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Found 43 results

  1. Demonland

    THE MATCH: BACK AND FORWARD

    BACK AND FORWARD by Whispering Jack It's a pity in many ways that the NAB Challenge game against the Western Bulldogs couldn't be played backwards because that might satisfy many of the Melbourne supporters who were disgruntled by the outcome of a game which their team actually won and give them some perspective. If you really could play the game backwards then the deficit at half time would have been 38 points making Melbourne's fightback to pull the game out of the fire look heroic. Given that such things are such a valuable commodity but have been rare in recent times, I would prefer the heroics to be kept for events that have a little more meaning than this little romp in the goldfield town of Ballarat. The reality was that this was a practice match and the result was as irrelevant as it will be next Friday evening when the Demons face up to a truncated Bomber line up at Etihad Stadium in front of however many fans bother to front up to the ground or watch on Foxtel (strange how that mob still get all of their games televised even if half the side are unlisted ring ins). The reality is that Melbourne disposed of an undermanned opposition in the first half of the game so comprehensively that the second half was used for its proper purpose - experimentation. In the event, the Bulldogs came out with some added purpose and managed to outscore the Demons in the third quarter with the aid of the wind and continued to surge against a much different midfield set up and an altered defensive mindset in changed conditions with a swirly wind gusting all over the place. This did not alter the fact that the focus should be on the style of play that we saw in the first half which is going to be more the hallmark of the Melbourne Football Club's on field efforts in 2015. As Paul Roos put it after the game, "omething we've been working really hard on is getting the ball moving with a bit more speed." This was highlighted by the showings of the club's four 2015 recruits from other clubs in Heritier Lumumba (running defender and midfield), Jeff Garlett (goal sneak), Sam Frost (a big man with pace who can play forward or back) and Ben Newton (midfield). There was also a lot to like in the games of Christian Salem, Jay Kennedy-Harris and Jimmy Toumpas and the little we were allowed to see of Jesse Hogan whose season was crippled by the injury he suffered in the corresponding game last year. There is also evidence of other players playing different roles as the club's rejuvenation continues, albeit not at the same revolutionary pace that many would prefer. Nathan Jones and Dom Tyson dominated the first half stoppages but were used sparingly in the engine room in the second half and these were among many of the changes rung in by the coaching group, the consequences of which were stunningly obvious but lost on some of the fans who turned on their team expecting it to go for the jugular when there was another game even more meaningless in terms of result only six days away. When that day comes, the match conditions will be changed further to the traditional 22 man team format and two weeks beyond that, the real stuff starts. You can rest assured that by then, the team's focus and its line up will be different again and it will be some time after, that we will really be able to discern whether or not the team has moved forward. MELBOURNE 0.2.2 0.8.4 0.9.6 0.10.9 (69) WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.0.1 0.1.1 0.4.4 0.9.8 (62) GOALS Melbourne: Garlett Kennedy-Harris 2 Cross Dawes Frost Hogan N Jones Watts Western Bulldogs: A Cordy 2 Bontempelli Boyd Goodes Grant Jong Minson Stringer SUPERGOALS Melbourne: Nil Western Bulldogs: Nil BEST Melbourne: Salem T McDonald Tyson Dunn N Jones Jetta Kennedy-Harris Western Bulldogs: Honeychurch M Boyd Grant Jong Daniel A Cordy INJURIES Melbourne: vandenBerg (cut head) Western Bulldogs: Nil SUBSTITUTES Melbourne: Western Bulldogs: Reports: Nil Umpires: Chris Donlon Scott Jeffery Brendan Hosking, Curtis Deboy Official crowd: 5000 approx. at Eureka Stadium, Ballarat.
  2. NET GAIN IN THE WEST by George on the Outer Apart from the hope of a win to start the 2015 season, was there anything to be gained or learned from the match against the Dockers? The Demons were playing against a team with a home ground advantage, in fact a home training ground advantage, who had finished 4th in 2014. The Demons, remember, finished a lowly 17th with a meagre 4 wins. Surely, a one-sided contest could have been expected? Well, it was a NAB Practice match and while the stifling conditions and the missing players from each side make it nearly impossible to assess if there is something better to hope for in 2015 for the Demon fans, the answer must be that there is. The 18 point margin in the end could have so easily been in the Demons favour, could they have been able to execute some really simple tasks. Twenty metre kicks that missed targets by ten, three set shots at goal from inside thirty in the final quarter that failed to produce a solitary score, a single point from the whole second term, these were the things which let them down in the end. By way of contrast, Fremantle made the most of its opportunities when it had them, and made a habit of hitting targets when most needed. In the end it produced the scoreboard results to win the game. But it was not all doom and gloom. Although Fremantle must be questioning the value of these events, when injuries to Barlow, Mundy and Duffield have compromised the start of their season. For the Demons, there were too many players who simply did not contribute at all during the game, yet others lifted beyond expectations to show their tardy team-mates the amount of effort required to play at AFL level. Heritier Lumumba showed he will be a positive live-wire in the back line and up the ground. Sam Frost, likewise was a force to be reckoned with for his first outing in the red and the blue (or in this case, the red, white and the blue. Dom Tyson was superb and Nathan Jones was his usual self showing the way. Aaron vandenBerg, coming off the rookie list can see an early elevation if he performs like this again in his next match, and Ben Newton showed more than enough until taken from the ground injured. Paul Roos played a lot with positioning in the first half, which didnt always play to the team's strengths, but these games are the only chance to do exactly that without consequences. Jeff Garlett in the middle, Frost up forward, Lumumba all around the place were all experiments to see what alternatives could be used during the season proper. When he returned to a more stable structure, the game started to swing Melbourne's way, kicking 3.4 to 1 point in the third term. The finishing let them down in the end and must be worked upon and while a win would have been good, the team remained competitive and was never blown away as we have seen all too often in recent times. Bring on the next game! MELBOURNE 0.3.1 0.3.2 0.6.6 0.6.7 (43) FREMANTLE 0.3.2 0.7.4 0.7.5 0.9.7 (61) GOALS Melbourne: Dawes, Hogan, N Jones, Kent, Newton, vandenBerg Fremantle: Pavlich, Taberner 3, Crozier, Mayne, Walters SUPERGOALS Melbourne: Nil Fremantle: Nil BEST Melbourne: N Jones, Lumumba, Tyson, Cross, T McDonald, Newton Fremantle: Hill, Taberner, Neale, Pavlich, Mzungu, Sutcliffe INJURIES Melbourne: Newton (cut head) Fremantle: Barlow (right ankle), Mundy (ankle), Duffield (left shoulder) SUBSTITUTES Melbourne: McKenzie replaced Newton at half-time; vanderBerg replaced Jetta at half-time Fremantle: Blakely replaced Barlow at three-quarter time; Smith replaced Mundy in the fourth quarter Reports: Nil Umpires: Farmer, Dalgleish, Stephens, Edwards Official crowd: 8000 approx. at Fremantle Oval
  3. Demonland

    THE RIGHT RESULT

    THE RIGHT RESULT by The Oracle Until this meeting, Melbourne had not tasted victory over Carlton since the infamous "Kreuzer Cup" affair in the final round of the 2007 season and to this day, I'm still not sure if that game was a victory (it must have been because the AFL which claims that "integrity" is one of its strong suits still records this sham of a farce as win for Melbourne). Anyway, we're in a new age now and neither of the protagonists has come out of that period in their respective histories with the fruits of their endeavours in list management, culture and team building. This game might have been billed by some as the "Wright Cup" but one can only hope that we go the right result this time. The start wasn't very promising and I recall sitting there cringing at about the five minute mark when the Blues already had two goals on the board while hardly a Demon player had touched the ball, let alone have the ball in attack or effect a score. As I uncupped my head from my hands, I thought I might capture this moment for posterity and this screenshot from my AFL IPhone App says it all:- Then something unusual happened and it was the turning point of the season. Instead of accepting the situation and fading away into complete insignificance as it did a fortnight ago against West Coast, Melbourne went into resistance mode and fought back. At the midpoint of the quarter, the sun suddenly burst through the clouds and the gloom and doom enveloping the MCG and the club to which the ground rightfully belongs lifted. From that time on, Melbourne turned a 12-point deficit into a shock 23-point win and pushed Mick Malthouse and his men into deep crisis. And after the game magnanimous Mick praised the victors and vainly tried to reassure what was left of the Carlton faithful that all was well in the world and that for seven years he has coached his teams into finals. Sorry, Mick but Demon fans know plenty about seven years of famine and we can see what's coming. The interesting thing about this game is that it was a mirror image of the team's season opener with the Blues bursting out of the blocks with two quick opening goals and the Dees fighting tooth and nail to get back into the game by quarter time. This time it was Carlton that suffered the early injury (and more of those came as the game wore on), Melbourne hit the front early in the second term (with a ripper of a goal from the skipper) and never looked back while the hapless Carlton kicked itself out of any chance of getting back into the game. As in the opening match of the season, it was the skipper of the winning team who shone like a beacon in gathering 28 disposals and, at the same time performing a near perfect blanket job on his Carlton counterpart Marc Murphy. It's high time that his (Jones, I mean) elite status is afforded due recognition and I hope the club starts pumping him up for All Australian status some time soon. Well, perhaps I'm being a tad premature but let's see how he fares against his fellow nude nut and opposition skipper next week. The game was certainly a scrappy affair with the odd highlight but this is the way of Paul Roos in the early stages of building a side. The presence of Chris Dawes and James Frawley up forward made a world of difference in that it gave the team some focus going forward. They picked up two goals each and were matched by the same number from Rohan Bail and Jack Watts who were both handy. The addition of Jordie McKenzie and Jack Viney gave Melbourne the advantage in close and Daniel Cross continues to provide inspiration to the younger Demons. Don't underestimate the role of Dom Tyson who was afforded the honour of being tagged in just his fourth game at the club, yet still made a meaningful contribution while his teammates were freed up to assist in the team effort. Despite holding a handy lead at the final break (considering it was a low scoring game), it took the Demons a long time to shake off the errant Blues to record their 12.9 (81) to 7.16 (58). A lot of that was also due to Jake Spencer's lion-hearted performance in the ruck after being towelled up last week by Shane Mumford. His part time assistant Cam Pedersen also defied the critics and plucked out the miracle goal that put the game beyond the opposition's reach. And so, the sum of all of our fears that the club would go through 2014 has been allayed and the monkey is now on someone else's back. The result result was achieved this time. Melbourne 3.2.20 6.7.43 10.8.68 12.9.81 Carlton 3.4.23 5.9.39 6.11.48 7.16.58 Goals Melbourne Bail Dawes Frawley Watts 2 Dunn N Jones Kennedy-Harris Pedersen Carlton Ellard Yarran 2 Casboult Henderson Murphy Best Melbourne N Jones Frawley McDonald Watts Grimes Bail Carlton Yarran Curnow Walker Gibbs Changes Melbourne Nil Carlton Mitch Robinson replaced by Nick Graham Injuries Melbourne Terlich (hamstring) Carlton Menzel (left thigh) Thomas (left shoulder) Jamison (shoulder) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Robert Warnock for striking Jake Spencer Umpires Jeff Dalgleish Jacob Mollison Andrew Mitchell Attendance 37,323 at the MCG
  4. Demonland

