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

Qualifier – Melbourne V North Melbourne

Liam Chambers

The Dees struggle to make their mark.

After last week’s loss to Brisbane, the Dees needed to get up, dust themselves off and start all over again.
Unfortunately, Melbourne was on the back foot from the first bounce, and it didn’t take long for the Roos to strike. Tahlia Randall had the advantage of finding some space in the ruck after a stoppage in front of goal. Her snap from 15m was high and straight up, but the wind helped carry it across the line.
The Demons fought hard, resisting North’s continuously attacking game. For the second week in a row though, the Dees spent the majority of the first term in their defensive half. Towards the end of the quarter, Melbourne managed to work their way forward but had few opportunities and we were unable to cut through.

North compounds Melbourne’s pain.

The Roos continued their winning ways at the start of the second when Tahlia Randall doubled her goal tally by slotting the 20m set shot after marking the contested ball.
Melbourne was playing hard, creating chances but just not able to break through North’s defence. The Roos were jumping on every possession, cutting the Dees off as they attempted to gain some momentum.
Then, even when Melbourne got into scoring positions, we seemed to relinquish the ball too easily or make incorrect tactical decisions.
It had been a concerning first half for Demon fans, as their team failed to kick a goal and had only one solitary point on the scoreboard.

Dees continue to flounder.

The second half started in the same vein for the Dees, with dropped catches and miskicks, allowing North to take control once again.
The Roos defence was rock solid, repelling any attempts by Melbourne to break through.
Up the other end, North was ahead by twenty two points after Bella Eddey took possession; being the final link in the chain that stretched the length of the ground and culminating in the forward’s chip from the top of the goal square.
The Dees’ task became even more difficult after Tahlia Randall kicked her hat trick from another stoppage in front of goal.
When Bella Eddey launched from 40m to land the ball in the goal square, where it bounced across the line, Melbourne was in all sorts of strife.

All hope abandoned.

The Dees were thirty four points behind and facing an incredibly focused North Melbourne team at the start of the final quarter.
Melbourne desperately needed an early goal to have any chance of victory, but as the minutes ticked away, that ambition looked increasingly forlorn.
When Kate Hore hit the post with her set shot, all hope was seemingly abandoned.
However, a minute later, Alyssa Bannen marked to the left of goal and slotted Melbourne’s first major of the game. The flame momentarily flickered.
It was quickly snuffed out though when Alice O’Loughlin collected the tapped down ball and snapped through the Roos’ sixth.
With a minute to go, Emma King nailed her set shot, completing the Dees’ misery.

Thankfully, we still have another chance in the semifinal against the Cats, but it’s not a great time for a slump. Here’s hoping it’s a very short lived one. We know we can beat anyone. We just have to believe it.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!



Closer Than it Looked

November 11, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, NSW Demons, Sponsoring Olivia 

Round 10 – Brisbane V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Dees survive first quarter onslaught relatively unscathed.

Having dealt effectively with table toppers Adelaide in Round 8, Brisbane showed that they can be formidable on home turf. The Dees would have to bring their best game to Springfield in their first meeting since last year’s Premiership clash.

It was first blood to the Lions when Dakota Davidson marked, then kicked a 35m set shot to put the hosts on the scoreboard. A minute later, Brisbane had their second when Ellie Hampson marked the ball just inside 50, before turning and launching from 45m. The sherrin landed in the square and bounced serendipitously across the goal line.

It was all Brisbane, with Melbourne struggling to get out of their defensive half. The maroon tide was relentless and quarter time couldn’t come soon enough for the Dees.

Luckily it didn’t come too quickly though, as with two minutes to play, Melbourne found some space for the first time and made the most of it, getting the ball inside 50, where Casey Sherriff took an uncontested mark, 20m from goal. The conversion was clinical, and the Dees had their first six pointer of the match.

Melbourne redress the balance.

Having been dominated in every stat during the first term, especially inside 50, the Dees would have been satisfied to be trailing by just eight points.

Taylor Harris, making her return from injury, got Melbourne’s second when she took a contested mark to the right of the square, going back to slot the goal.

