Spirited Eagles unable to sustain fight

May 20, 2022 by
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Round 9 – West Coast V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Top plays bottom but no one was fooled. Optus is notoriously partisan and fond memories of last year’s Grand Final would be quickly forgotten when listening to the hostile home crowd. West Coast was missing a lot of their experienced players, but never underestimate their desire to defeat the Dees.

The conventional wisdom suggested the game would be a walk in the park for Melbourne and the first quarter did nothing to dismiss that notion. Despite that, the Eagles were the first on the board when they went end to end, concluding with Jake Waterman marking 40m from goal.

The lead didn’t last long. Tom McDonald was given free rein when in possession of the footy inside 50. He was able to amble towards goal before tapping it home. Christian Petracca was next when his 45m rocket reached it’s destination.

After that the Dees went on a mini rampage. Kysaiah Pickett was first up after receiving a hand pass at the top of the square; he basically waltzed in and kicked the ball high into the stands behind the goal. Bayley Fritsch made it four when he marked a perfectly weighted kick from James Harmes. Then it was back to Pickett who was taken high in a tackle. His set shot sailed through, though only reached the first row this time.

Melbourne continued to control the football and kept it in their forward half. Local boy Luke Jackson delivered the perfect ball to Ben Brown’s chest. Brown went back and kicked the sixth unanswered goal for the Dees.

West Coast won the clearance at the start of the second quarter and the home side looked more determined as they advanced on Melbourne’s defensive 50. The Eagles had a couple of chances early on but they couldn’t make the Dees pay.

Melbourne were definitely under more pressure and it looked like only a matter of time before West Coast got some reward. It looked like that but Ben Brown had other ideas. After After Kysaiah Pickett tapped down and controlled the ball, he aimed it in Luke Jackson’s direction. Jackson flicked it over his head where Ben Brown collected and scored his second.

The Eagles were undeterred and they came back harder at Melbourne. Even with more control of the ball, they couldn’t convert the effort to majors on the scoreboard. When West Coast made it inside 50, the Dees’ defence held up, albeit chaotically at times. Melbourne had their chances too but only peppered the goal and the game was still a going concern for the Eagles at half time.

After the break, West Coast continued to build on their efforts from term two. They started to make more headway in their forward half and threaten the Dees. Their hard work paid off when Jamie Cripps received the loose ball and kicked towards goal from the pocket; his shot just slipping through inside the far side upright.

The Eagles won the clearance and took off with renewed vigor. Melbourne’s defence was tested again but West Coast was unable to score immediate back to back goals. Their momentum waned and slowly the Dees started to wrest back some control of the game.

A controversial decision saw Christian Petracca awarded a free kick against Jeremy McGovern. Tracca’s set shot kick went through and the margin was back out to forty two points. The Eagles’ fans were unhappy, but their team still had some tricks up their sleeve. Bailey Williams was awarded a free kick from the pocket. His shot off the outside of his left boot was impressive and brought it back to a six goal match.

That’s how it stayed until a minute before three quarter time when Tom McDonald marked from 25m to the left of goal. Macca had his second and the Dees were forty four points up going into the last quarter.

This year Melbourne have been playing their best in the third quarter. However last week, it was the second quarter but in Round 9, they saved their best till last.

After West Coast had a couple of attempts at increasing their score, the Dees got into their stride. First Tom McDonald showed he still has it when it comes to chalking up the majors. His shot from 20m in front brought up his hat trick and the Dees were looking very comfortable. Jack Darling pulled one back for the hosts but after that it was pretty much all Melbourne.

When the Eagles had a fumble clearing the ball, the Dees pounced straightaway and Charlie Spargo, being the last in the chain, was able to run into the open goal. Next Alex Neal-Bullen hit the target (literally) with his set shot and pushed the margin out to fifty five. When Bayley Fritsch gathered the ground ball, spun around and kicked, Melbourne were well and truly in the Demon zone. Fritsch’s second in a row was from a set shot and now the Dees were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Unfortunately, Eagle Luke Foley was hurt in a tackle, but there was no malicious intent. Luckily he was able to walk off the ground. Jeremy McGovern took the set shot. His kick from 65m went through and was his first goal for two years.

Kozzie Pickett stole one back when he ran amongst the pack and intercepted the ball before snapping it through the middle. Tom McDonald had his fourth when his set shot from 45m never looked like missing.

It was Melbourne’s best result against West Coast and cements their place on top of the ladder. For Round 10, the Dees take on the Roos at Marvel Stadium. North Melbourne was something of a bogeyman for the demons in years gone by but the odds this time is for a Melbourne victory.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


Comments are closed.

Click here join NSW Demons now.

follow us on twitter Follow us on twitter

join our facebook group Join our facebook group

Sign up to our newsletter: