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Found 10 results

  1. Demonland

    The Last Time They Met

    It was a bit of a battle but in the end, the Dees prevailed after a few heart flutters. CARLTON B: Sam Docherty, Liam Jones, Lachie Plowman HB: Simon White, Jacob Weitering, Dale Thomas ? Kade Simpson, Patrick Cripps, David Cuningham HF: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Sam Kerridge F: Zac Fisher, Charlie Curnow, Matthew Wright FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy I/C: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Ciaran Sheehan EMG: Ciaran Byrne, Nick Graham, Harry McKay IN: Jed Lamb, Harrison Macreadie, Sam Petrevski-Seton OUT: Ciaran Byrne (omitted), Caleb Marchbank (shoulder), Liam Sumner (omitted)  MELBOURNE B: Michael Hibberd, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jordan Lewis, Sam Frost, Bernie Vince ? Jayden Hunt, Christian Petracca, Mitch Hannan HF: James Harmes, Cameron Pedersen, Alex Neal-Bullen F: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Tom McDonald FOLL: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Jake Melksham I/C: Dean Kent, Joel Smith, Billy Stretch, Josh Wagner, EMG: Jay Kennedy-Harris, Jack Trengove, Sam Weideman  IN: Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent, Joel Smith OUT: Tomas Bugg (suspended), Dom Tyson (knee), Jack Viney (foot), Mitch White (omitted)
  2. WOULD YOU LIKE THAT WITH GRAVY? by George on The Outer With the Demons making an absolute meal of the opportunities achieved through their sheer dominance around the ground against Carlton, it was as if the fans being asked if they would like what was being served up to them with gravy. The fortunate thing from a club perspective was that in the end, it wasn’t gravy that came with the meal, but rather the icing on the cake that saved the day and finally saw Melbourne run out the eventual victors on the day. In this instance the icing was provided by the likes of Jeff Garlett, Christian Salem and Jack Watts with a handsome contribution from Nev Jetta. In the early going it was all Melbourne. By halfway through the second quarter, the Demons led by four goals. At that stage, they had five players with more possessions than the best performing Carlton player and yet, at the main break, the lead had been pared back a meagre 10 points. The fans had seen this before. This was a Melbourne game that had been marked down as a certain four premiership points but suddenly they found themselves in an arm-wrestle by giving the opposition plenty of opportunities to recover as a result of their over use of the football and sloppy turnovers. Things got worse in the third quarter as the Demons continued to produce more of the same. The battle of the rucks between Max Gawn and Matt Kruezer was relentless and there seemed to be no curbing Bryce Gibbs and Patrick Cripps while, despite numerous clearances, the Melbourne mids were simply being trounced. Jack Viney was strangely quiet again this week, Dom Tyson was getting plenty of the ball around the ground but little in the middle, and Clayton Oliver also got lots of touches but he was too dependent upon handball when kicking was the order of the day. In the latter stages of the third quarter, the Demons had fluffed around with the football so much and had shown such a lack of intensity and discipline that the unthinkable happened. They had allowed the Blues to hit the lead and take it out to a nine point margin before Jeff Garlett decided that enough was enough when he put the team's first major for the term on the board at the 21 minute mark. This brought the margin back to only three points at the final change with hope that the worst was now behind the team. It wasn’t to be entirely because despite the Demons kicking the first two goals of the final stanza to take a nine point lead, the Blues replied to restore the margin back to within a goal. With the minutes ticking by, Garlett came off the bench and as he did in the third, he made something out of nothing in the middle to start a chain of possessions that left the fans with their hearts in their mouths. The team still managed to stuff around in front of goal as better options were looked for instead of simply putting the ball to boot and through the majors. Tyson snapped a goal and Sam Weideman chipped in with his second but Casboult replied. It was Jeff who followed up with a spectacular run down from behind on Docherty and he converted from the resultant free to ice the game. A final snap from Nathan Jones in the dying minute saw the Demons record a 22 point win. More hoodoos were put to bed as a result. The first win in round two since 2005 and only the second against the Blues in that space of time. They had only beaten Carlton once in the past ten meetings. Special mention must go to Christian Salem who time and time again delivered the ball accurately and faultlessly with his 31 touches. Both he and Tom McDonald held back multiple attacks and launched many forward thrusts. They genuinely kept the team in the game at critical times, when Carlton threatened to do exactly as they did in round 21 last year. Oliver put forward another 35 touch performance in only his 15th game, while Tyson racked up 32 of his own after return from injury. He will be better for the run, for despite his 145 Dream Team points tally, his delivery at critical times was below his usual standard. With the likely return of Dean Kent and Bernie Vince next week, Mitch Hannan and Alex Neal-Bullen will probably find themselves Casey bound as they were found wanting against an opposition that is not highly regarded. They will get another chance as the season progresses, but the message is clear that players will genuinely have to earn their spot in this side in 2017. No longer is senior selection assured week after week, because the gravy-train has now left the station. Melbourne 3.2.20 6.4.40 7.5.47 13.8.86 Carlton 2.2.14 4.6.30 7.8.50 9.10.64 Goals Melbourne Garlett 3 Jones Watts Weideman 2 Gawn Petracca Salem Tyson Carlton Wright 3 Armfield Casboult E Curnow Murphy Petrevski-Seton Pickett Best Melbourne Salem Tyson Oliver Watts Garlett Jones Harmes Carlton Wright Murphy Cripps Docherty Gibbs Curnow Changes Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Injuries Melbourne Brayshaw (cut eye) Carlton Silvagni (corked thigh and ankle) Thomas (right knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Dalgleish, Meredith, Williamson Official Crowd 46,727 at the MCG
  3. It's time to cast those your votes again 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...
  4. With the Demons making an absolute meal of the opportunities achieved through their sheer dominance around the ground against Carlton, it was as if the fans being asked if they would like what was being served up to them with gravy. The fortunate thing from a club perspective was that in the end, it wasn’t gravy that came with the meal, but rather the icing on the cake that saved the day and finally saw Melbourne run out the eventual victors on the day. In this instance the icing was provided by the likes of Jeff Garlett, Christian Salem and Jack Watts with a handsome contribution from Nev Jetta. In the early going it was all Melbourne. By halfway through the second quarter, the Demons led by four goals. At that stage, they had five players with more possessions than the best performing Carlton player and yet, at the main break, the lead had been pared back a meagre 10 points. The fans had seen this before. This was a Melbourne game that had been marked down as a certain four premiership points but suddenly they found themselves in an arm-wrestle by giving the opposition plenty of opportunities to recover as a result of their over use of the football and sloppy turnovers. Things got worse in the third quarter as the Demons continued to produce more of the same. The battle of the rucks between Max Gawn and Matt Kruezer was relentless and there seemed to be no curbing Bryce Gibbs and Patrick Cripps while, despite numerous clearances, the Melbourne mids were simply being trounced. Jack Viney was strangely quiet again this week, Dom Tyson was getting plenty of the ball around the ground but little in the middle, and Clayton Oliver also got lots of touches but he was too dependent upon handball when kicking was the order of the day. In the latter stages of the third quarter, the Demons had fluffed around with the football so much and had shown such a lack of intensity and discipline that the unthinkable happened. They had allowed the Blues to hit the lead and take it out to a nine point margin before Jeff Garlett decided that enough was enough when he put the team's first major for the term on the board at the 21 minute mark. This brought the margin back to only three points at the final change with hope that the worst was now behind the team. It wasn’t to be entirely because despite the Demons kicking the first two goals of the final stanza to take a nine point lead, the Blues replied to restore the margin back to within a goal. With the minutes ticking by, Garlett came off the bench and as he did in the third, he made something out of nothing in the middle to start a chain of possessions that left the fans with their hearts in their mouths. The team still managed to stuff around in front of goal as better options were looked for instead of simply putting the ball to boot and through the majors. Tyson snapped a goal and Sam Weideman chipped in with his second but Casboult replied. It was Jeff who followed up with a spectacular run down from behind on Docherty and he converted from the resultant free to ice the game. A final snap from Nathan Jones in the dying minute saw the Demons record a 22 point win. More hoodoos were put to bed as a result. The first win in round two since 2005 and only the second against the Blues in that space of time. They had only beaten Carlton once in the past ten meetings. Special mention must go to Christian Salem who time and time again delivered the ball accurately and faultlessly with his 