Dees prosper in the winter sun

I woke up to the sad realisation that I’m sure many other teenagers would share with me. It’s the last day of school holidays. But it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like an early spring day, feels like the weekend seven days on from the Grand Final. But thankfully there is some footy action on this bright, sunny Sunday. There’s every reason to be feeling good too. I was feeling much better (although still with an annoying cough) and was hopeful of making a return to school. I wanted to get back into the action at school, funnily enough. Pneumonia does weird things to you.

I lay on the bed with my cat listening to the important Sydney v North Melbourne clash from the SCG, and seemed to tighten my grip on the poor cat’s tail everytime the Swans won the ball forward. 3:00 hit, and I turned the TV to channel 7, but annoyingly realised that the V8’s were on and the footy had been delayed an extra half hour to 3:30. I went outside with my iPod, listening to the third quarter action from the Sydney as I sat in the dying sunlight. Soon enough it was 3:30 and I ventured back inside to watch the telecast of the game from the MCG, Melbourne and Essendon.

Jay Neagle, gracing the MCG turf for the first time since Round 1, made a quick impact with a snap goal, before Colin Sylvia, also back in the side after a tough bout with a blood clot in his toe, marked and goaled from a 50m penalty. Brad Green snapped a goal from a clanger Essendon handball, before Angus Monfries got onto the end of a good transition from a free kick after Jared Rivers kicked the ball out on the full. The Demon army continued though, with Green taking a great mark and booting his second before Jack Trengove and Lynden Dunn both goaled to take the margin out to 16 points. David Zaharakis received the ball and finished positively on the run, but Cam Bruce bettered that with a two-bounce run, before the old one-two was put into act, ending with the Melbourne veteran putting through the goal from 40m out, Melbourne with all the momentum and leading by 16 at quarter time, 6.2 to 3.4.

The second quarter began and Trengove kicked a long goal, before Liam Jurrah stamped his return with an uncontested mark in the goalsquare before playing on to ram the ball home. He looks very much at home in the Melbourne forward line with number 24 on his back, especially around the likes of Green, Sylvia and Jack Watts. Jobe Watson received from late-inclusionee Sam Lonergan to goal, before Green and Jamie Bennell both kicked majors from 50m penalties. Melbourne led by 32 at half time, 10.6 to 4.10.

As I came to terms with the North Melbourne loss and perhaps the missed final chance at making the top eight, I went to grab my large silver bowl which I’d become quite acquainted too in the past week. I wasn’t feeling confident when I coughed so the bowl was just there for insurance. As I came back in, hoping to see some quality half-time antics from Dennis and Bruce, I saw Essendon kicking their third goal of the third quarter. With the late start to the game, Channel 7 must’ve cut out the entire half-time show. Showing the game live would be a good idea actually.

It was Kyle Reimers who kicked the third goal of the quarter, the last two were beyond my knowledge but I did know that the margin was all of a sudden back to 14 points. This quickly blew out again, with Watts goaling after a dashing run through the middle by Sylvia and Jurrah gathering the loose ball and running into the open goal. Neagle kicked his second from the immediate clearance, but fortunately for Mark Jamar, the football was barracking for Melbourne as the ball bounced on its point straight to the big Russian who snapped a goal, then Green took a good mark before the siren sounded for the last of the oranges to be brought onto the field. Green goaled superbly on the wrong side for a left-footer, and Melbourne led 14.7 to 8.16.

Sylvia started proceedings in the last quarter with an immediate goal, then Bruce kicked his second with a goal on the run, killing the contest with the Demons leading by 40 points. As I quickly changed between Channel 7 and Channel 10, I saw the highlights from the SCG, but missed a goal to Melbourne (turns out it was Matthew Bate) and Melbourne led by 46 points. This became 51 after Jamar received a free kick in a Ruck contest with the young, gangly Tom Bellchambers before a 50m penalty was awarded to the Russian. Essendon rallied with some late, unimpressive goals through Neagle, Brent Stanton and Nathan Lovett-Murray, but it was the desperation that Tom Scully showed when he ran down an Essendon player streaming towards goal, it was the desperation that Green showed when he lunged at a pack and took a towering grab to kick his fifth goal, it was that desperation that won Melbourne the game. Ricky Dyson goaled on the run from 50, Leroy Jetta kicked his first from 40m out and Alwyn Davey went one-up on his brother in the goals department for the day, but it was Aaron who tasted sweet victory by 19 points, 19.8.122 to 14.19.103.

As my enthusiasm for going to school wanes, I find Mum and tell her that I don’t think I’ll be able to last. She says I probably need a couple of days rest before tackling school again. I’m happy with that.

Melbourne 6.2—10.6—14.7—19.8.122

Essendon 3.4—4.10—8.16—14.19.103


Melbourne-Green 5, Sylvia 2, Jurrah 2, Trengove 2, Jamar 2, Bruce 2, Bate, Dunn, Bennell, Watts

Essendon-Neagle 3, Lovett-Murray 2, Stanton 2, Monfries, Zaharakis, Watson, Reimers, Dyson, Davey, Jetta


Melbourne-Green, Sylvia, Bruce, Jamar, Moloney, Dunn

Essendon-Lovett-Murray, Watson, Winderlich, Colyer


49,203 at the MCG


3: Brad Green (M)

2: Colin Sylvia (M)

1: Cameron Bruce (M)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. It’s always great to see Reimers out on the ground.

  2. Essendon are really struggling and I don’t think Knights will be coaching them next year.

  3. Essendon seem like the most unimpressive team in the AFL at the moment. I don’t know if my opinion is shared, but when Essendon win, it’s as if I have to ask myself how in the world they managed that? And when they win, I just don’t notice it like I do the other 15 teams when they win. It’s hard to explain.

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