T Mac Brings the House Down

May 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Tom McDonald seals the deal

Tom McDonald kicks the point to win the game for the Melbourne Demons

Round 8 – Gold Coast Suns v Melbourne

Liam Chambers

Two games from seven. The worst percentage in the competition. A laundry list of pre season surgeries. An injury depleted back line. No wonder Melbourne is struggling to convince the world of AFL that they have a chance.

However, their performances in the last two games has given the Dees a glimmer of hope that they may still be in contention come September.

Though the Suns had won more games and were above the Demons on the ladder, Melbourne were still somehow favourites to take the honours in Round 8.

It was a tight game which Melbourne dominated; they led the Suns for most of the match but were unable to stretch their lead by further than a couple of goals.

Melbourne threw body and soul at Gold Coast but their skills set let them down at crucial moments. They kicked thirteen minor scores to their six goals. The good news is Tom McDonald kicked half of those goals. That will give his confidence a boost. The fact that he almost kicked a fourth in the last second didn’t matter as hitting the upright meant Melbourne won by a single point.

The bad news is the injury to Michael Hibberd. He has been involved in some goal saving plays in the last few games and those skills will be sorely missed. Jordan Lewis and Jake Melksham were also injured but may yet play in Perth.

I believe the wins in Rounds 7 & 8 will have been an enormous confidence boost for Melbourne after losing five of their first six matches. The fact that they hung in and kept battling to the last second, literally, showed a vital determination to win. The young Marty Hore was an inspiration, scoring a crucial goal when all seemed lost.

Of course next week will be the ultimate test of the Demons’ character. Their Round 9 opponents are the reigning champions and their home ground in Perth is the most inhospitable venue any visiting team could imagine.

Whether the ghosts of last year’s preliminary final defeat can be laid to rest remains to be seen. Melbourne will be the supreme underdogs. The crowd will bay for their blood, like the spectators in the Colosseums of ancient Rome. We will either be fed to the lions or we will be miraculously victorious. Go the Dees!

GOLD COAST     2.1     3.3     5.6     9.6 (60)
MELBOURNE     3.2     3.5     5.9     8.13 (61)

Gold Coast:
 Ainsworth 2, Holman 2, Wright, Lemmens, MacPherson, Powell, Corbett
Melbourne: T.McDonald 3, Melksham, Harmes, Hunt, Petracca, Hore

Gold Coast:
 Swallow, Macpherson, Holman, Ainsworth, Hanley, Witts
Melbourne: Oliver, Jones, Melksham, Harmes, Salem, McDonald

Demons Battle Hawks To The Siren

May 7, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

Young and pink

Round 7 – Melbourne Vs Hawthorn – Demons Battle Hawks To The Siren

Liam Chambers

Melbourne desperately needed a win to have any chance of playing finals this year. As in previous weeks, they burst out of the blocks in the first quarter, Angus Brayshaw scoring the opener for the Dees. The sides looked evenly matched with Luke Breust scoring the Hawks’ first midway through the opening term. Jayden Hunt restored Melbourne’s advantage but three unanswered goals from Gunston, Breust and O’Meara put Hawthorn in the driver’s seat at the end of the term.

Billy Stretch got one back for the Demons at the start of the second quarter. Melbourne played with greater confidence taking more contested possessions but unfortunately turned the ball over too often for comfort. The positive signs continued though with James Harmes playing a pivotal role in keeping the Dees in the game. A late goal from Bayley Fritsch narrowed the margin to 9 points at the end of the half.

Whatever Simon Goodwin said at half time certainly did the trick. After a shaky start, back to back goals from Nathan Jones and Jeff Garlett gave Melbourne the lead for the first time since the middle of the first quarter. Then Luke Breust restored the Hawks’ lead with his third goal of the afternoon. However Tom McDonald and Jayden Hunt responded quickly to ensure the momentum remained with the Dees. With Alex Neal-Bullen scoring Melbourne’s fifth for the term, the signs for a Dees’ win were brightening, despite a late Gunston goal.

The final quarter is the one where Melbourne has traditionally struggled in tight games. With a fourteen point margin, they needed to be at their most aggressive to ensure a victory didn’t slip from their grasp. Two early goals from Hawthorn gave Demon fans the jitters and there were a few nail biting moments, especially when Hawks’ legend Jarrod Roughead put his team in front at the midway point.

The Dees steadied though and two quick goals from Jay Lockhart (a star of the future) and man of the match James Harmes gave hope that we could claim line honours. Harmes had done a amazing job of keeping O’Meara out of the match thus weakening Hawthorn’s game. A goal from Luke Breust with less than ten minutes remaining meant the play went down to the wire. With Melbourne only managing to put one more point on the scoreboard, the pressure from Hawthorn became increasingly desperate.

Demon fans across the country and overseas were willing the clock to move faster as the remaining seconds ticked away. When the final siren sounded, the relief from players, fans and coaches was immense. Goodwin was hugging anyone and everyone as his side finally began to look like the team that made the semi finals last season.

Now focus turns to the Suns next weekend when Melbourne visits the Gold Coast. It’s a must win game, not least because the following four rounds are all against potential Grand Final teams. For the moment though let’s savour a well earned victory.

