AFLW Round 5 – GWS v Melbourne: Tears in rain
If I may paraphrase Roy Batty from Blade Runner, I would sum up Melbourne’s AFLW season so far:
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Anderson taking a mark off the shoulder of a Magpie in round 2. Huge lines extending way back near the Whitten Oval gate. I’ve seen the Dees have the chance of a lifetime, only to see their hopes dissolve … like tears in rain.
Time for our final hopes to die.”
Round five and Giants v Demons was Melbourne’s game to lose. After their terrible start to the season in torrential rain against Brisbane Lions – who have become the absolute powerhouse of the women’s league – Melbourne picked themselves up and won three games on the trot. Three games! At the start of round five they were third on the ladder behind the unbeaten Lions and Crows, and were up against bottom-dwellers GWS. Everything indicated the Dees would continue on their merry way and win this one. If they could keep it together, they might even make the final. I was so confident they’d win, I bleached my hair in anticipation of dying it red and blue to celebrate.
This was Melbourne’s first interstate game, so the Giants had the home ground advantage … and then it rained, giving them even more of a boost. Melbourne absolutely dissolved in the wet. Watching them via the AFL website’s life feed gave me hideous deja vu as both sides struggled to score, but Melbourne struggled the most.
The stats don’t reflect what really happened – Melbourne had more control of the ball and twice the scoring shots, yet GWS created the upset of the season and ran home winners by five points.
The first quarter was an exercise in frustration, as the commentators spoke confidently of a Melbourne win while all evidence on the field indicated otherwise. Two goals and a point to GWS courtesy of Barclay and Schmidt, while Melbourne could only respond with a point.
The Dees managed to hold the Giants scoreless in the second quarter, but the intensity and the continuing rain made for tough going. It was nail-biting-and-vodka-sipping stuff, as Melbourne teased the goal square – alas, only to score two more points.
The third quarter looked like it could start going Melbourne’s way, with a welcome goal from Phillips, and then another point. But then Beeson kicked straight on from only 30 metres out. The Giants took control and broke Melbourne’s spirit.
In the final quarter, Melbourne tried everything. Everything it seems but kicking properly. It was hard to watch. It’s been even more difficult to write this report as I think of what could have been. The missed chances. The wasted opportunities. I’m crying, my friends. Crying.
Also, I when I bleached my hair I didn’t leave it in long enough and it’s gone ginger. The struggle is real, my friends.
Next week the Dees are travelling again for their match with Adelaide. It could make painful viewing for Melbourne supporters.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 2.1 2.1 3.1 3.2 (20)
MELBOURNE 0.1 0.3 1.4 1.9 (15)
GWS: Barclay, Schmidt, Beeson
GWS: Dal Pos, Swanson, Collier, Williams, Barclay
Melbourne: Paxman, Pearce, Mithen,
Points: Barclay 3, (GWS), Weather 2, (Sydney), Dal Pos 1, (GWS)
Umpires: Barr, Garroway, Geddes
Estimated crowd: 2,000
Probably the lowest crowd so far – with the game kicking off just after 5pm on a Friday and Sydney traffic being hideous, I’m surprised it was that many. To be honest it felt like there were more people on Twitter.