31 touches. Both he and Tom McDonald held back multiple attacks and launched many forward thrusts. They genuinely kept the team in the game at critical times, when Carlton threatened to do exactly as they did in round 21 last year. Oliver put forward another 35 touch performance in only his 15th game, while Tyson racked up 32 of his own after return from injury. He will be better for the run, for despite his 145 Dream Team points tally, his delivery at critical times was below his usual standard. With the likely return of Dean Kent and Bernie Vince next week, Mitch Hannan and Alex Neal-Bullen will probably find themselves Casey bound as they were found wanting against an opposition that is not highly regarded. They will get another chance as the season progresses, but the message is clear that players will genuinely have to earn their spot in this side in 2017. No longer is senior selection assured week after week, because the gravy-train has now left the station. Melbourne 3.2.20 6.4.40 7.5.47 13.8.86 Carlton 2.2.14 4.6.30 7.8.50 9.10.64 Goals Melbourne Garlett 3 Jones Watts Weideman 2 Gawn Petracca Salem Tyson Carlton Wright 3 Armfield Casboult E Curnow Murphy Petrevski-Seton Pickett Best Melbourne Salem Tyson Oliver Watts Garlett Jones Harmes Carlton Wright Murphy Cripps Docherty Gibbs Curnow Changes Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Injuries Melbourne Brayshaw (cut eye) Carlton Silvagni (corked thigh and ankle) Thomas (right knee) Reports Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Dalgleish, Meredith, Williamson Official Crowd 46,727 at the MCG
  5. Whispering Jack predicts that a twelve year hoodoo will fall by the wayside on Sunday ... A DOZEN DEAD OCEANS by Whispering Jack "Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son? And where have you been my darling young one? I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall." - by 2016 Nobel Poet Laureate Bob Dylan (A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall) In recent years, Melbourne has been smashing its hoodoos like dinner plates at a Greek restaurant leaving very few left for the club to break. There's still North Melbourne and heaven knows whether we can cross Subiaco off the list before they shut that god forsaken place down forever, but there's imminent challenge looming close on the horizon that must be dealt with in the coming week - the curse of round two. This Sunday will mark the passing of twelve years since the Demons last won a match in the second round of an AFL season. It was exactly on 2 April, 2005 before a meagre crowd of 13,481 at the ground then known as the "Telstra Dome" that Melbourne 20.11.131 beat the Western Bulldogs 15.21.111. The Demons were travelling well in those days. They made a good start to the season, suffered a mid-season slump but recovered to make the finals as they had done the year before and would do in the year after. However, that game against the Doggies in 2005 was to be the last time, the team would salute in an AFL round two game and what's more, the majority of the defeats in between have been in the most humiliating of circumstances. Another dismal round two flop against Carlton this Sunday would be the unkindest cut of them all. The long run of second round outs began at the Docklands on 8 April, 2006 with a 47 point whipping at the hands of the Bulldogs. The Dees had already suffered a shock result to Carlton in the opening round and it lost again the following week but a long run of wins followed to see them safely into the finals. More second round debacles were to come:- 2007 - after the opening round disaster against St Kilda, Melbourne was confident of beating Hawthorn which had been a struggler in recent seasons. But the Hawks were on their way up and the Demons lowered their colours by 22 points to an opponent which was closing in on a premiership era. The Demons won their last game for the year - the infamous Kreuzer Cup - but by then, long-time coach Neale Daniher had already been given his marching orders and a caretaker coach has seen out the long death throes of an old era. The club was looking into the mouth of a graveyard. 2008 - Melbourne heralded in the Dean Bailey era with a 104 point defeat to the emerging Hawks but it did manage to stave off another 100 point plus losing margin when it lost by 95 points to the Western Bulldogs in another round two train crash. It took a while to get onto the winning list but that was done in style against Fremantle when the team stormed back from a massive deficit to win by a goal in round 7. 