    THE PAIN KILLER

    THE PAIN KILLER by Whispering Jack Fremantle set out to teach Melbourne a lesson in their clash at Patersons Stadium and the Dockers well and truly did this from the first minutes of the game. It started when the usually reliable Michael Barlow errantly passed the ball coming out of defence directly into the waiting arms of Jack Watts for Melbourne's first goal. From that brief but painful beginning for the home team, the Demons took the lead from their hosts and stumbled, fumbled and turned over the football to their opposition gifting away goal after goal to give them leads of 40 and 71 points respectively at each of the first two breaks. Surprisingly, Melbourne won the premiership quarter and narrowed the deficit by a few points in the third before the inevitable fall off at the end which resulted in a thumping defeat that filled the heart of the faithful with enough pain and provided the club with a further dose of humiliation. It was a result which almost certainly will hasten the end of the coach's career. One senses that the silence coming from both the Board and the newly appointed and temporary CEO points to the fact that the end will inevitably come shortly and all that remains to make it complete is the bean counting on the final settlement and the finalisation of the name of the fill in coach. That will be a sad day for the club because Mark Neeld has had the unenviable task of changing what for lack of a better description can be termed "the club's poor culture". This is something that requires more time than seems available to him as the naysayers gain the ascendency in the debate about his future. Other than that, there's not much to write about this game from a Demon perspective although I continue to be impressed with Jack Trengove, a young man who has been given a job that would be difficult on many other older and more experienced shoulders. He has carried himself well both off the field and now on the field this week and he must become one of the club's spearheads for its ultimate revival. I loved Jeremy Howe's work especially given that he looked gone going for the obligatory weekly mark of the year after suffering a tunneling attack from a Docker opponent. The two Jones boys worked hard but for most of the rest, it's the failure to work hard that again brought the team undone. That, and the lack of progress under Neeld is testament to the fact that the Board and CEO will most likely act soon to put an end to the pain. But will that course of action be the pain killer? Melbourne 1.1.7 2.2.14 5.3.33 6.4.40 Fremantle 7.5.47 13.7.85 15.11.101 19.16.130 Goals Melbourne Howe Trengove 2 M Jones Watts Fremantle Ballantyne Mzungu 3 Crozier Mayne Pearce 2, Barlow Crowley Fyfe Hannath Ibbotson Mundy Silvagni Best Melbourne Howe Trengove N Jones Magner McKenzie M Jones Fremantle Mundy Fyfe Barlow Ibbotson Pearce Mzungu Injuries Melbourne Dean Terlich (ribs) Fremantle Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Silvagni in the second term for rough conduct on N Jones. Umpires Hay Farmer Fisher Crowd 32,950 at Subiaco.
  5. Demonland

    CHASING TIGER TAIL

    CHASING TIGER TAIL by George on the Outer The coach called for a competitive effort this week, which is rather strange given that the MFC team is supposed to be composed of professional football players. The groans from the supporters echoed throughout the suburbs again, as we could have expected a similar performance to that which we endured against GWS. Yes, we were competitive against the Tigers ... the perennial 9th place finishers but we still lost by over 5 goals and if they had any semblance of skill, their 15.16 in front of goal could easily have yet another 10 goal plus hiding. It is a sad indictment that Aaron Davey was the stand-out player for the side. His ball delivery and vision was simply sublime and he topped it with 3 goals and 20 odd disposals. He is probably playing his last season, yet no-one else seems to have the ability to try to impose themselves on a game. There were others who try valiantly Jones N & M, Garland, Terlich, Magner, and even Mark Jamar who provided us with some real ruck competitiveness. (may we never see Jake Spencer trotted out again). James Frawley did his usual assassination job on Riewoldt. But the backs were constantly under pressure as we could only manage 100 less disposals, 80 less kicks, 20 less inside 50s and 30 less handballs. We simply dont have sufficient players prepared to put all the time. And this was against the forever middle of the road team in Richmond. This wasnt some powerhouse club. We will really see how competitive we are in the next 3 weeks, when we have to play Fremantle, Collingwood and Hawthorn. Experience?... baloney! Players get experience because they are good enough to play multiple games of football; duds dont! And we continue to fill the side with duds. In 2 years we still wont be experienced, because those filler players will have gone. to be replaced by either draftees or more filler players. The coach has got to stop the experience mantra. What we need is a proper attitude to be shown to really make us competitive. The coach can only work with the cattle at his disposal, and try to improve and enforce a competitive approach. Giving games to fillers to give them experience is self defeating. As R. Barassi said give me possessions, and Ill shut up! In the meantime all we can do is chase Tiger tail this week, and next week it will be a similar story and the same the weeks after. The supporters are getting all the experience they need..and its not good! Melbourne 3.0.18 7.2.44 10.4.64 11.6.72 Richmond 2.4.16 7.9.51 12.14.86 15.16.106 Goals Melbourne Davey 3 Dawes Dunn 2 Bail Evans Howe Nicholson Richmond Martin Riewoldt 3 King 2 Chaplin Deledio Ellis Morris Nahas, Vlastuin White Best Melbourne Davey N Jones Magner, Terlich M Jones Garland Richmond Ellis Vlastuin S Edwards Deledio Grigg Houli Injuries Melbourne Toumpas (ankle) Richmond Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Richmond Nil Umpires McBurney Hosking Foot Official crowd 39,148 at the MCG
  6. Demonland

    PLAYING TEAMS INTO FORM

    PLAYING TEAMS INTO FORM by The Oracle Melbourne has made it a habit of late to play its opponents into form. The Brisbane Lions are a case in point. I watched most of their game last week against North Melbourne and they were pathetic. They looked sluggish, ran to the wrong places when they did run and were outplayed by superior opposition. By a strange quirk of the draw they sit ahead of the Kangaroos on the AFL ladder today but I doubt whether that will last. But enough of that game. Back home at the Gabba they weathered Melbourne's efforts in the first quarter when the teams were on equal terms at the first break and were only a goal in front by half time but they were never going to lose. By then, it was clear that they had worked their way back into form by a team that simply appeared unable or unwilling enough to put in the hard work and the hard yards necessary to get on top in a game. Brisbane was leading the game significantly in most of the key indicators and in particular the disposal count where it was led by former Demon best and fairest Brent Moloney who put into the game significantly more effort than he had appeared to do at any time under coach Mark Neeld last year when he was at Melbourne. At least he was able to momentarily recapture the old combination of the Russian tapping the ball to Beamer in the middle although it wasn't to the effect intended back in the good old days when they dominated every second week. With Nathan Jones pretty well covered in the midfield, Melbourne struggled while the Lions prospered even without Simon Black and Daniel Rich. When things are going bad, they really go bad and things went pear shaped in the third quarter when the Lions inevitably got on top and the hapless Demons committed coach killing errors to let the home side effortlessly stride to a five goal buffer which they kept to the end. The sad part from my point of view is that, although the mature age newcomers like Matt Jones and Dean Terlich are being persevered with and doing well, there seems to be little improvement from the early twenty somethings and not much of an inclination to go with a youth policy. Injuries to Clark and Dawes don't help either as the club lurches into a never land of long term failure to improve. Melbourne 5.3.33 7.5.47 10.7.67 14.10.94 Brisbane 5.3.33 7.11.53 13.14.92 17.20.122 Goals Melbourne Gawn Howe Watts 2 Bail Davey Jamar Jones McKenzie Pedersen Rodan Tapscott Brisbane Brown Leuenberger Zorko 3 Cornelius 2 Adcock Bewick Paparone Polkinghorne Redden Rockliff Best MelbourneB yrnes Sylvia Terlich Watts Garland Gawn Brisbane Moloney Mayes Polkinghorne Leuenberger Zorko Rockliff Injuries Melbourne Nil Brisbane Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Brisbane Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Brisbane Polkinghorne (Brisbane) for tripping Byrnes in the second quarter Umpires McBurney Leppard Bannister Crowd 19,018 at Gabba
  7. Demonland

