Round 3: Western Bulldogs v Melbourne, Whitten Oval, 18 February 2017
The umpires get onto the ground for a warm up at 7:02. By 7:04 the Melbourne women are out, and now the Melbourne men can leave the field. The Bulldogs men are already off and the Bulldogs women come out shortly after. I’d accessed the grandstand with about ten minutes of the mens’ last quarter to be played. A good view, except for one light tower. There are no numbers on the warm-up tops. Some of the crowd appears to have left and some moved into the stand, but still a good number around the fence and on the terraces. Still some queues at the popular food and beverage vans on the far side of the ground. Both teams leave the ground about 7:20.
Banners: M – From midwife to midfielder/to leader of a new era/Daisy Pearce/Breakthrough
WB – Both clubs have been the womens’ pioneer/but after tonight we’ll be 4 points clear
Melbourne run through a line up, including the men players; WB through 2 teams waving flags, and there’s literally fireworks. Melbourne have a male and female mascot, and there are now 4 WB mascots (yellow, grey, fawn, tan). The umpires are 6, 8 and 9, all men. WB win the toss and kick with the wind to the northern end. First goal to WB, with a skyrocket let off (continuing their fireworks theme). WB have a good sequence of play, but no goal. Melbourne taking strong marks. The Demons kick across goal, it is intercepted, but shot hits the post. Melbourne goal at the other end from a mark and set shot. Q1 end. Close.
In the second quarter all the action is at the Melbourne end. In fact the Bulldogs are held scoreless and cannot advance the ball forward. Melbourne wins a one-on-one race for the ball for a good goal. The lead is 14 points at half time.
Melbourne appear to be running better and want the footy more in the next quarter. There’s another 50m penalty for stepping over the mark. I think they are all going Melbourne’s way. The Bulldog’s get a free in front of goal and it’s cause for another skyrocket. Most of the action is up the Bulldog’s end but Melbourne reverse the trend with a gaol, and then another from a great mark. The Bulldogs didn’t take advantage of the scoring end just losing the quarter 2-2 to 2-1.
The Bulldogs manage the first goal in the last quarter but Melbourne rack up the possessions, get a goal of their own and hold them off. In the end it is a good 14 point win.
Now I’m off to White Night.
Melbourne 1.1 3.5 5.7 6.7 (43)
Western Bulldogs 1.3 1.3 3.4 4.5 (29)
Melbourne: Mifsud 3; Berry, Cordner, Hickey
Western Bulldogs: Clarkson, Wildes, Gardner, McLeod
Melbourne: D Pearce, Paxman, Mifsud, O’Dea, Hickey, Scott
Western Bulldogs: Kearney, Blackburn, McLeod, Scott, Gogos
My votes: 3 Misfud, 2 D Pearce, 1 Kearney