2009 - an anaemic Melbourne side lost in round 1 to North Melbourne and it was more of the same the following week when the Magpies 17.15.117 made mincemeat out of the Demons 10.4.64 before an MCG crowd of 43,176. Things were so bad that Nathan Jones' father was clocked on his way out of the ground by a an inebriated normal Collingwood fan celebrating his team's win. 2010 - after copping a hiding in the season opener against the Hawks, the Demons faced the Pies again in their next up match over the Easter break. They were in sight of victory when Ricky Petterd's lunge for a mark in the goalsquare failed with seconds left in the game. 2011 - for once, Melbourne managed to stave off defeat in its opening game. However, it didn't exactly win either. In a dramatic finish, the round 1 game against the Sydney Swans ended as a draw - 11.18.84 each. Against the Hawks in round 2, the Demons held a 19 point lead at half time before they were strangled into submission in the third quarter by a hard press, eventually losing by 45 points. The club was on a roller coaster ride to disaster. The rain was about to fall hard. If you think the foregoing was bad, prepare yourself for a horror story. 2012 - the early optimism of a new beginning under Mark Neeld had dissipated long before the Brisbane Lions crushed Melbourne by 41 points in the season opener. Jimmy Stynes had recently died and the club was beset by troubles but nobody was really prepared for what was to come at Subiaco Oval in week 2. On Saturday, 7 April, the West Coast Eagles inflicted a 25.16.166 to 9.4.58 flogging on Neeld's charges before a crowd of 35,674 but even that would pale against what happened in round 2 in the following season. 2013 - after a few seasons as AFL whipping boy, Port Adelaide made an impressive start to the season winning 19.19.133 to 8.6.54 over Melbourne at the MCG. At the same ground a week later and in the midst of the developing drug saga, Essendon was the host when it blasted Neeld's charges to the tune of 148 points - 28.16.184 to 5.6.36. The slaughter reverberated around the club and precipitated several changes at the top which saw the departures of the CEO, the chairman and ultimately the coach in the weeks and months to follow. 2014 - the arrival of Paul Roos at coach/saviour of the club didn't bring immediate joy on the playing field. The team lost its opening game to the Saints by 17 points thanks in part to their woeful kicking for goal, but the next match was another round 2 disaster - a 93 point loss to the West Coast Eagles before a crowd of only 22,230 at the MCG with the home team managing a meagre 4.6.30. 2015 - the club broke its opening round hoodoo against an injury riddled Gold Coast Suns and things were looking up at Star Trak Oval when the Demons led the Giants by 33 points in the shadows of half time before the round two curse took hold and the home side kicked 14 of the next 15 goals to win by 56 points. And now for the steak knives. 2016 - after an exciting round 1 win by two points over the highly rated GWS Giants, Melbourne was expected to record a handsome victory over an Essendon team decimated by the CAS ruling which outed a dozen of their players for the season, leaving them with a rag tag bunch of youngsters and football mercenaries, many of who would otherwise have been playing in the VFL or local competitions in round 2. As always, the Demons approached the game on 2 April, 2016 as if they were millionaires and ended like beggars on a street corner in skid row. At the end of the day the MCG scoreboard read "Essendon 11.14.80 defeated Melbourne 10.7.67". That score line still leaves me with dread in my heart 12 months later wondering how on earth is it possible that to avert the calamity of another round 2 that turns us all into April Fools even when opposition supporters believe that their team is too young, too inexperienced and not good enough to win? I've found a way and will reveal all shortly. THE GAME Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 2nd April, 2017 at 3.20pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 89 wins Carlton 117 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Melbourne 49 wins Carlton 50 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win Carlton 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 Bolton 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3, Channel 7 at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Melbourne to win $1.22 - Carlton $4.40 to win - $4.40 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Carlton 11.12.78 defeated Melbourne 7.16.58 at the MCG Round 22, 2016 The Demons were raging favourites to win at $1.24 and didn't fail to disappoint the fans and themselves with an insipid performance at a time when victory would have kept their finals hopes alive. They played like a young team that had run out steam and hit the wall - the same wall their supporters were banging their heads into at the end of the game. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Jake Melksham HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Nathan Jones C: Christian Salem, Jordan Lewis, Billy Stretch HF: Clayton Oliver, Sam Weideman, Jack Watts F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Max Gawn, Angus Brayshaw, Jack Viney I/C: Mitch Hannan, James Harmes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson EMG: Ben Kennedy, Dean Kent, Jake Spencer IN: James Harmes, Ben Kennedy, Dom Tyson OUT: Joel Smith (shoulder), Bernie Vince (suspended) CARLTON B: Jarrod Pickett, Caleb Marchbank, Lachie Plowman HB: Harrison Macreadie, Sam Rowe, Sam Docherty C: Matthew Wright, Bryce Gibbs, Kade Simpson HF: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Charlie Curnow F: Simon White, Jacob Weitering, Sam Petrevski-Seton FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Marc Murphy I/C: Dennis Armfield, Ed Curnow, Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge, Harry McKay, Billie Smedts, Dale Thomas EMG: Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge, Harry McKay NO CHANGE BLUE SKIES Twelve months ago, I was enjoying a holiday break cruising the North China Sea somewhere between the tip of South Korea and the Chinese mainland. We left Australia a few days after Melbourne's barnstorming come-from-behind victory over GWS and all was well with the world notwithstanding the ominous proximity to mad Kim Jong-un's battery of missiles. Thousands of miles away to the south east, the Demons were about to take on the Bombers' B team. I was supremely confident that the Dees were on course for a 2 - 0 start to the season. Suddenly, our ship sailed into a thick fog and we were enveloped in a misty grey-yellow shroud. You could barely hear the lapping of the tiny waves around us as we ploughed through the eerily silent waters. Internet communication via satellite was intermittent and limited. I picked up an early score that had Essendon leading 1.2.8 to nil but I wasn't worried. The next time I managed to get on line, it was Melbourne leading by two goals midway through the second quarter. We were on our way. They had a trivia competition on board and the rules were strict - no cell phones. My confidence was up and I wasn't worried but a little over an hour later when I was back on line, I had to look twice as the ¾ time score flashed on the screen to show the Bombers leading by nine points. The fog was thicker than a pea soup. The air became frozen. I was literally overcome by a sickening feeling like sailing the Titanic through another dead ocean with an iceberg directly under the bow. There was never a satisfactory explanation given as to why Melbourne crashed so badly that day. The Bombers were the competition's easybeats copping defeat after defeat in the weeks and months that followed and it looked as if the Demons would be their only victim for the season until they triumphed over an injury depleted Gold Coast at Etihad Stadium in Round 21. Some put it down to poor preparation in the week before the game while others claimed that Melbourne got ahead of itself, that the players had big heads and turned up lacking focus. At the other end of that season in the second last round, Melbourne suffered another humiliation at the hands of a lowly team in Carlton when it needed a victory to maintain its finals hopes. At least there was an explanation for that result - the young team was rapidly tiring after a long exhausting season. It was at least a plausible if not entirely comforting excuse for a loss to an opponent going through its own long string of defeats. This time around there are no excuses whatsoever. There is nothing and nobody left to blame. All of the stars are nicely aligned and you simply cannot question, the current board, CEO, coach, conditioning staff, playing list, ground announcer or boot studder. There is no reason on the strength of the form shown by the team last week; the coolness, the calmness and the discipline that we saw from a team which shrugged off an early four goal deficit to blitz to a well fancied opponent with ten consecutive consecutive goals in the period before and after half time. The sort of form that is epitomised by four of your players (including a 19 year old who played 75% of game time) accumulating 30 touches or more and another nine clocking up at least 20 disposals when the team is down a player from before quarter time is irrepressible and simply can't be overturned in the space of a week. Even the loss through suspension of Bernie Vince who was one of the team's 30 possession men against the Saints - something that once might once have been regarded as catastrophic - is not a major problem when Dom Tyson is waiting in the wings to replace him. Carlton toiled hard in the season opener against Richmond but was outclassed and saved by further ignominy thanks to its accuracy in front of goal. They won't have to contend with a Dustin Martin this weekend but instead, face an opposition with a multitude of mid sized runners led by the AFL's leading ruckman and some very classy talls at either end of the ground. The players have the right mindset and are now well and truly used to disposing of any hoodoo or curse they might encounter along their football journey. I even checked the weather forecast in the region of the North China sea and am led to believe that it will be all sunshine and blue skies on Sunday. No fog, no hard rain. The evidence is there for all to see - another hoodoo will bite the dust in the most emphatic manner. Melbourne by 65 points