    A LITTLE WIN

    A LITTLE WIN by The Oracle It doesn't happen often that a team can lose a game by a margin in excess of 15 goals and still describe it as a "percentage booster" but such is the mediocrity of the Melbourne Football Club at the present time that this is precisely what happened when the Demons took on the West Coast Eagles at the MCG for their Round 3, 2013 visit to purgatory. Not only that, but the game afforded coach Mark Neeld the opportunity of claiming "a little win" which was how he described Melbourne's response to a week that began with a train wreck crushing at the hands of a team of suspected druggies, was followed by the public execution of the club's CEO at the bidding of the AFL, a disappearing trick when the lads bonded at the Hotel Sorrento followed by a closed training session at Casey Fields and a rousing final training run at Gosch's Paddock. The result was another tragic, unacceptable soul destroying loss but at least it was by less than 100 points. The team looked reasonably competitive for most of the first half, led by 9 points halfway through the second term when Jeremy Howe goaled, trailed by only 10 (points) at the half and even booted its highest score for the season but it also bled profusely in the third quarter giving away 11 goals to the rampant Eagles. Which brings me to Hotel Sorrento which is also the name of an Aussie movie about a family forced to confront their own demons and in covering that subject the film takes us through an exploration of the word "melancholy" - one that a reviewer claimed "perfectly suits Hotel Sorrento's tone and pace". The word also perfectly suits the place in which the Melbourne Football Club and its supporters are situated at the present time. We are deluded if we think that after two games in a season, the removal of the CEO by a hatchet mob is going to achieve anything. Make him responsible for failings which you can sheet home to him if they exist but the heroics of those who anonymously attacked him behind keyboards and secretive firewalls is not going to achieve a single thing on the field but weaken us off it. What Melbourne needs is more players with the ability to run and spread, with skills, determination and mature bodies to compete for 120 minutes and not 45. It won't happen overnight and perhaps Neeld is right in claiming his tiny victory but there are not enough of the vital ingredients that instil success at the present time to make enough of a difference. The signs were there when the Eagles were able to score freely at the end of each of the first two quarters that the landslide to come was inevitable. In the early stages, Nathan Jones was the instigator wininng 17 disposals up to half time on his way to 28 for the game. Jack Viney again showed his great potential despite an early ankle injury. The inclusion of Rohan Bail and the return after more than a year out of Michael Evans have the team some more run. Neville Jetta, while not outstanding, added the grunt and determination. The team was more balanced this week but it needs more oomph from the likes of James Frawley and Colin Garland in defence. I don't understand the exile to the stands of Jack Watts before moving him forward at least one time to see if he can do something in the place where he once earned # 1 draft selection. But then again, I don't understand much of what is happening at the Melbourne Football Club lately. All I know is that next week we need to see a win and it must not be tiny. Melbourne 4.1.25 9.2.56 10.3.63 13.5.83 West Coast Eagles 5.3.33 10.6.66 21.9.135 27.15.177 Goals Melbourne Clark 3 Sylvia Trengove 2 Byrnes Davey Evans Howe Sellar Tapscott West Coast Darling Kennedy 5 Cox Hams LeCras 3 Sinclair 2 Cripps Embley Gaff Hill Hurn Masten Best Melbourne N Jones Sylvia Viney M Jones Grimes Terlich West Coast Kennedy Cox Darling Priddis Masten Hurn Changes Melbourne Nil West Coast Waters (calf) replaced in selected side by Jacob Brennan Injuries Melbourne Bail (concussion) West Coast Hams (lower leg) Reports Nil Umpires Harris Pannell Fisher Official crowd 18,571 at the MCG
  8. After a long hot summer for the Casey Scorpions in which their very existence was challenged, the on field team gave new coach Rohan Welsh a win in his first game at the helm at Casey Fields against Frankston on Saturday. The 68 point win was a fillip for the club after a less than spectacular series of practice matches saw many of the pundits predicting a gloomy season for the club. The experts were proved wrong by a team that showed it was up to the task of playing a strong brand of winning football and the result was a true confidence booster for many of the young players on display seeking to develop their careers at either AFL or VFL level and for the club itself. We saw some outstanding performances from the likes of Luke Tapscott (6 goals), Max Gawn in the ruck and midfielders in James Magner, Tom Couch and Michael Evans and the emergence of a real prospect in Ben Kearns, a teenager from the Gippsland Power who kicked 5 goals. Mitch Gent was another of the Casey younger brigade who underlined his improvement during the off season. The game was played in perfect conditions and the first quarter was a real shootout with the home side booting eight goals to six to take a lead of 11 points at the first break. Casey skipped away in the second term with a dominant midfield and accurate kicking for goal and were untroubled as they won every quarter on their way to a resounding victory. One of the features of the game was the hunger of many of the players sensing the opportunity to gain AFL promotion in the wake of Melbourne's poor performances in the opening rounds. Tapscott was a standout while Gawn showed great skill both in ruck and up forward. Rohan Bail showed good toe and confidence for one who had been sidelined from contact work for the better part of two months while recovering from concussion. It was also a day for Demon rookies with Magner, Couch and newcomer Mitch Clisby amassing the possessions. One of the highlights of the game was the goal kicked from outside 50 by Dean Kent on the run after taking a couple of bounces. Newcomer Jesse Hogan looks the goods as a key forward of the future while Cam Pedersen overcame the disappointment of a poor first up effort at AFL level last week with a commanding performance in defence. The Scorpions have been known in recent years for nurturing and developing local talent and, apart from the outstanding debut of Kearns, the game also saw solid first up efforts from Leongatha's Jake Best and Cranbourne's Michael Boland. While some seasoned veterans opened the season playing in the development league, the youth policy seems to be paying off although we are sure to see some of the regulars pushing for places as the season unfolds. Casey will play North Ballarat next Saturday at Eureka Stadium at 2pm. Casey Scorpions 8.2.50 14.4.88 19.8.122 23.11.149 Frankston 6.3.39 8.5.53 10.8.68 12.9.81 Goals Casey Scorpions Tapscott 6 Kearns 5 Bail Best Gawn Hogan 2 Evans Jetta Kent Magner Frankston Lourey 4 Alwan 3 Delahunty Lloyd 2 Gallagher Best Casey Scorpions Tapscott Gawn Gent Kearns Evans Magner Frankston Lourey Lloyd Alwan Irving Bosward Gallagher The development side was outgunned in the final quarter by a determined Dolphins outfit. 2013 AFL Victoria Development League Casey Scorpions 4.2.26 5.2.32 8.2.50 9.3.57 Frankston 2.2.14 6.8.44 7.10.52 12.14.86 Goals Casey Scorpions Hughes 3 Matthews 2 Lang Meadows Nicholls Taggert Frankston Calvert 4 Maynard Miller 2 Johnson Matheson Sykes Tuddenham Best Casey Scorpions Nicholls Pollard Hill Waters Troutman Rutherford Frankston Newman Boland Sutton Calvert Beech Maynard
  9. I didn't see this coming either. Ten minutes into the game we were looking shaky but level at one goal each. Ten minutes later Essendon had broken our backs and then our hearts went too. There's nothing much more to say. MELBOURNE not much ESSENDON a lot more. If you have a thirst for further knowledge about this game then click here.
  10. Demons Fans boo off team after Round 1 capitulation. A simply disgraceful team performance by the Melbourne Football club where they managed a solitary goal in a half of football, saw them rightly booed from the ground by their fans. And for all the apologists who say the team shouldnt be bagged ... that's rubbish! When a couple of first game 18 year olds show how to play a game of football, as an example, then players who had pulled on the jumper for 50 or 100 games should hang their heads in shame. Once again the supporters turned out in droves with over 20,000 paying their money and providing encouragement. For that they were treated disgracefully as they witnessed half-hearted efforts and lack of simply football smarts throughout the whole game. If it werent for the likes of Mitch Clark, Jack Grimes, Jack Viney and Nathan Jones the result would have been as one toothless Port supporter described after the match -Road Kill. How true that was! Port were prepared to run. Port were prepared to back up their team-mates and keep playing simple football. It was what we have come to know them as. It is their culture. Melbourne players in contrast played like a group of upper-class schoolboys. Avoiding the heavy contact, and hoping someone else will do the hard work, just to avoid getting the hands dirty. Simple tactics of manning up were either not followed or issued, as countless Port goals were slammed through with barely a Melbourne player in sight. Grimes tried hard to rally the troops with some genuine dash, and Blease added that which was missing for the first ¾ of the game. Clark played his heart out, but with no other assistance up forward his output was nullified. Viney will surely win the Rising Star award for this week with 22 disposals. And they were all hard fought and valuable. However, his long time friend Oliver Wines had an equally impressive debut for the Power. A sharp contrast with Col Sylvia (yet again) who simply refuses to cover his or any man, while he is all too happy to let others get the ball to him ... if he feels like it. The fans booed the team off at half-time and again at full time. They could see the sub-standard performance and the lack of effort being shunted out. Any supporter can stomach a team that is better than yours, but they certainly couldnt stomach what they saw today. Melbourne 3.1.19 7.2.44 7.3.45 8.6.54 Port Adelaide 5.3.33 11.6.72 16.13.109 19.19.133 Goals MelbourneClark Howe 2 Byrnes McKenzie Pedersen Viney Port Adelaide Schulz 4 Monfries Stewart 3 Hartlett 2 Cornes Heath Moore Pittard Westhoff Wingard Wines Best Melbourne Grimes Viney Clark N Jones M Jones Port Adelaide Hartlett Monfries Schulz Ebert Cornes Westhoff Injuries Melbourne Clark (ankle) Port Adelaide Nil Changes Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Port Adelaide Nil Substitions Melbourne Sam Blease replaced Mitch Clark (final quarter) Port Adelaide Kane Mitchell replaced Angus Monfries (final quarter) Umpires Farmer Ryan Pannell Crowd 22,924 at the MCG
  11. Demonland

