Qualifier – Melbourne V North Melbourne
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!!!