It was a high stakes game for both clubs, with every possession immediately challenged; the tackling ferocious and unforgiving.

Melbourne was doing a good job of containing the Lions early on, until they suddenly burst through and stormed up the ground. A series of accurate kicks and marks eventually got the ball to Charlotte Mullins inside 50. The forward ran on and slammed the ball into the open goal.

The lead was back to eight points but not for long, as Tyla Hanks was awarded a free after being taken high. Her 35m set shot was low flying but made the journey to safely cross the line.
Melbourne won the bounce and was back inside 50, where Kate Hore collected the ground ball and snapped it through from 10m.

The visitors were in front for the first time, but Brisbane again went on the offensive and retook the lead within a minute, after Dakota Davidson marked on the goal line and slotted her second of the night.

The Lions run amok.

It was a tight game at half time, but Brisbane had home advantage and what seemed like an almost deranged determination to avenge last year’s Grand Final loss. Maybe I’m reading too much into it though?

Kate Hore almost had another goal in the opening minutes of the second half, but just failed to get boot to ball as it crossed the line.

Up the other end, Taylor Smith was able to take possession in the open goal square and connect to stretch the margin back out to eight points. After the bounce, Brisbane was back inside 50, where eventually Sophie Conway marked the ball, then converted from 25m.

The Lions had three in a row when Ruby Svarc was awarded a free kick 10m to the left of goal. Then with thirty seconds left, Sophie Conway kicked her second of the term, from a 40m free kick set shot.

Dees unable to close the gap.

Melbourne are pretty much unbeatable in fourth quarters, but it would take a monumental effort of Herculean proportions to get home against a fired up Brisbane side on home soil, with a twenty seven point buffer. Still, you have to try.

The Dees pressed hard, attacking the Lion’s defence and dominating inside 50. However, they were unable to land any must have majors.

In the end Melbourne won the quarter but could only reduce the margin to twenty five points; again missing out on the minor premiership.

None of that matters now though. The Dees will be solely focused on their qualifying match again North Melbourne.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


Win Secures Melbourne Club the McClelland Trophy

November 3, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, NSW Demons, Sponsoring Olivia 

Round 9 – Melbourne V Fremantle

Liam Chambers

A wafer thin competition on the first quarter scoreboard.

With Melbourne sitting on top of the ladder, they would have felt comfortable hosting Fremantle, who currently reside in the lower half of the table. However, it was the Dockers who scored the first major, after Megan Kauffman was awarded a free kick in front of goal.

The equaliser for Melbourne took a while, but it was worth the wait, with midfield gun Tyla Hanks kicking off the outside of her right boot, on the run, landing the 15m shot.

The famous Casey breeze didn’t favour either side for the remainder of the quarter, as the players kicked a series of minor points; the term ending with the slimmest of leads for Freo.

The Dees flex their muscles.

Melbourne had the wind at their backs in the second quarter and they attacked enthusiastically, making the most of their advantage. It still took over five minutes to kick the first six pointer of the term though. That happened when Eden Zanker burst through after collecting the bouncing ball and running it in from the edge of the square.

A couple of minutes later and Paxy Paxman scored a rare but spectacular goal, when she turned and snapped from 20m, sending the ball across the open goal line. Not to be outdone in the spectacular stakes, Eliza West scooped up the ground ball, was immediately tackled, but held her footing and slammed one through the uprights from the top of the goal square.

Melbourne was powering ahead, leaving the shell shocked Dockers in their wake.

The surge continued after the bounce, but Fremantle finally managed to regain some composure in the face of the rampaging Dees. It didn’t last long though and Melbourne continued to pepper Freemantle’s defence with an assortment of shots on goal. Unfortunately they all resulted in minor scores and the dockers could consider themselves lucky not to be trailing by a substantially bigger margin.

Then, in a complete 180 degree turnaround, Freo got the next major via, arguably the best play of the game. Megan Kauffman, having scored the visitors’ only other goal, chased the sherrin into the empty inside 50 arena, tipping it forward on the bounce, outpacing her opponent, collecting it on another bounce, then cleanly kicking it from 25m.