    HANG ON TO YOUR HOPES MY FRIEND

    HANG ON TO YOUR HOPES MY FRIEND by Whispering Jack There's a fair chance that not many people on this side of the continent will remember the last game of 2012 in the years to come. Mark Neeld took a team of twenty-two players who looked and played as if they were physically and mentally exhausted, washed up, wounded and hurt, and the result they produced against an opponent on its way to the finals was thoroughly predictable. At least the game put paid to the idea that there is such a thing as tanking in Australian football. It's actually called "controlling the outcome", as football icon Leigh Matthews declared this week in the media when he suggested that Ross Lyon should take such steps as are necessary to manufacture a home town Derby final against the Eagles for next week. The idea never had a chance of flying anywhere with the Dockers shooting out of the blocks and never being even remotely troubled on their way to their eighth win from their past nine matches to land seventh position and an away final against Geelong. It was hard to believe that less than two months earlier, an injury hit Melbourne team already playing on two cylinders led Fremantle at three quarter time in their "home" game at Etihad Stadium only to be rolled over at the end when the capacity to rotate players was stretched to the limit. And it's the very thought of how the Demons fought in that game that is perhaps a major redeeming feature as we begin to reflect on yet another disastrous period in the club's history. The events have been well dicumented and don't bear repeating but by Round 16 their season was as good as over with as many players heading for the infirmary as were those heading for the scrapheap but they bested the finals bound Dockers for most of the game. Since then, there have been a couple of consolation wins (against the franchise teams) but the coach has been confined to a short list of players fit enough to play at their optimum. A number of others were simply not up to performing to required AFL standards. Nor are some capable of preparing themselves to play the game the way the coach dictates. They are, of course, finished. Done. Kaput. I can think of a few others who would have been better off "rested" for the last couple of games but that would have only invited scorn among the club's enemies amid allegations that the club was ... ahem ... controlling the outcome to improve its draft position. Now that's a total myth as this game proved beyond all reasonable doubt. The Demons were bad enough on their own to make the result an absolute certainty from the outset. I will exclude from the "bad" characterisation, the club's two young skippers in Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove who were thrust by circumstance into their difficult roles and who (I have no doubt whatsoever on this) will shame their critics in future years. They were there to learn their roles this year and have shown that they are responding extremely well to the challenge. Colin Sylvia has also responded well, albeit late in the season, and defied his critics with another solid performance. Nearing the veteran stage, he's no longer "the kid" and it's to be hoped that he can finally put together a solid season of football. Nathan Jones had the solid Crowley tag and, despite having his output reduced to less than twenty disposals, he demonstrated to the rest of this young side the rewards that can be achieved by a solid hard pre season. A couple of young blokes in Tom McDonald and Jack Fitzpatrick showed that they have talent and it will be interesting to see how they and many of the other youngsters in this group develop over the next year or two. Let's face it, player development is an area where the club has lagged behind the rest of the field over the past decade or so. It remains one of the club's major challenges as we enter the coming era. Development, fitness and hard work over the off season is a necessity for all clubs in this highly competitive industry. It's going to be even more important for what is left of the 2012 list and for those who join it in the coming months. It is on that which we will have to hang our hopes over the coming long, hot summer. Melbourne 1.3.9 2.5.17 4.8.32 5.10.40 Fremantle 3.5.23 7.7.49 11.14.80 14.17.101 Goals Melbourne Fitzpatrick 2 Blease Jones Sellar Fremantle Ballantyne 3 Griffin Mzungu Pavlich Sandilands 2 Mayne Mundy Walters Best Melbourne Sylvia Grimes Jones Trengove Fitzpatrick Garland Fremantle Mundy Fyfe Barlow Pearce Hill Sandilands Injuries Melbourne Nil Fremantle McPharlin (hamstring) Changes Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Umpires Farmer Dalgleish Leppard Official Crowd 32,687 at Patersons Stadium.
  12. HANG ON TO YOUR HOPES MY FRIEND by Whispering Jack There's a fair chance that not many people on this side of the continent will remember the last game of 2012 in the years to come. Mark Neeld took a team of twenty-two players who looked and played as if they were physically and mentally exhausted, washed up, wounded and hurt, and the result they produced against an opponent on its way to the finals was thoroughly predictable. At least the game put paid to the idea that there is such a thing as tanking in Australian football. It's actually called "controlling the outcome", as football icon Leigh Matthews declared this week in the media when he suggested that Ross Lyon should take such steps as are necessary to manufacture a home town Derby final against the Eagles for next week. The idea never had a chance of flying anywhere with the Dockers shooting out of the blocks and never being even remotely troubled on their way to their eighth win from their past nine matches to land seventh position and an away final against Geelong. It was hard to believe that less than two months earlier, an injury hit Melbourne team already playing on two cylinders led Fremantle at three quarter time in their "home" game at Etihad Stadium only to be rolled over at the end when the capacity to rotate players was stretched to the limit. And it's the very thought of how the Demons fought in that game that is perhaps a major redeeming feature as we begin to reflect on yet another disastrous period in the club's history. The events have been well dicumented and don't bear repeating but by Round 16 their season was as good as over with as many players heading for the infirmary as were those heading for the scrapheap but they bested the finals bound Dockers for most of the game. Since then, there have been a couple of consolation wins (against the franchise teams) but the coach has been confined to a short list of players fit enough to play at their optimum. A number of others were simply not up to performing to required AFL standards. Nor are some capable of preparing themselves to play the game the way the coach dictates. They are, of course, finished. Done. Kaput. I can think of a few others who would have been better off "rested" for the last couple of games but that would have only invited scorn among the club's enemies amid allegations that the club was ... ahem ... controlling the outcome to improve its draft position. Now that's a total myth as this game proved beyond all reasonable doubt. The Demons were bad enough on their own to make the result an absolute certainty from the outset. I will exclude from the "bad" characterisation, the club's two young skippers in Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove who were thrust by circumstance into their difficult roles and who (I have no doubt whatsoever on this) will shame their critics in future years. They were there to learn their roles this year and have shown that they are responding extremely well to the challenge. Colin Sylvia has also responded well, albeit late in the season, and defied his critics with another solid performance. Nearing the veteran stage, he's no longer "the kid" and it's to be hoped that he can finally put together a solid season of football. Nathan Jones had the solid Crowley tag and, despite having his output reduced to less than twenty disposals, he demonstrated to the rest of this young side the rewards that can be achieved by a solid hard pre season. A couple of young blokes in Tom McDonald and Jack Fitzpatrick showed that they have talent and it will be interesting to see how they and many of the other youngsters in this group develop over the next year or two. Let's face it, player development is an area where the club has lagged behind the rest of the field over the past decade or so. It remains one of the club's major challenges as we enter the coming era. Development, fitness and hard work over the off season is a necessity for all clubs in this highly competitive industry. It's going to be even more important for what is left of the 2012 list and for those who join it in the coming months. It is on that which we will have to hang our hopes over the coming long, hot summer. Melbourne 1.3.9 2.5.17 4.8.32 5.10.40 Fremantle 3.5.23 7.7.49 11.14.80 14.17.101 Goals Melbourne Fitzpatrick 2 Blease Jones Sellar Fremantle Ballantyne 3 Griffin Mzungu Pavlich Sandilands 2 Mayne Mundy Walters Best Melbourne Sylvia Grimes Jones Trengove Fitzpatrick Garland Fremantle Mundy Fyfe Barlow Pearce Hill Sandilands Injuries Melbourne Nil Fremantle McPharlin (hamstring) Changes Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Umpires Farmer Dalgleish Leppard Official Crowd 32,687 at Patersons Stadium.
  13. Demonland

    TIRED

    TIRED by The Oracle For the first quarter and a half of the Demons' farewell to favoured son Brad Green, things were going well. When Jared Rivers' goal put them only five points down, they looked a substantially improved outfit to the one which stumbled through most of the first half of the season. Green himself had featured prominently in his team's impressive start with two first quarter goals and he could easily have set his retirement match alight had he not missed two easy shots that presented themselves in the second term. His final tally of goals sits at an impressive 350 from 254 matches but this one was not to be the fairytale ending that most would hope for after giving so much for his team. The Crows made the most of a few Demon turnovers and other errors kicking the last four goals of the half to lead by 31 points at the main break. The problem with this young team decimated by injuries and loss of form was that it was travelling on two cylinders while the opposition, winning in the ruck and midfield, with two dominant key position forwards in fine marking form and a final four finish in its sights, put on the afterburners in the third quarter and that was that. The Crows kicked ten goals for the term to take a 74-point lead into Green's last quarter and, though the Demons looked tired and dispirited they fought on gamely to narrowly win the final term. Colin Sylvia who started the season with a broken back and had to contend with injury and criticism as to his attitude has kept his best games until near the very end. Nathan Jones was his usual self as the battering ram midfielder and Jeremy Howe did well, taking a few marks to add to the album. Sam Blease did a few nice things and the co-leaders worked hard for a lost cause. Their team is playing as if it is in the middle of a long, hard pre season. It looks tired and in need of a rest as much as its supporters. Melbourne 3.4.22 5.7.37 8.10.58 11.15.81 Adelaide 5.3.33 10.8.68 20.12.132 22.18.150 Goals Melbourne Green Rivers Sellar 2 Blease Howe Jones Spencer Watts Adelaide Callinan Walker 4 Dangerfield Tippett 3 Douglas Johncock 2 Petrenko Reilly van Berlo Wright Best Melbourne Sylvia Jones Howe Grimes Bail McKenzie Adelaide Walker Dangerfield Tippett Thompson Wright Petrenko Jacobs Callinan Changes Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Injuries Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Reports Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Umpires Wenn Leppard Fleer Official Crowd 18,450 at MCG
  14. Demonland

    TIRED

    TIRED by The Oracle For the first quarter and a half of the Demons' farewell to favoured son Brad Green, things were going well. When Jared Rivers' goal put them only five points down, they looked a substantially improved outfit to the one which stumbled through most of the first half of the season. Green himself had featured prominently in his team's impressive start with two first quarter goals and he could easily have set his retirement match alight had he not missed two easy shots that presented themselves in the second term. His final tally of goals sits at an impressive 350 from 254 matches but this one was not to be the fairytale ending that most would hope for after giving so much for his team. The Crows made the most of a few Demon turnovers and other errors kicking the last four goals of the half to lead by 31 points at the main break. The problem with this young team decimated by injuries and loss of form was that it was travelling on two cylinders while the opposition, winning in the ruck and midfield, with two dominant key position forwards in fine marking form and a final four finish in its sights, put on the afterburners in the third quarter and that was that. The Crows kicked ten goals for the term to take a 74-point lead into Green's last quarter and, though the Demons looked tired and dispirited they fought on gamely to narrowly win the final term. Colin Sylvia who started the season with a broken back and had to contend with injury and criticism as to his attitude has kept his best games until near the very end. Nathan Jones was his usual self as the battering ram midfielder and Jeremy Howe did well, taking a few marks to add to the album. Sam Blease did a few nice things and the co-leaders worked hard for a lost cause. Their team is playing as if it is in the middle of a long, hard pre season. It looks tired and in need of a rest as much as its supporters. Melbourne 3.4.22 5.7.37 8.10.58 11.15.81 Adelaide 5.3.33 10.8.68 20.12.132 22.18.150 Goals Melbourne Green Rivers Sellar 2 Blease Howe Jones Spencer Watts Adelaide Callinan Walker 4 Dangerfield Tippett 3 Douglas Johncock 2 Petrenko Reilly van Berlo Wright Best Melbourne Sylvia Jones Howe Grimes Bail McKenzie Adelaide Walker Dangerfield Tippett Thompson Wright Petrenko Jacobs Callinan Changes Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Injuries Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Reports Melbourne Nil. Adelaide Nil. Umpires Wenn Leppard Fleer Official Crowd 18,450 at MCG
  15. Demonland

