURNE 3.3 6.5 9.6 11.8 (74)
Brisbane: Hipwood 5, Zorko 3, Lyons, Cameron, Answerth, Christensen, Robinson, McCarthy, Bailey
Melbourne: Petracca 2, Hannan 2, McDonald, Lockhart, Fritsch, Weideman, May, Viney, Hunt
Brisbane: Zorko, Neale, Hipwood, Lester, Rich, McCluggage
Melbourne: Oliver, Viney, Salem, Petracca, May


Super Mac & Raging Bull Lead The Charge

June 29, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
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Round 14 – Melbourne Vs Fremantle

Liam Chambers

How sweet it is! Demon fans have something to smile about again.
After four losses in a row, Saturday’s win was a tonic for the troops.

The highly fancied Dockers came to the MCG eyeing a potential top five spot. And why not. With three wins on the trot (one against Collingwood, possible Grand Finalists in waiting), their confidence was sky high.
Unfortunately for Fremantle but very fortunately for the Dees, the visitors went home empty handed.

Tim Smith opened the scoring for Melbourne within three minutes. Smith is a solid player for the Dees and seems to be finding form in front of goal. There was some good play from our midfield but the Dockers dominated the scoreboard, kicking four goals to Melbourne’s two. Christian Petracca got the Dees’ second.

Nat Fyfe was inspirational for Fremantle in the opening quarter. One time Demon Jesse Hogan was injured early on and sidelined for the remainder of the game. The Melbourne fans though happy to see Jesse again were secretly relieved that he wouldn’t be kicking goals against his former club. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Tim Smith failed to add to his goal tally with two behinds early in Q2. When prolific goal scorer Michael Walters got his first halfway through the quarter you could feel the tension start to build for Melbourne.
Then Tim Smith got his second which was fair reward for the Dees’ pressure and tackling. Two late goals for Jay Lockhart and Clayton Oliver meant Melbourne finished the first half only trailing by six points.

The third quarter started well for the Demons with Smith kicking his third. Then it was back and forth between the two sides, each scoring three goals. First Sam Weideman slotted one home. Tom McDonald got a boost to his confidence and his first goal twenty minutes in. Then Jay Lockhart got his second.

Unfortunately late in the quarter there was a few unsavoury incidents. Michael Walters was reported for headbutting Lockhart, thus giving away a free kick in front of goal. Then the usually cool headed captain Nathan Jones shoulder charged Walters knocking him to the ground and reversing the free kick decision. An additional 50 metre penalty was added and Brandon Matera was able to convert the Dockers’ advantage with a goal at the other end.

Melbourne went into the last quarter five points behind instead of potentially seven points in front as a result of the third quarter melee. However the momentum was with the Demons. Max Gawn (looking quite grumpy) kicked a first minute goal to put Melbourne in front for the first time since early in the first quarter.

Michael Walter restored Fremantle’s advantage but only until back to back goals from James Harmes and Tom McDonald gave the Dees’ their biggest lead of the game. With the Dockers running out of steam, Melbourne sealed the deal with a third goal from the back in form McDonald.

There were many encouraging signs for the Dees in this round. Getting through the game more or less injury free was a bonus. Beating a top six side showed determination. Last year Melbourne suffered derision for being unable to beat a top eight side. This year they’ve beaten Freo and came close against Adelaide as well as giving title holders West Coast a scare at home. Ironically though they are in their worst position on the ladder for several seasons.

Next week we take on the Brisbane Lions who have been the surprise of the season and now touted to make their first finals series in ten years. So far they have only lost once at the Gabbatoir and that was against Collingwood.

Melbourne will have no room for error but after their last performance, don’t be too surprised if they emerge from the Lion’s den with full honours.
Go the Mighty Dees!!!

MELBOURNE 2.1 5.4 9.6 13.7 (85)
FREMANTLE 4.1 6.4 10.5 11.5 (71)
Melbourne: Smith 3, McDonald 3, Lockhart 2, Petracca, Oliver, Weideman, Gawn, Harmes
Fremantle: Matera 3, Walters 3, Cox, Langdon, Darcy, Tucker, Brayshaw
Melbourne: Oliver, T.McDonald, Gawn, Viney, Frost, Lockhart
Fremantle: B.Hill, Fyfe, Matera, Walters, Conca, Langdon


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