  6. Off to work, might miss the start but I'm the boss so might not either... Quietly confident?
  7. Whispering Jack predicts that a twelve year hoodoo will fall by the wayside on Sunday ... A DOZEN DEAD OCEANS by Whispering Jack "Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son? And where have you been my darling young one? I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall." - by 2016 Nobel Poet Laureate Bob Dylan (A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall) In recent years, Melbourne has been smashing its hoodoos like dinner plates at a Greek restaurant leaving very few left for the club to break. There's still North Melbourne and heaven knows whether we can cross Subiaco off the list before they shut that god forsaken place down forever, but there's imminent challenge looming close on the horizon that must be dealt with in the coming week - the curse of round two. This Sunday will mark the passing of twelve years since the Demons last won a match in the second round of an AFL season. It was exactly on 2 April, 2005 before a meagre crowd of 13,481 at the ground then known as the "Telstra Dome" that Melbourne 20.11.131 beat the Western Bulldogs 15.21.111. The Demons were travelling well in those days. They made a good start to the season, suffered a mid-season slump but recovered to make the finals as they had done the year before and would do in the year after. However, that game against the Doggies in 2005 was to be the last time, the team would salute in an AFL round two game and what's more, the majority of the defeats in between have been in the most humiliating of circumstances. Another dismal round two flop against Carlton this Sunday would be the unkindest cut of them all. The long run of second round outs began at the Docklands on 8 April, 2006 with a 47 point whipping at the hands of the Bulldogs. The Dees had already suffered a shock result to Carlton in the opening round and it lost again the following week but a long run of wins followed to see them safely into the finals. More second round debacles were to come:- 2007 - after the opening round disaster against St Kilda, Melbourne was confident of beating Hawthorn which had been a struggler in recent seasons. But the Hawks were on their way up and the Demons lowered their colours by 22 points to an opponent which was closing in on a premiership era. The Demons won their last game for the year - the infamous Kreuzer Cup - but by then, long-time coach Neale Daniher had already been given his marching orders and a caretaker coach has seen out the long death throes of an old era. The club was looking into the mouth of a graveyard. 2008 - Melbourne heralded in the Dean Bailey era with a 104 point defeat to the emerging Hawks but it did manage to stave off another 100 point plus losing margin when it lost by 95 points to the Western Bulldogs in another round two train crash. It took a while to get onto the winning list but that was done in style against Fremantle when the team stormed back from a massive deficit to win by a goal in round 7. 2009 - an anaemic Melbourne side lost in round 1 to North Melbourne and it was more of the same the following week when the Magpies 17.15.117 made mincemeat out of the Demons 10.4.64 before an MCG crowd of 43,176. Things were so bad that Nathan Jones' father was clocked on his way out of the ground by a an inebriated normal Collingwood fan celebrating his team's win. 2010 - after copping a hiding in the season opener against the Hawks, the Demons faced the Pies again in their next up match over the Easter break. They were in sight of victory when Ricky Petterd's lunge for a mark in the goalsquare failed with seconds left in the game. 2011 - for once, Melbourne managed to stave off defeat in its opening game. However, it didn't exactly win either. In a dramatic finish, the round 1 game against the Sydney Swans ended as a draw - 11.18.84 each. Against the Hawks in round 2, the Demons held a 19 point lead at half time before they were strangled into submission in the third quarter by a hard press, eventually losing by 45 points. The club was on a roller coaster ride to disaster. The rain was about to fall hard. If you think the foregoing was bad, prepare yourself for a horror story. 2012 - the early optimism of a new beginning under Mark Neeld had dissipated long before the Brisbane Lions crushed Melbourne by 41 points in the season opener. Jimmy Stynes had recently died and the club was beset by troubles but nobody was really prepared for what was to come at Subiaco Oval in week 2. On Saturday, 7 April, the West Coast Eagles inflicted a 25.16.166 to 9.4.58 flogging on Neeld's charges before a crowd of 35,674 but even that would pale against what happened in round 2 in the following season. 