    CENTIMETRE IMPERFECT

    CENTIMETRE IMPERFECT by Whispering Jack The point has been made on more than one occasion during the past week of the importance of experience in achieving ultimate success in our game. It's a point usually made by coaches of young struggling teams and was the theme this week of discussion by both the Western Bulldog's coach Brendan McCartney and Melbourne's Mark Neeld who explained immediately after his side's 25-point loss to the Saints that they "had (an average of) 117 games per player on the field and we had 60 and that's what happens." It also happens that teams with superior experience often have a strong edge in class and an ability to exploit their opponent's weaknesses and this is what happened in the game. At the start, the Saints attacked the ball with ferocity and were able to put sufficient pressure on the Demons to run away to a four goal lead by mid quarter. Melbourne had worked hard and contested well but was forced into error, usually involving little more than a few centimetres between a perfectly executed piece of play and a turnover and opposition goal. Then, the game changed with the departure of Nick Riewoldt with a knee injury. Over the course of the next half a game, the Demons worked their way back but they lacked the experienced game turner who could sway the game in their favour totally. And so, they battled their way through the remainder of the first term, throughout the second and for almost ten minutes into the third, they held sway but all of the momentum was insufficient to push them into the lead. When they kicked their second goal after six minutes into the third half, they were within sniffing distance – a mere four points down. It was at this point that the game changed again and St. Kilda retook the initiative, thanks to the class of their experienced players in dal Santo, Hayes, Fisher and Montagna who led the way to blast out eight unanswered goals in a half hour stretch that put the game well and truly beyond doubt. Beau Wilkes kicked five goals and was good but it was the team leaders who were so decisive in turning things around. To their credit, the Demons toiled away to peg the Saints' lead back to 25 points which was about the same place where they were at the fourteen minute mark of the first term when Riewoldt had hobbled off the ground. The teams even finished with the same number of inside 50's as well as tackles. Melbourne led the contested possessions and the efficiency count. The numbers suggest that the team is starting to make some progress after a poor start to the season. When you consider that the Saints were just two points or a single umpiring decision away from beating Collingwood a week earlier, the signs are good. Sitting in the stands when the score was St. Kilda 5.6.36 to Melbourne's 4.8.32 I wondered what might have been if it had its full back (James Frawley), full forward (Mitch Clark), two first dibs ruckmen (Mark Jamar and Stephan Martin), the versatile Jack Watts and the livewire Liam Jurrah fit and available for the game (not to mention half a dozen others who would be vying for contention if not for their injuries). But that's conjecture for another time. In this game Sammy Blease came of age and justified his first round draft selection for the first time. Not only for his five goals (which could easily have been six or seven) but for the defensive aspect of his play and the fact that he played out a full game. Melbourne's much maligned midfield also showed signs that it was coming out of its almost moribund state. Nathan Jones has been good all year and if he continues to improve at this rate, will come close to nudging elite status. The two skippers in Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove continued to show that they can take further strides forward in the future. Who know? One day people might speak of their appointment as joint captains at such a young age as an inspired move. There were a few highlights from other young players in Jeremy Howe, Luke Tapscott, James Strauss and, although Tom McDonald had a torrid day down back, he also demonstrated that he can step up in the future to a much higher level. If anything, the Demons were let down by their experienced players. A few of them are nearing the end but Joel Macdonald and Jared Rivers were fantastic and, on their form, one wonders why on earth there are any reservations about signing them on to new contracts immediately. Melbourne 0.3.3 2.7.19 4.9.33 12.10.82 St. Kilda 4.2.26 5.5.35 12.11.83 16.11.107 Best Melbourne Blease 5 Sellar 2 Dunn Green Howe Jetta Sylvia St. Kilda Wilkes 5 Cripps Koschitzke Milne Saad 2 Goddard Riewoldt Steven Best Melbourne Blease Jones Grimes Rivers MacDonald Trengove St. Kilda Wilkes Dal Santo Armitage Dempster Geary Hayes Injuries Melbourne Nil. St. Kilda Nick Riewoldt (knee) Changes Melbourne James Frawley (quad) replaced by Matthew Bate St. Kilda Farren Ray (back) and Clint Jones replaced by Reports Melbourne Nil. St. Kilda Nil. Umpires Stewart Hosking Kamolins Official crowd 23,464 at MCG If you want a real laugh I recommend the play GROUCHO commencing on 15 August 2012 for a short season at Chapel Off Chapel. If Demonlanders book tickets and confirm their booking and ticket number with Demonland by PM, a donation of $4.00 per ticket will be made to a charity connected with mental health. Opening night now a sellout!
  16. Demonland

    CENTIMETRE IMPERFECT

    CENTIMETRE IMPERFECT by Whispering Jack The point has been made on more than one occasion during the past week of the importance of experience in achieving ultimate success in our game. It's a point usually made by coaches of young struggling teams and was the theme this week of discussion by both the Western Bulldog's coach Brendan McCartney and Melbourne's Mark Neeld who explained immediately after his side's 25-point loss to the Saints that they "had (an average of) 117 games per player on the field and we had 60 and that's what happens." It also happens that teams with superior experience often have a strong edge in class and an ability to exploit their opponent's weaknesses and this is what happened in the game. At the start, the Saints attacked the ball with ferocity and were able to put sufficient pressure on the Demons to run away to a four goal lead by mid quarter. Melbourne had worked hard and contested well but was forced into error, usually involving little more than a few centimetres between a perfectly executed piece of play and a turnover and opposition goal. Then, the game changed with the departure of Nick Riewoldt with a knee injury. Over the course of the next half a game, the Demons worked their way back but they lacked the experienced game turner who could sway the game in their favour totally. And so, they battled their way through the remainder of the first term, throughout the second and for almost ten minutes into the third, they held sway but all of the momentum was insufficient to push them into the lead. When they kicked their second goal after six minutes into the third half, they were within sniffing distance – a mere four points down. It was at this point that the game changed again and St. Kilda retook the initiative, thanks to the class of their experienced players in dal Santo, Hayes, Fisher and Montagna who led the way to blast out eight unanswered goals in a half hour stretch that put the game well and truly beyond doubt. Beau Wilkes kicked five goals and was good but it was the team leaders who were so decisive in turning things around. To their credit, the Demons toiled away to peg the Saints' lead back to 25 points which was about the same place where they were at the fourteen minute mark of the first term when Riewoldt had hobbled off the ground. The teams even finished with the same number of inside 50's as well as tackles. Melbourne led the contested possessions and the efficiency count. The numbers suggest that the team is starting to make some progress after a poor start to the season. When you consider that the Saints were just two points or a single umpiring decision away from beating Collingwood a week earlier, the signs are good. Sitting in the stands when the score was St. Kilda 5.6.36 to Melbourne's 4.8.32 I wondered what might have been if it had its full back (James Frawley), full forward (Mitch Clark), two first dibs ruckmen (Mark Jamar and Stephan Martin), the versatile Jack Watts and the livewire Liam Jurrah fit and available for the game (not to mention half a dozen others who would be vying for contention if not for their injuries). But that's conjecture for another time. In this game Sammy Blease came of age and justified his first round draft selection for the first time. Not only for his five goals (which could easily have been six or seven) but for the defensive aspect of his play and the fact that he played out a full game. Melbourne's much maligned midfield also showed signs that it was coming out of its almost moribund state. Nathan Jones has been good all year and if he continues to improve at this rate, will come close to nudging elite status. The two skippers in Jack Grimes and Jack Trengove continued to show that they can take further strides forward in the future. Who know? One day people might speak of their appointment as joint captains at such a young age as an inspired move. There were a few highlights from other young players in Jeremy Howe, Luke Tapscott, James Strauss and, although Tom McDonald had a torrid day down back, he also demonstrated that he can step up in the future to a much higher level. If anything, the Demons were let down by their experienced players. A few of them are nearing the end but Joel Macdonald and Jared Rivers were fantastic and, on their form, one wonders why on earth there are any reservations about signing them on to new contracts immediately. Melbourne 0.3.3 2.7.19 4.9.33 12.10.82 St. Kilda 4.2.26 5.5.35 12.11.83 16.11.107 Best Melbourne Blease 5 Sellar 2 Dunn Green Howe Jetta Sylvia St. Kilda Wilkes 5 Cripps Koschitzke Milne Saad 2 Goddard Riewoldt Steven Best Melbourne Blease Jones Grimes Rivers MacDonald Trengove St. Kilda Wilkes Dal Santo Armitage Dempster Geary Hayes Injuries Melbourne Nil. St. Kilda Nick Riewoldt (knee) Changes Melbourne James Frawley (quad) replaced by Matthew Bate St. Kilda Farren Ray (back) and Clint Jones replaced by Reports Melbourne Nil. St. Kilda Nil. Umpires Stewart Hosking Kamolins Official crowd 23,464 at MCG If you want a real laugh I recommend the play GROUCHO commencing on 15 August 2012 for a short season at Chapel Off Chapel. If Demonlanders book tickets and confirm their booking and ticket number with Demonland by PM, a donation of $4.00 per ticket will be made to a charity connected with mental health. Opening night now a sellout!
  17. Demonland

    THE HOWE JONES INDEX

    THE HOWE JONES INDEX by Mean Gene After yet another torrid week in a difficult year for the Melbourne Football Club, the Demons stocks climbed and eventually hit the roof. It started before the game when it was announced that leadership group member Nathan Jones, a certainty to be club champion this year and high flying Jeremy Howe had both signed on for the next three years. Then, when the team ran out onto the ground, the newly signed duo set the example for their team mates and they blew their opponents off the field. In that respect, they had set the Howe Jones Football Index and it was mostly upward and positive after their club had received a whacking in the media, most of it undeserved and some of it based on sheer malevolence from persons with an agenda against the club, its board and its officialdom. In the early moments of the game we saw Howe, who is better known for his hangers, setting the example by shepherding perfectly for a team mate (he would keep the best of his highflying exploits for later in the game). Jones was burrowing into packs and laying tackles with as much, if not more, impact than his more celebrated chrome down counterpart from the opposition. Their example and the effect of their efforts told on the scoreboard as the team snuffed out the young Gold Coast Suns with six unanswered first quarter goals to take an unassailable forty point lead into the first break. It was a smashing of a first quarter and even the unlikely Jake Spencer joined in the festivities with his first ever AFL goal (in his first ever winning match after almost four seasons), albeit after a fifty metre penalty! It's true that, after that first quarter, the plucky Gold Coast Suns with Gary Ablett Junior and Harley Bennell on fire, managed to limit Melbourne's ascendency even as its men were going down like flies, it was still a big win for the home side even if it couldn't shut up the critics in the media who made no concession whatsoever for the depleted nature of a team that went into the weekend with more than a third of its list, 16 players, unavailable. Despite that fact, had they lost this match, it would have been odds on that those baying for blood last week would have been on automatic pilot droning on ad nauseum about the club's culture. Make no mistake about it, this was no classic contest in the mould of Friday night's epic between Geelong and Hawthorn but, for the Melbourne faithful starved of success for so long, it was good to see their team lead from go to whoa for once. Brad Green shrugged off his horror start to the season and demonstrated that he had not lost his ability to snag the goals and Lynden Dunn played a sterling game in defence proving that forwards can move back without raising suspicious eyebrows. Colin Sylvia is also returning to the sort of form expected of him and his strong marking and contribution to the goal tally were welcome after some of his earlier disappointments. The skippers are also raising their own personal bars with every week and I expect that the real benefits of the brave decision to give such young men the responsibility of leadership will bring its own dividends in the years to come. In the end, it was Howe again who soared over a pack and took his latest mark of the day for the highlights reel. The resulting goal saw the Howe Jones Football Index rise another notch. Melbourne 6.6.42 10.7.67 13.8.86 16.12.108 Gold Coast 0.2.2 4.5.29 5.9.39 9.12.66 Goals Melbourne Green 5 Blease Sylvia 2 Bail Howe Rivers Sellar Spencer Tapscott Trengove Gold Coast Bennell 4 Ablett Brennan Lynch Rischitelli Russell Best Melbourne Howe Jones Green Grimes Dunn Sylvia Gold Coast Bennell Ablett Harbrow Swallow Shaw Injuries Melbourne Morton (shoulder) Gold Coast Hunt (shoulder) Prestia (hamstring) Rischitelli (knee) Russell (shoulder) Smith (ankle) Changes Melbourne McKenzie (knee) replaced in selected side by Magner Gold Coast Stanley (shoulder) replaced in selected side by Weller Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Umpires Schmitt B Ryan H Ryan Crowd 18,097 at MCG
  18. Demonland

