AFL Round 7 – Melbourne v Footscray: Demons find hope between the raindrops

By Steve Healy

It was a freezing night, the rain tumbled down for almost the entire match. The Demons were finally playing on Friday, against the Bulldogs who have under-performed for the start of the 2010 season. I had confidently tipped the Demons, due to our incredible form (especially at the MCG) and the fact that the Dogs would find it hard to adapt to the conditions.

It took me a while to adapt to the conditions as well; my two Melbourne Guernseys and a jumper didn’t provide enough warmth, especially since I was sitting in the middle of multiple dozen empty seats in the Olympic Stand pocket.

The umpire held the ball aloft to begin the match, as a crowd of around 45,000 (a good percentage wearing pink ponchos) were watching on. The rain fell as the Bulldogs linked up for an easy first goal of the game; Boyd kicked it through from just inside 50. Giansiracusa set up Stack for a second goal from the pocket and I was starting to get worried. Higgins weaved through traffic and put another through, while the Dees whittled away chances at the other end. The long–awaited debut of Danny Hughes for the Dees saw the 23-year-old get in the action early, whilst not making a huge impact he provided a target inside the forward 50. The quarter time scoreboard saw the Demons 0.6 6 to the Dogs 3.2 20, the Demons’ fourth goalless quarter of the season.

The second quarter started and Andrejs Everitt kicked a quick goal on the run for the Dogs. A very scrappy period followed, before Davey intercepted an astray Hudson handpass and guided it through from 50. This lit the Demon fire. Bate marked and rammed one home. Jarrad Grant, in his fourth game, slotted one through from the pocket. Bennell picked up the ball right in front of me, threw it on to his boot just inside the line, and ran away from goal while the ball slid through the sticks for an amazing goal. Dunn added a couple of behinds to our scorecard before the half time siren sounded with the Dees still trailing by eight points, 3.9 27 to 5.5 35, but genuinely in the contest. It would be a tough second half.

The rain didn’t dare stop and the temperature dropped a few degrees as the third quarter began. The Dogs began the quarter like the last two, with a fairly quick goal from Josh Hill. Bate screwed one around the corner from a tough angle, before he delivered the ball inside 50 which resulted in a magnificent goal from Green. We were playing like a real team. But things turned a bit ugly again. I froze in shock and coldness as the Dogs piled on another two, from Aker (his first for the season) and Hill again. But I knew the game was far from over. Scully snapped a magnificent goal to bring me out of my seat, before Trengove superbly set one up to Jones who drilled it home from 25. The siren sounded, we trailed by three points, 7.10 52 to 8.7 55. We had to win.

Bate kicked his third, while Hughes kicked a vital first to put the Demons nine points ahead with less than half of the last quarter to play. Scully was winning a ton of the ball, adding an unbelievable 18 possessions in the last quarter (best quarter since Darren Milburn in Round 16 2008) to add to his 21 in the first three. He was clearly the best on ground. Lake was sent forward, and snapped a goal from the pocket with just a few minutes to play. Griffen slid another through for the Dogs, and they were in front. I couldn’t believe it! The siren sounded, every Demons player looked hurt. We aren’t a 3-4 side in the form we’re in, the Dogs were lucky to escape with the win. I trudged home in the darkness.

The talking point in this match was the umpires, who, not only wore pink to clash with the Demons players, (examples of the confusion were shown in the last quarter) but made some dreadful decisions. Another talking point is Tom Scully, who had an unbelievable 39 possessions, and every possession he gets seems to hit the target. Trengove had a great game as well, with 26 possessions. We are lucky to have players such as good as these.

The Demons are truly on the rise, we have had a couple of unlucky losses, but I’m still confident that we can make the finals this season, and doesn’t it feel great to be able to say that?

Melbourne 0.6 3.9 7.10 9.12 (66)

Western Bulldogs 3.2 5.5 8.7 10.10 (70)

Goals

Melbourne: Bate 3, Davey, Bennell, Hughes, Scully, Jones, Green.

Western Bulldogs: Hill 2, Stack, Lake, Higgins, Griffen, Grant, Everitt, Boyd, Akermanis.

Best

Melbourne: Scully, Jones, Trengove, Grimes, Bruce, Davey, Moloney, McKenzie, Frawley.

Western Bulldogs: Giansiracusa, Higgins, Cooney, Cross, Griffen.

My Votes: 3. Tom Scully, 2. Nathan Jones, 1. Daniel Giansiracusa.

Umpires: Donlon, McBurney, Findlay. Crowd: 45,444 at the MCG.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.

Comments

  1. Steve Healy says:

    but I’m still confident that we can make the finals this season, and doesn’t it feel great to be able to say that?

    I got a bit ahead of myself

Leave a Comment

*