The goal energised the Dockers, but they were unable to build on their momentum or add to their tally before the main break.

Freo rallies late but Dees retain control.

After half time, a resurgent Fremantle attempted to hold on to the impetus gained at the backend of the previous quarter.

However, Melbourne proved too difficult to control and when Kate Hore soccered through the loose ball, a couple of metres from the goal line, the hosts were again in the ascendancy.

The Dockers did finally manage to work their way up the other end and secured a free kick in front of goal. Serena Gibbs went back to take the 15m set shot, reigning the margin back to eighteen points.

Melbourne again outclass the opposition in the final term.

The Dees have been unstoppable in virtually every fourth quarter this year, so they would have been very confident from the final opening bounce. Despite the best efforts of the hosts however, they had only kicked three minor scores by the halfway mark.

Then the Hibernian on hiatus, Blaithin Mackin, turned and snapped from the 50m arc, sending the ball long and straight and across the goal line.

Freo didn’t give up though and goal hero Megan Kauffman got her hat trick when she collected the ball from a stoppage in front of goal, then snapped it through the posts.

Next, there was another hat trick up the other end when Kate Hore ran through the seventh goal for Melbourne.

In the final goal of the game, Eden Zanker reclaimed her lead as the top AFLW goal scorer for the season, when her wind assisted 45m set shot cross the line.

Next week it’s the replay of last year’s Grand Final when we travel to Brisbane to face the brilliantly inconsistent Lions. Anything could happen but I’ve got a feeling we’ll be smiling by the end.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


Narrm get the jump on the Roos

October 28, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 8 – Narrm V North Melbourne

Liam Chambers

North just edge out the Dees in the opening term.

The Dees started the game knowing a win would put them back on top of the ladder, after Adelaide fell short against the Lions in Brisbane. North applied the pressure from the opening bounce, giving Narrm no opportunity to gather any momentum.

Niamh Martin kicked the opener and her first AFLW major, when presented with a sitter from 10m out. Having secured the first goal, the Roos again went hard in pursuit of their second.

Narrm reacted well, regaining some control and making repeat entries inside 50.The Dees kept threatening to score and eventually Casey Sherriff kicked the equaliser from a 20m set shot, after being awarded a 50m penalty.

North kicked the next goal against the run of play, when Tess Craven’s shot from 45m landed in the square, where it bounced across the line, despite Tahlia Gillard’s attempt to get a last second touch.

After the bounce, the Roos looked to have the momentum back, again pressuring the Dees’ defence. However, Narrm dealt with the attack and countered, making their way up the ground and back inside 50.

Paxy Paxman, having taken a superb one handed mark, found Eden Zanker in a scoring position. Incredibly, the mark wasn’t paid by the umpire; adding to the list of dubious calls against the Dees. Perhaps I’m biased though.

Narrm gain the upper hand.

The stats pointed to a fairly even competition in the first quarter. Narrm looked more likely to score but it was the visitors who were leading where it mattered, on the scoreboard.

The Roos seemed to be having the best of the play in the first five minutes of the quarter, but the Dees kicked the opener after Kate Hore took a superb contested mark at the top of the square. Narrm had the lead for the first time and set about playing the game on their terms.

The hosts were playing fast and hard but North fought valiantly to keep their opponents at bay. A free kicked awarded in the ruck gave Georgia Campbell the opportunity to add to Narrm’s tally. She slotted the 20m set shot perfectly to give the Dees an eight point advantage.

The Dees consolidate their advantage in a low scoring game.

North was tackling and marking well but Narrm was starting to dominate in most of the other stats.

Tyla Hanks was having a great game and it got even better when she scored the first and only goal of the third quarter, after scooping up the loose ball from the stoppage and weaving her way through to kick from the top of the square.

Narrm had all the momentum and were dominating inside 50, leaving North frantically chasing the ball, unable to get out of their defensive zone. The Roos eventually got themselves back in the game; attacking the Dees’ defence but unable to break down the wall in front of goal.