MELBOURNE 2.3 4.5 9.10 11.13 (79)
HAWTHORN 4.5 5.8 7.8 11.8 (74)

Melbourne: Hunt 2, Brayshaw, Stretch, Fritsch, Jones, Garlett, McDonald, Neal-Bullen, Lockhart, Harmes
Hawthorn: Breust 4, Gunston 3, O’Meara, Lewis, Shiels, Roughead

Melbourne: Harmes, Gawn, Hibberd, Salem, Oliver
Hawthorn: Gunston, Shiels, O’Meara, Hardwick, Worpel

“You can win without skill but you can’t win without spirit.” – Norm Smith

February 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: NSW Demons 

2019 prelude – pre-season report

Nigel Dawe

“You can win without skill but you can’t win without spirit.” – Norm Smith.  Every football club is like a classic novel, whereby each decade might represent a chapter and each season could well be a page. That said, I’m thrilled to see what will soon be ‘written’ on the currently blank page that is season 2019 for us.

Whilst Round One outright represents the 2400th time our team has graced a VFL/AFL field, I’ve been suitably reflecting on the many whys –related to ‘absolutely’ why I go for Melbourne and what keeps me so enthralled with the every nuance and turn of this team – and primarily it is its history, its on-going story, a story that stretches farther back in time than any other team (of any code) in the world. Of course I more than fully appreciate seeing its future evolve and unfold but I just love acquainting myself with its past – delving into the tales, the records, the stats, facts and fascinating figures of not just the club’s shining stars but its lesser lights as well.

Take one of my ‘lesser known’ favourites for example – Artie Best, a bloke who hasn’t taken the field for 105 years and only played a dozen games – but in his very last game of VFL footy before bravely sailing off to the battlefields of WWI, he did what no one else in Melbourne colours had ever done and fair to say, will ever do again. Artie kicked the team’s entire score of 5.5 against South Melbourne (who were no light weights, being that year’s eventual runners -up).

Similarly, talking last appearances before never appearing in the red and blue ever again, if there was one game I’d like to see in our club’s entire history (besides the 1926 Grand Final) I know call me Dr Who now, but it would have to be Fred Fanning’s ‘big day out’ in 1947 and his mammoth return of 18 goals, 1 point in front of the sticks, which remains not just a club, but a competition record haul to this day. I’d also love to have seen his 105.5 metre roost at the MCG in the 1939 reserves Grand Final, one that landed him (with an accompanying sonic boom) into no less than the Guinness Book of Records for the longest kick of all-time.

And then there are some records or accolades that simply don’t reflect or do justice to what it is they were intended to honour, if not honourably commend. Take our great Robbie Flower’s ‘one’ solitary club best & fairest award (he also claimed 4 runner up mantles) but the fact he earned more Brownlow votes than any other Demons player (150 to be exact) highlights something I’ve never been able to reconcile.

Similarly the great Gary Ablett Snr only ever took out the one club best & fairest award in his whole career at Geelong, and this pair were perhaps the most mercurial players I’ve seen in the last 40 years. Maybe their brilliance was just expected and never came as a ‘surprise’ to those who ‘oversaw’ such things, I don’t know, and never will.

But isn’t that what makes our game so great and follow-able – the eternal subjective engagement and stimulation it offers each and every one of us without exception, it is an afforded ‘buy in’, a chance to share and partake each year over a lifetime in something absolute and grand, or as Oscar Wilde once so tellingly observed for particularly players and coaches, but also fans alike: “The world only belongs to you for a season.”

AFLW Win – Dees Cook Magpies’ Goose

February 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: AFLW, NSW Demons 

Round 2 – Collingwood Vs Melbourne

Liam Chambers

After last week’s disappointing last quarter loss to Fremantle, the Dee’s bounced back to secure their first AFLW win for 2019. The two Team Captains Elise O’Dea & Shelly Scott have filled Daisy Pearce’s legendary boots to perfection. It’s never easy winning away from home and the blustery conditions added to the drama, making scoring opportunities all the more difficult. The 7000 plus crowd got a great evening of footy though. From the start the Dees were determined to make up for that agonizingly close loss to Freo.

Aliesha Newman, showing that she’s lost none of her speed, kicked a beautiful pass which Tegan Cunningham collected in a diving mark. Unfortunately, Tegan didn’t collect the six points. The first quarter ended all even at two points apiece. Melbourne should have been a few goals ahead but the Pies’ defence and the breeze kept their score down.

It looked like the second quarter would also be a low scoring affair until an inspirational kick from O’Dea and a kind bounce saw the Demons get their first goal in the last two minutes. Not to be outdone, the rising star Tyla Hanks (still only 18), pick up the ball on the run and banana kicked superbly to the grateful hands of Lauren Pearce. Pearce converted and the Dees were 16-2 going into the second half.

Game changer

The third quarter opened promisingly for Melbourne. Cunningham looked back to her winning ways with a lovely mark inside Collingwood’s 50. A one handed mark by Woodland show a nice confidence. Lauren Pearce had a 50 metre penalty awarded to her at the end of the quarter but a misunderstanding of the amount of time left saw her her handball rather than kick for goal. Only one point for the Dees in the third but Collingwood were scoreless.
Melbourne kept up the pressure at the start of the fourth and a tidy kick from Paxman was plucked out of the air by the talented Hanks, which she then converted for a perfect goal. With just over four minutes to go, Collingwood finally found the Dee’s goal, much to the home fans’ delight. Sarah Dargan soccer kicked it between Melbourne’s uprights but it was too late for the Pies.
The Dees won 26-9 and there’s a lot to like about this new line up. Best wishes to Daisy Pearce and the impending arrival of the twin bundles of joy.

Harriet Cordner continuing the family winning tradition.

Another goal

Pax kix

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