    THE HOWE JONES INDEX

    THE HOWE JONES INDEX by Mean Gene After yet another torrid week in a difficult year for the Melbourne Football Club, the Demons stocks climbed and eventually hit the roof. It started before the game when it was announced that leadership group member Nathan Jones, a certainty to be club champion this year and high flying Jeremy Howe had both signed on for the next three years. Then, when the team ran out onto the ground, the newly signed duo set the example for their team mates and they blew their opponents off the field. In that respect, they had set the Howe Jones Football Index and it was mostly upward and positive after their club had received a whacking in the media, most of it undeserved and some of it based on sheer malevolence from persons with an agenda against the club, its board and its officialdom. In the early moments of the game we saw Howe, who is better known for his hangers, setting the example by shepherding perfectly for a team mate (he would keep the best of his highflying exploits for later in the game). Jones was burrowing into packs and laying tackles with as much, if not more, impact than his more celebrated chrome down counterpart from the opposition. Their example and the effect of their efforts told on the scoreboard as the team snuffed out the young Gold Coast Suns with six unanswered first quarter goals to take an unassailable forty point lead into the first break. It was a smashing of a first quarter and even the unlikely Jake Spencer joined in the festivities with his first ever AFL goal (in his first ever winning match after almost four seasons), albeit after a fifty metre penalty! It's true that, after that first quarter, the plucky Gold Coast Suns with Gary Ablett Junior and Harley Bennell on fire, managed to limit Melbourne's ascendency even as its men were going down like flies, it was still a big win for the home side even if it couldn't shut up the critics in the media who made no concession whatsoever for the depleted nature of a team that went into the weekend with more than a third of its list, 16 players, unavailable. Despite that fact, had they lost this match, it would have been odds on that those baying for blood last week would have been on automatic pilot droning on ad nauseum about the club's culture. Make no mistake about it, this was no classic contest in the mould of Friday night's epic between Geelong and Hawthorn but, for the Melbourne faithful starved of success for so long, it was good to see their team lead from go to whoa for once. Brad Green shrugged off his horror start to the season and demonstrated that he had not lost his ability to snag the goals and Lynden Dunn played a sterling game in defence proving that forwards can move back without raising suspicious eyebrows. Colin Sylvia is also returning to the sort of form expected of him and his strong marking and contribution to the goal tally were welcome after some of his earlier disappointments. The skippers are also raising their own personal bars with every week and I expect that the real benefits of the brave decision to give such young men the responsibility of leadership will bring its own dividends in the years to come. In the end, it was Howe again who soared over a pack and took his latest mark of the day for the highlights reel. The resulting goal saw the Howe Jones Football Index rise another notch. Melbourne 6.6.42 10.7.67 13.8.86 16.12.108 Gold Coast 0.2.2 4.5.29 5.9.399.12.66 Goals Melbourne Green 5 Blease Sylvia 2 Bail Howe Rivers Sellar Spencer Tapscott Trengove Gold Coast Bennell 4 Ablett Brennan Lynch Rischitelli Russell Best Melbourne Howe Jones Green Grimes Dunn Sylvia Gold Coast Bennell Ablett Harbrow Swallow Shaw Injuries Melbourne Morton (shoulder) Gold Coast Hunt (shoulder) Prestia (hamstring) Rischitelli (knee) Russell (shoulder) Smith (ankle) Changes Melbourne McKenzie (knee) replaced in selected side by Magner Gold Coast Stanley (shoulder) replaced in selected side by Weller Changes Melbourne Nil Gold Coast Nil Umpires Schmitt B Ryan H Ryan Crowd 18,097 at MCG
  19. Demonland

    CASEY WINS BATTLE BY THE BAY

    CASEY WINS BATTLE BY THE BAY by KC from Casey Spectators attending any clash between local rivals Casey Scorpions and Frankston can always count on an afternoon of tough, tightly contested football irrespective of the teams' ladder positions and Saturday's game at Kars Street by the bay was no exception. Although the visitors finished the game in front by six goals at the final siren, the stand alone Dolphins belied their lowly ladder standing with their enthusiasm and persistent attack on the football but they simply lacked the necessary big man strength and the midfield class necessary to maintain scoreboard pressure on their opponents. Frankston opened the game full of running in a ferocious start and went coast to coast to set up the first goal before the Scorpions settled down and briefly took control with goals to Leigh Williams, Lucas Cook (from a lucky free) and Tom Couch. The Dolphins worked their way back into the game making the most of some wasteful kicking for goal by Casey with a late burst of goals that saw them in front by two points at the first break. The Scorpions retook the initiative with an early goal from Ricky Petterd and another from Jack Fitzpatrick with a shot from near the boundary and, with Luke Tynan and Evan Panozza getting on top in defence, it was only some wayward kicking for goal that limited Casey's lead to just 13 points at half time. Coach Brett Lovett would not have been pleased with his team's wasted opportunities in the opening half but their efforts in the premiership quarter were outstanding. They wasted little time with an early goal to the lively Rian McGough followed by another after Tim Smith took one of his trademark screamers and the lead was soon up to over 30 points as the Scorps began to assert their stamp on the game. Fitzpatrick was dominating the rucks on his way to a 46 hit out game while Couch was well on top in the middle. He was to finish with 32 touches for the game. Other prolific ball winners were Cale Morton (29) and Jordan Gysberts (27) who displayed plenty of class after both started slowly and young Chris Clay who had a breakout game with 26 possessions, one more than Jordan Pollard and Tynan. By the final break, Casey had opened up a 37 point lead to ensure that for once their game would not end in a nail biting finish. However, the Dolphins were not to be denied and refused to give an inch as they worked hard to apply pressure to the Scorpions who were on the way to ladder leadership courtesy of a Seagull victory over the Borough at Williamstown. Frankston went goal for goal with Casey and narrowly won the final quarter by a point with some dogged and determined football. From the visitors' point of view it was satisfying to have secured the double chance with a top four finish all but assured but they will not be able to relax. Their clash next Saturday with the lowly Northern Blues is likely to prove an added challenge with the Blues' recent improved form and a thumping 99 point win over the Coburg Tigers. 2012 Peter Jackson VFL Casey Scorpions 3.6.24 6.11.47 11.13.79 15.15.105 Frankston 4.2.26 5. 4.34 6.6.42 10.9.69 Goals Casey Scorpions Couch Gysberts Morton Williams 2 Clay Cook Fitzpatrick McGough Petterd Smith Thompson Frankston Simpson Thoolen 3 Clark Martin Marusic Potts Best Casey Scorpions L Tynan Gysberts Morton Couch McGough Frankston Potts Delahunty Thoolen Simpson Van Unen Boland This week it was the turn of Casey's development league to provide a heart thumping finish. After trailing for most of the day, the team overcame a 20 point deficit at three quarter time to win the curtain raiser in controversial circumstances with a goal scored from a free kick after the siren by Michael Johnson from outside 50 metres. 2012 AFL Vic Development League Casey Scorpions 0.1.1 1.3.9 4.6.30 8.11.59 Frankston 1.5.11 3.8.26 6.14.50 7.16.58 Goals Casey Scorpions Petropoulos 3 Galvin Johnson Lindsay Rosier Sheahan Frankston Appleford 3 Bywater Clements Greeley Johnston Best Casey Scorpions Petropoulos Collins Corry Fieldsend Allen Lindsay Frankston Jennings Clements Appleford Viney Johnston Ongarello
  20. Demonland

    THE DRIVE-BY SHOOTING

    THE DRIVE-BY SHOOTING by Whispering Jack According to the script, Melbourne's season is over. In fact, it was over several months ago when the script was first written. The story of the Demons' game against the Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium is one that could have been written several times over during season 2012. The team, severely depleted of talent and well behind the necessary standards of fitness and skills ran out and was ambushed by a far superior and more strongly focussed opposition. It was over before they even saw it coming. In the absence of Melbourne's All Australian ruckman Mark Jamar, Todd Goldstein dominated from the outset to give his midfielders an armchair ride - as if they needed such an advantage against a far inferior on ball division. Ryan Bastinac had North's first goal on the board just one minute and thirty seconds into the game. By the fifteen minute mark they had four goals and change to nil. Colin Garland had the Demons' first score on the board nearly four minutes later - a point kicked under pressure. Drew Petrie's first and North's fifth came just after the 20 minute mark and Melbourne had yet to score a major. The game was almost over but there was still time for the Demons to scrap their way to respectability, which they did for a while. Sam Blease soon kicked his team's first and midfielders Nathan Jones and Brent Moloney led the fightback by working their butts off. The deficit at half time was 25 points and Melbourne had even won the second quarter (by a solitary point)! The third quarter was a repeat of the first although it took only 14 seconds for Adams to mop up from a spill and nail the first of five Kangaroo goals in a little over the first ten minutes of the second half. By that time, the Demons were done - victims of a drive-by shooting. We did get to see Brad Green kick three goals and to demonstrate some of the brilliance that had him held in such esteem over a stellar career of 13 seasons and 250 games. But junk time came early and North cruised its way to a 54-point win - it's tenth in a row over a Melbourne that simply had insufficient strength and run among its personnel, depleted by a long injury list particularly when compared with the hosts whose only player missing through injury has yet to make his AFL debut and is well outside its best 22. It has been reported that Demon coach Mark Neeld said in the lead-up to this clash he felt the his team was "two years behind several of their rivals". That's a fair assessment and reflects on his team's current list which can be addressed by recruiting at the end of the year, by improvement during the off season and by a regeneration and return to health of many of its injured players. The significance of Neeld's comment is underlined by the debate raging at more than one other club about what is necessary to improve a team's fitness and conditioning. We knew from the beginning, several months ago, that it was not possible to fast track the process whereby the fitness levels of Melbourne's list could reach the levels of the better sides in a short space of time. It's a process that will take at least two or three pre seasons of hard work and in the meantime, ambushes of the sort we have been witnessing this year will come back again and again. Only when the team's fitness levels are at their optimum can we expect all players to display better skills and decision making. Only then will they be able to regularly get to the ball first, break through tackles and do all of the things that come naturally to all good teams. In the meantime, the game is over and the season is over. Melbourne 1.2.8 5.5.35 7.5.47 11.7.73 North Melbourne 5.4.34 9.6.60 15.10.100 19.13.127 Goals Melbourne Green Sylvia 3 Blease Garland Howe Jones Martin North Melbourne Petrie Tarrant 4 Adams Harvey Thomas 2 Anthony Bastinac Harper Macmillan Swallow Best Melbourne Jones Green Moloney Frawley Howe Macdonald North Melbourne Harvey Gibson Wells Cunnington Swallow Goldstein Injuries Melbourne Nil North Melbourne Adams (shoulder) McMahon (groin) Changes Melbourne Nil North Melbourne Nil Reports Melbourne Nil North Melbourne Nil Umpires McBurney Armstrong Harris Official crowd 20,816 at Etihad Stadium
  21. Demonland