That’ll do nicely.

Narrm had a handy sixteen point advantage in a what was turning out to be a very tight match. North Melbourne would be eager to turn it around though, and the Dees reputation as strong finishers would again be put to the test.

Neither side was able to get their game flowing, with each attack ruthlessly dealt with. North kept finding a route to inside 50 but the Dees kept finding a way to repel them.

Narrm finally landed the killer blow when Eden Zanker took a contested mark inside 50 and blasted the 35m set shot, snuffing out any flicker of hope that North fans still harboured.

Another victory and another great team effort. Definitely the best side to wear the red and the blue in the seven seasons of the AFLW competition.

This week it’s Fremantle’s turn and Narrm will be optimistic about retaining their position on top of the table.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


How The West Was Won

October 21, 2023 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, NSW Demons 

Round 7 – West Coast Eagles V Narrm

Liam Chambers

Narrm off to a flying start.

The Eagles may have only one victory to their name this season but after last week’s disappointment, Narrm wouldn’t be taking anything for granted. Alyssa Bannan kicked the opening goal for the Dees with a running kick from 15m after receiving a hand pass from Casey Sherriff.

A tactical error in defence gifted Kellie Gibson a 50m penalty and she converted her 20m set shot for West Coast’s opener. The home crowd would have been happy with their teams’ performance at that stage, considering they had only one inside 50 but were also only trailing by one point.

It didn’t take Narrm long to strike back though. After winning the bounce, the ball was straight inside 50, where Bannan went from nought to sixty in a flash, collecting the bouncing sherrin and hammering home her second. Bannan had back to back goals within a minute after being taken down 30m from home. Her set shot was perfect, and she claimed her hat trick.

With a minute remaining, Aimee Mackin scored the Dees’ fourth after a stoppage, with a grab and snap at goal.

The Eagles keep the visitors from adding to their goal tally.

After Narrm’s complete dominance in the first term, West Coast upped the pressure in the second; tackling well and preventing the Dees from getting into scoring positions. There were a couple of opportunities; Georgia Campbell had a set shot from the pocket that resulted in a minor score, but overall Narrm’s chances were few and far between.

Then shockingly, Courtney Rowley marked inside 50 and kicked the 30m set shot.

It was a disappointing second quarter for the Dees. After all their attacking football in the term, they only had another two points to show for it at half time.

Narrm gets back on track.

Having been held goalless for the entire previous quarter, Narrm needed a confidence building early goal after the main break.

It came in the first minute when last week’s goal hero Eden Zanker marked a Bannan kick, then slotted the 20m set shot.

After the goal, Narrm was all over West Coast, but the hosts fought hard, restricting their rivals to three minor scores before Alyssa Bannan was able to pluck the ball out of the air and speed towards goal, kicking her fourth from 15m out.

The Dees seventh goal was beautifully set up by the Mackin sisters with Blaithin evading the tackle and passing to Aimee, whose acrobatic centering kick from the boundary was marked by Casey Sherriff on the edge of the square. Aimee Mackin was also involved in the next major when her superb kick from the pocket landed the ball directly in front of goal where Kate Hore controlled, collected and chipped it through the uprights.

The Dees wrap it up.

With their reputation as strong finishers, Narrm was in the drivers’ seat at the start of the final quarter. The visitors quickly added to their forty six point lead when Kate Hore kicked her second from a 20m set shot.

Eden Zanker also kicked her second goal, a few minutes later, to give the Dees an insurmountable fifty nine point lead, with just under twelve minutes remaining on the clock.

Alyssa Bannan was playing a blinder, slotting her fifth after marking a nicely placed centring kick from Lily Mitten, then converting the 15m set shot.

After that, Narrm basically set up camp in their forward 50. The overall score could have been much higher but West Coast’s defence fought hard to hold the Dees to a series of minor scores.

In the end, it was a comprehensive seventy point win for the reigning champions, and it sets them up nicely for their clash with second placed North Melbourne in Round 8.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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