Team Daisy Hold On For A Famous Win

April 8, 2022 by
Filed under: AFLW, Daisy Pearce, NSW Demons, Sponsoring Olivia 

Preliminary Final – Melbourne V Brisbane

Liam Chambers

Melbourne have made it to their first AFLW Grand Final! It was so close in the end, but the girls put in a valiant effort to produce the win.

It was a nervous start all around but the Dees managed to keep the ball in their forward half for the first five minutes. They were unable to capitalise on their advantage and the Lions started to make headway into Melbourne’s defensive territory. Brisbane also struggled to get on the scoreboard with the Dees keeping their defence tight.

Shelley Heath effected a great tackle on Jesse Wardlaw, preventing the Ruck from scoring an almost certain goal. The wet conditions didn’t seem to be favouring either side as both sets of players struggled to hold onto the ball.

Melbourne had dominated the first term in the majority of the stats but their kicking efficiency was letting them down. They desperately needed a goal to settle their nerves.

That breakthrough came when Alyssa Bannan initially had the chance to collect the ball inside 50. There were no Lions blocking her path but Bannan was unable to gather up the ball before being tackled. After the ensuing stoppage, the forward finally found enough space to drill one through the pack and into the open goal.

It didn’t take long for the Lions to respond. Taylor Smith dropped a mark inside 50 but was able to recover, gather up the ground ball, snapping a kick towards goal. With five seconds to go, Eliza McNamara was awarded a free kick 25m from goal. McNamara went back to take the kick after the siren but just missed to the far side where her shot scrapped the post.

After the break, the Lions looked the most likely to score first. Their effort was rewarded when Dakota Davidson got a kick away that sailed through the uprights from 35m out. Brisbane continued the pressure after the bounce but Melbourne was able to break clear and make their way up the field.

While Daisy Pearce was bringing the ball to ground then gathering it up, Alyssa Bannan was running on to a good position inside 50. Daisy got the kick to the waiting Bannan to collect and then outrun her opponents before kicking into an open goal.

The Dees then had the advantage after Lauren Pearce grabbed the ball out of the ruck. Turning towards goal, Pearce launched a kick, securing Melbourne’s third goal. Eliza McNamara then had another opportunity to go for goal and this time she opted to kick it along the ground and through the Lions’ defence, incredibly finding a gap and watching the ball dribble across the line.

Brisbane continued to chase a late goal but the Dees managed to hang on to their eleven point margin.

Melbourne had the perfect start to the last quarter when Alyssa Bannan again used her speed to chase the ball before picking it up and strolling into the waiting goal. Bannan had three under her belt and the Dees had a seventeen point lead.

The reigning premiers wouldn’t go down without a fight and for the next five minutes the Lions continually made inroads to their forward 50. They couldn’t manage a breakthrough though until Shannon Campbell was able to crumb the ball and snap a kick from 30m out.

Now with only a ten point lead and six minutes remaining, Melbourne needed to play some smart footy to prevent Brisbane kicking another two goals. The Dees had opportunities to extend their lead but the Lions defended well before initiating an offensive of their own but without much success until the last forty five seconds. Greta Bodey (who else?) kicked a goal from a set shot and clawed Melbourne’s lead back to four points.

The last thirty seconds was a frantic push forward by the Lions and equally frantic attempts by Melbourne to clear the ball. The Dees prevailed, securing their first win in a preliminary final.

There’s no doubt that Adelaide is the firm favourite. They are an extremely difficult team to score against and they have some very strong players. However, one thing we know about Melbourne is their ability to preform above expectations when they’re given the status of underdog.

Also, the team will want to do it for Daisy, arguably the one person who has done more than any other to promote and champion AFLW.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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