    THE DRIVE-BY SHOOTING

    THE DRIVE-BY SHOOTING by Whispering Jack According to the script, Melbourne's season is over. In fact, it was over several months ago when the script was first written. The story of the Demons' game against the Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium is one that could have been written several times over during season 2012. The team, severely depleted of talent and well behind the necessary standards of fitness and skills ran out and was ambushed by a far superior and more strongly focussed opposition. It was over before they even saw it coming. In the absence of Melbourne's All Australian ruckman Mark Jamar, Todd Goldstein dominated from the outset to give his midfielders an armchair ride - as if they needed such an advantage against a far inferior on ball division. Ryan Bastinac had North's first goal on the board just one minute and thirty seconds into the game. By the fifteen minute mark they had four goals and change to nil. Colin Garland had the Demons' first score on the board nearly four minutes later - a point kicked under pressure. Drew Petrie's first and North's fifth came just after the 20 minute mark and Melbourne had yet to score a major. The game was almost over but there was still time for the Demons to scrap their way to respectability, which they did for a while. Sam Blease soon kicked his team's first and midfielders Nathan Jones and Brent Moloney led the fightback by working their butts off. The deficit at half time was 25 points and Melbourne had even won the second quarter (by a solitary point)! The third quarter was a repeat of the first although it took only 14 seconds for Adams to mop up from a spill and nail the first of five Kangaroo goals in a little over the first ten minutes of the second half. By that time, the Demons were done - victims of a drive-by shooting. We did get to see Brad Green kick three goals and to demonstrate some of the brilliance that had him held in such esteem over a stellar career of 13 seasons and 250 games. But junk time came early and North cruised its way to a 54-point win - it's tenth in a row over a Melbourne that simply had insufficient strength and run among its personnel, depleted by a long injury list particularly when compared with the hosts whose only player missing through injury has yet to make his AFL debut and is well outside its best 22. It has been reported that Demon coach Mark Neeld said in the lead-up to this clash he felt the his team was "two years behind several of their rivals". That's a fair assessment and reflects on his team's current list which can be addressed by recruiting at the end of the year, by improvement during the off season and by a regeneration and return to health of many of its injured players. The significance of Neeld's comment is underlined by the debate raging at more than one other club about what is necessary to improve a team's fitness and conditioning. We knew from the beginning, several months ago, that it was not possible to fast track the process whereby the fitness levels of Melbourne's list could reach the levels of the better sides in a short space of time. It's a process that will take at least two or three pre seasons of hard work and in the meantime, ambushes of the sort we have been witnessing this year will come back again and again. Only when the team's fitness levels are at their optimum can we expect all players to display better skills and decision making. Only then will they be able to regularly get to the ball first, break through tackles and do all of the things that come naturally to all good teams. In the meantime, the game is over and the season is over. Melbourne 1.2.8 5.5.35 7.5.47 11.7.73 North Melbourne 5.4.34 9.6.60 15.10.100 19.13.127 Goals Melbourne Green Sylvia 3 Blease Garland Howe Jones Martin North Melbourne Petrie Tarrant 4 Adams Harvey Thomas 2 Anthony Bastinac Harper Macmillan Swallow Best Melbourne Jones Green Moloney Frawley Howe Macdonald North Melbourne Harvey Gibson Wells Cunnington Swallow Goldstein Injuries Melbourne Nil North Melbourne Adams (shoulder) McMahon (groin) Changes Melbourne Nil North Melbourne Nil Reports Melbourne Nil North Melbourne Nil Umpires McBurney Armstrong Harris Official crowd 20,816 at Etihad Stadium
  22. Demonland

    OPPORTUNITY LOST

    OPPORTUNITY LOST by Mean Gene Football as a game is all about making the most out of your opportunities. When you fail to do that then its likely that you'll fail in your objective of winning and Melbourne certainly proved that in front of a meagre crowd of 6,714 at TIO Stadium for its encounter with Port Adelaide. Among those in attendance for the Top End game were some bemused looking US marines who picked an unusual venue for a spot of R 'n' R from their battles in Afghanistan. Their opponents from Al Quaeda were smarter. They gave the game a miss which was the right move because it turned into one that was well deserving of the AFL's smallest crowd of the year. A depleted Melbourne side came out of the blocks looking bound for a winning result for the second week in a row, this time against a fellow cellar dweller. And for the second week in a row, they blew their chances. Brad Green was in fine marking form in the early going as the Dees made a promising start in the mild to warm conditions. Stef Martin was handling the rucking duties in concert with Jake Spencer and when he went forward, booted an inspirational goal. The defence was working hard and forcing the Power forwards into error. They held a handy 13-point lead at quarter time but the momentum of the game turned dramatically in the second term when their scoreboard advantage was soon reeled in by a Port Adelaide that showed far more desperation for the win and for the football. Meanwhile, Melbourne continued to do what it has been doing best - hugging the boundary lines, making the wrong decisions with the football and breaking down up forward. Port Adelaide was not much better but, by going down the corridor, it was able to at least score. The result was that the Power had taken a firm grip on the game by half time even if the lead was only 9 points. With Green covered and Martin, who looked had looked dangerous when he went forward early in the proceedings now nowhere to be seen, the Demon forward line had gone missing. It was clear that they lacked the scoring power to win the game. From that point on, the Demons seemed to do most of the attacking but failed to make very much of their opportunities while their opponents managed to score goals when they went into attack. Strangely enough, it was Melbourne who finished with far more inside 50s (55 to 45) than Port yet this advantage was turned into a deficit of 16 to 24 in scoring shots and after quarter time, they converted only 3 out of 11 into goals. Of course, there was no Mitch Clark or Liam Jurrah up on the forward line or anyone else apart from Green early and a couple of goals from Jared Rivers in the last half but let's face it, the latter is a good defender playing a makeshift role up forward. The forward line selected for this match was never going to be likely to win a game like this with an ineffectual midfield providing sub standard delivery. Melbourne was not even able to gain inspiration from the hanger which Jeremy Howe took - he was one of the offenders when it came to converting opportunities to score goals. Perhaps it was the steamy conditions of tropical Darwin or the fact that there's nothing to play for (although for quite a few their futures in the game were on the line) but there weren't many four quarter performances on the night. Captain Jack Grimes was one of them , Tom McDonald was the best of the defenders and one or two others put in some effort but this was a game that could have been won had the team not failed to grasp its opportunities. Melbourne 5.0.30 5.1.31 7.5.47 8.8.56 Port Adelaide 2.5.17 5.10.40 8.10.58 12.12.84 Goals Melbourne Green Rivers 2 Blease Jones Martin Sylvia Port Adelaide P Stewart 5 Boak Broadbent Brett Ebert Lobbe D Stewart Wingard Young Best Melbourne Grimes Jones McDonald Nicholson Sylvia Macdonald Port Adelaide Boak P Stewart Cassisi Brett Ebert Pearce Cornes Injuries Melbourne Nil. Port Adelaide Pittard (ribs) Changes Melbourne Nil. Port Adelaide Nil. Reports Melbourne Nil. Port Adelaide Nil. Umpires Dalgleish Kamolins Hosking Crowd 6,714 at TIO Stadium.
  23. Demonland

    THE BELL TOLLED

    THE BELL TOLLED by Mean Gene Melbourne had its chances against Fremantle and probably didn’t deserve to lose by as much as 34 points but that’s football. The outcome of every game played is dependent upon a number of factors and in most cases everything (or at least most things) has to gel if a team is to win. The Demons got a good start which gave them the early momentum. They withstood everything the Dockers could throw at them for the next two quarters and fought back on two occasions to alter the momentum of the game back in their favour when Freo came at them. But in the end, it was the weight of adversity that has dogged them throughout the season. In this case, it was the injuries and the lack of total fitness that took their toll and a tired team had nothing left without the ability to commit the necessary rotations that might have kept the legs fresh enough to withstand the final onslaught from Fremantle. Alas, the bell tolled and there was nothing left. It’s said that it’s not good form to linger too long on injuries or to use them as an excuse when looking at the outcome of any game but I really think some mention should be made of the Demons’ current afflictions. It’s been happening all year (in fact, for a number of them) and most clubs suffer injuries during a long, harsh season but it started getting much worse than that which is standard just after the club pulled off its surprise victory against Essendon. Clint Bartram, Mitch Clark, Aaron Davey and Jamie Bennell have since joined Max Gawn and young draft pick Rory Taggert on the list of players whose seasons were ended. Mark Jamar’s season now also hangs in the balance although he is expected to play again this year if he heals well from his torn calf. The group that was available to represent the Melbourne Football Club and to play for it before, during and after the game diminished in number rapidly from Thursday morning. Jack Watts was rules out with an ankle while James Sellar failed to pass his fitness test. On the morning of the game, Luke Tapscott (groin) was ruled out and replaced by James Strauss. Josh Tynan was similarly ruled out at Casey adding to the club’s woes. Ten minutes into the game, Mark Jamar, who already had seven hit outs, was subbed off with a recurrence of his calf injury. Later, Jack Grimes was inconvenienced with what appeared to be an ankle injury and went to the rooms but was soon back in action and finally, Jamie Bennell left the field. He will undergo ACL surgery. As coach Mark Neeld pointed out, the club remained in the contest and probably “had equal chance probably at three-quarter time”. But that wasn’t really true because you could see the effects of the imbalance caused by the loss of players. Stef Martin kicked a couple of goals early but he was called upon to fill the breach in the ruck when Jamar went down. Rucking virtually alone, he looked stuffed by three quarter time. There were others who had to carry a greater load than normal. Melbourne which looked great early with Brad Green turning the clock back and kicking goals, Rohan Bail and Dan Nicholson showing some pace and run and James Frawley keeping Matthew Pavlich in check chalked up six goals in the first term. In some games this year, the Demons have struggled to get six in a whole game. But Ross Lyon put on the pressure and closed the game down to one which Fremantle appreciated and when the Dockers made their third and final assault, the Demons wilted, made errors and fell away. The return of Tom McDonald who suffered a punctured lung just two weeks earlier was welcome as was the fact that he was able to throw himself into the fray as if the collision with Jonathan Brown that left him with bleeding lungs had never happened. Another Tom – Tom Couch – did well in his long awaited debut. His tackling, along with that of Jordie McKenzie was a feature. Sam Blease might not get much of the ball but he’s deadly around the goals. Nathan Jones keeps working hard and I note that he’s now being paid the compliment of having a tagger. Despite the hard tag, he was still an effective player and one hopes that in the years to come, opposition coaches will need to worry about more than him in the Demons midfield. On the day, the Dockers finally overwhelmed a tiring opposition and this is where the game was ultimately lost, as it is most of the time. Sad to say, but the bell has tolled for Melbourne for this season. Any battles it will fight for the remainder of the year will, in many ways, be meaningless as the team has effectively had the heart ripped out of it by injury but the coming seven weeks will act as good preparation for next year. Although, it’s been “next year” for a long time, the experience of West Coast and Adelaide respectively over the past two seasons suggests that, if all goes well for a team and there’s a lot of hard work and sweat applied, a team can regenerate more quickly than anyone would normally expect. Melbourne 6.4.40 8.6.54 12.7.79 12.11.83 Fremantle 3.2.20 6.5.41 11.6.72 18.9.117 Goals Melbourne Green 3 Bail 2 Blease 2 Martin 2 Sylvia Bennell Bate. Fremantle Pavlich 4 Walters 3 Pearce 2 Ballantyne 2 Barlow 2 Hill 2 Mayne Bradley Mzungu. Best Melbourne Martin Sylvia Nicholson McDonald Macdonald McKenzie Jones Grimes Fremantle Mundy Hill Pavlich Barlow Walters McPharlin Ballantyne Spurr Injuries Melbourne Mark Jamar (calf) Jamie Bennell (ACL) Jack Grimes (ankle) Fremantle Nil Changes Melbourne Luke Tapscott (groin) replaced by James Strauss Fremantle Antoni Grover (buttock) replaced by Lee Spurr Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Umpires S Wenn J Dalgleish J Bannister Crowd 13,284 at Etihad Stadium
  24. Demonland

    OPPORTUNITY LOST

    OPPORTUNITY LOST by Mean Gene Football as a game is all about making the most out of your opportunities. When you fail to do that then its likely that you'll fail in your objective of winning and Melbourne certainly proved that in front of a meagre crowd of 6,714 at TIO Stadium for its encounter with Port Adelaide. Among those in attendance for the Top End game were some bemused looking US marines who picked an unusual venue for a spot of R 'n' R from their battles in Afghanistan. Their opponents from Al Quaeda were smarter. They gave the game a miss which was the right move because it turned into one that was well deserving of the AFL's smallest crowd of the year. A depleted Melbourne side came out of the blocks looking bound for a winning result for the second week in a row, this time against a fellow cellar dweller. And for the second week in a row, they blew their chances. Brad Green was in fine marking form in the early going as the Dees made a promising start in the mild to warm conditions. Stef Martin was handling the rucking duties in concert with Jake Spencer and when he went forward, booted an inspirational goal. The defence was working hard and forcing the Power forwards into error. They held a handy 13-point lead at quarter time but the momentum of the game turned dramatically in the second term when their scoreboard advantage was soon reeled in by a Port Adelaide that showed far more desperation for the win and for the football. Meanwhile, Melbourne continued to do what it has been doing best - hugging the boundary lines, making the wrong decisions with the football and breaking down up forward. Port Adelaide was not much better but, by going down the corridor, it was able to at least score. The result was that the Power had taken a firm grip on the game by half time even if the lead was only 9 points. With Green covered and Martin, who looked had looked dangerous when he went forward early in the proceedings now nowhere to be seen, the Demon forward line had gone missing. It was clear that they lacked the scoring power to win the game. From that point on, the Demons seemed to do most of the attacking but failed to make very much of their opportunities while their opponents managed to score goals when they went into attack. Strangely enough, it was Melbourne who finished with far more inside 50s (55 to 45) than Port yet this advantage was turned into a deficit of 16 to 24 in scoring shots and after quarter time, they converted only 3 out of 11 into goals. Of course, there was no Mitch Clark or Liam Jurrah up on the forward line or anyone else apart from Green early and a couple of goals from Jared Rivers in the last half but let's face it, the latter is a good defender playing a makeshift role up forward. The forward line selected for this match was never going to be likely to win a game like this with an ineffectual midfield providing sub standard delivery. Melbourne was not even able to gain inspiration from the hanger which Jeremy Howe took - he was one of the offenders when it came to converting opportunities to score goals. Perhaps it was the steamy conditions of tropical Darwin or the fact that there's nothing to play for (although for quite a few their futures in the game were on the line) but there weren't many four quarter performances on the night. Captain Jack Grimes was one of them , Tom McDonald was the best of the defenders and one or two others put in some effort but this was a game that could have been won had the team not failed to grasp its opportunities. Melbourne 5.0.30 5.1.31 7.5.47 8.8.56 Port Adelaide 2.5.17 5.10.40 8.10.58 12.12.84 Goals Melbourne Green Rivers 2 Blease Jones Martin Sylvia Port Adelaide P Stewart 5 Boak Broadbent Brett Ebert Lobbe D Stewart Wingard Young Best Melbourne Grimes Jones McDonald Nicholson Sylvia Macdonald Port Adelaide Boak P Stewart Cassisi Brett Ebert Pearce Cornes Injuries Melbourne Nil. Port Adelaide Pittard (ribs) Changes Melbourne Nil. Port Adelaide Nil. Reports Melbourne Nil. Port Adelaide Nil. Umpires Dalgleish Kamolins Hosking Crowd 6,714 at TIO Stadium.
  25. Whispering_Jack

    THE BELL TOLLED

    THE BELL TOLLED by Mean Gene Melbourne had its chances against Fremantle and probably didn’t deserve to lose by as much as 34 points but that’s football. The outcome of every game played is dependent upon a number of factors and in most cases everything (or at least most things) has to gel if a team is to win. The Demons got a good start which gave them the early momentum. They withstood everything the Dockers could throw at them for the next two quarters and fought back on two occasions to alter the momentum of the game back in their favour when Freo came at them. But in the end, it was the weight of adversity that has dogged them throughout the season. In this case, it was the injuries and the lack of total fitness that took their toll and a tired team had nothing left without the ability to commit the necessary rotations that might have kept the legs fresh enough to withstand the final onslaught from Fremantle. Alas, the bell tolled and there was nothing left. It’s said that it’s not good form to linger too long on injuries or to use them as an excuse when looking at the outcome of any game but I really think some mention should be made of the Demons’ current afflictions. It’s been happening all year (in fact, for a number of them) and most clubs suffer injuries during a long, harsh season but it started getting much worse than that which is standard just after the club pulled off its surprise victory against Essendon. Clint Bartram, Mitch Clark, Aaron Davey and Jamie Bennell have since joined Max Gawn and young draft pick Rory Taggert on the list of players whose seasons were ended. Mark Jamar’s season now also hangs in the balance although he is expected to play again this year if he heals well from his torn calf. The group that was available to represent the Melbourne Football Club and to play for it before, during and after the game diminished in number rapidly from Thursday morning. Jack Watts was rules out with an ankle while James Sellar failed to pass his fitness test. On the morning of the game, Luke Tapscott (groin) was ruled out and replaced by James Strauss. Josh Tynan was similarly ruled out at Casey adding to the club’s woes. Ten minutes into the game, Mark Jamar, who already had seven hit outs, was subbed off with a recurrence of his calf injury. Later, Jack Grimes was inconvenienced with what appeared to be an ankle injury and went to the rooms but was soon back in action and finally, Jamie Bennell left the field. He will undergo ACL surgery. As coach Mark Neeld pointed out, the club remained in the contest and probably “had equal chance probably at three-quarter time”. But that wasn’t really true because you could see the effects of the imbalance caused by the loss of players. Stef Martin kicked a couple of goals early but he was called upon to fill the breach in the ruck when Jamar went down. Rucking virtually alone, he looked stuffed by three quarter time. There were others who had to carry a greater load than normal. Melbourne which looked great early with Brad Green turning the clock back and kicking goals, Rohan Bail and Dan Nicholson showing some pace and run and James Frawley keeping Matthew Pavlich in check chalked up six goals in the first term. In some games this year, the Demons have struggled to get six in a whole game. But Ross Lyon put on the pressure and closed the game down to one which Fremantle appreciated and when the Dockers made their third and final assault, the Demons wilted, made errors and fell away. The return of Tom McDonald who suffered a punctured lung just two weeks earlier was welcome as was the fact that he was able to throw himself into the fray as if the collision with Jonathan Brown that left him with bleeding lungs had never happened. Another Tom – Tom Couch – did well in his long awaited debut. His tackling, along with that of Jordie McKenzie was a feature. Sam Blease might not get much of the ball but he’s deadly around the goals. Nathan Jones keeps working hard and I note that he’s now being paid the compliment of having a tagger. Despite the hard tag, he was still an effective player and one hopes that in the years to come, opposition coaches will need to worry about more than him in the Demons midfield. On the day, the Dockers finally overwhelmed a tiring opposition and this is where the game was ultimately lost, as it is most of the time. Sad to say, but the bell has tolled for Melbourne for this season. Any battles it will fight for the remainder of the year will, in many ways, be meaningless as the team has effectively had the heart ripped out of it by injury but the coming seven weeks will act as good preparation for next year. Although, it’s been “next year” for a long time, the experience of West Coast and Adelaide respectively over the past two seasons suggests that, if all goes well for a team and there’s a lot of hard work and sweat applied, a team can regenerate more quickly than anyone would normally expect. Melbourne 6.4.40 8.6.54 12.7.79 12.11.83 Fremantle 3.2.20 6.5.41 11.6.72 18.9.117 Goals Melbourne Green 3 Bail 2 Blease 2 Martin 2 Sylvia Bennell Bate. Fremantle Pavlich 4 Walters 3 Pearce 2 Ballantyne 2 Barlow 2 Hill 2 Mayne Bradley Mzungu. Best Melbourne Martin Sylvia Nicholson McDonald Macdonald McKenzie Jones Grimes Fremantle Mundy Hill Pavlich Barlow Walters McPharlin Ballantyne Spurr Injuries Melbourne Mark Jamar (calf) Jamie Bennell (ACL) Jack Grimes (ankle) Fremantle Nil Changes Melbourne Luke Tapscott (groin) replaced by James Strauss Fremantle Antoni Grover (buttock) replaced by Lee Spurr Reports Melbourne Nil Fremantle Nil Umpires S Wenn J Dalgleish J Bannister Crowd 13,284 at Etihad Stadium
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