2013 - after a few seasons as AFL whipping boy, Port Adelaide made an impressive start to the season winning 19.19.133 to 8.6.54 over Melbourne at the MCG. At the same ground a week later and in the midst of the developing drug saga, Essendon was the host when it blasted Neeld's charges to the tune of 148 points - 28.16.184 to 5.6.36. The slaughter reverberated around the club and precipitated several changes at the top which saw the departures of the CEO, the chairman and ultimately the coach in the weeks and months to follow. 2014 - the arrival of Paul Roos at coach/saviour of the club didn't bring immediate joy on the playing field. The team lost its opening game to the Saints by 17 points thanks in part to their woeful kicking for goal, but the next match was another round 2 disaster - a 93 point loss to the West Coast Eagles before a crowd of only 22,230 at the MCG with the home team managing a meagre 4.6.30. 2015 - the club broke its opening round hoodoo against an injury riddled Gold Coast Suns and things were looking up at Star Trak Oval when the Demons led the Giants by 33 points in the shadows of half time before the round two curse took hold and the home side kicked 14 of the next 15 goals to win by 56 points. And now for the steak knives. 2016 - after an exciting round 1 win by two points over the highly rated GWS Giants, Melbourne was expected to record a handsome victory over an Essendon team decimated by the CAS ruling which outed a dozen of their players for the season, leaving them with a rag tag bunch of youngsters and football mercenaries, many of who would otherwise have been playing in the VFL or local competitions in round 2. As always, the Demons approached the game on 2 April, 2016 as if they were millionaires and ended like beggars on a street corner in skid row. At the end of the day the MCG scoreboard read "Essendon 11.14.80 defeated Melbourne 10.7.67". That score line still leaves me with dread in my heart 12 months later wondering how on earth is it possible that to avert the calamity of another round 2 that turns us all into April Fools even when opposition supporters believe that their team is too young, too inexperienced and not good enough to win? I've found a way and will reveal all shortly. THE GAME Melbourne v Carlton at MCG Sunday 2nd April, 2017 at 3.20pm. HEAD TO HEAD Overall Melbourne 89 wins Carlton 117 wins Drawn 2 At MCG Melbourne 49 wins Carlton 50 wins Past five meetings Melbourne 1 win Carlton 4 wins The Coaches Goodwin 0 Bolton 0 wins MEDIA TV - Fox Sports 3, Channel 7 at 3.00pm RADIO - Triple M 3AW THE BETTING Melbourne to win $1.22 - Carlton $4.40 to win - $4.40 THE LAST TIME THEY MET Carlton 11.12.78 defeated Melbourne 7.16.58 at the MCG Round 22, 2016 The Demons were raging favourites to win at $1.24 and didn't fail to disappoint the fans and themselves with an insipid performance at a time when victory would have kept their finals hopes alive. They played like a young team that had run out steam and hit the wall - the same wall their supporters were banging their heads into at the end of the game. THE TEAMS MELBOURNE B: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Jake Melksham HB: Neville Jetta, Tom McDonald, Nathan Jones C: Christian Salem, Jordan Lewis, Billy Stretch HF: Clayton Oliver, Sam Weideman, Jack Watts F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett FOLL: Max Gawn, Angus Brayshaw, Jack Viney I/C: Mitch Hannan, James Harmes, Alex Neal-Bullen, Dom Tyson EMG: Ben Kennedy, Dean Kent, Jake Spencer IN: James Harmes, Ben Kennedy, Dom Tyson OUT: Joel Smith (shoulder), Bernie Vince (suspended) CARLTON B: Jarrod Pickett, Caleb Marchbank, Lachie Plowman HB: Harrison Macreadie, Sam Rowe, Sam Docherty C: Matthew Wright, Bryce Gibbs, Kade Simpson HF: Jack Silvagni, Levi Casboult, Charlie Curnow F: Simon White, Jacob Weitering, Sam Petrevski-Seton FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Marc Murphy I/C: Dennis Armfield, Ed Curnow, Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge, Harry McKay, Billie Smedts, Dale Thomas EMG: Nick Graham, Sam Kerridge, Harry McKay NO CHANGE BLUE SKIES Twelve months ago, I was enjoying a holiday break cruising the North China Sea somewhere between the tip of South Korea and the Chinese mainland. We left Australia a few days after Melbourne's barnstorming come-from-behind victory over GWS and all was well with the world notwithstanding the ominous proximity to mad Kim Jong-un's battery of missiles. Thousands of miles away to the south east, the Demons were about to take on the Bombers' B team. I was supremely confident that the Dees were on course for a 2 - 0 start to the season. Suddenly, our ship sailed into a thick fog and we were enveloped in a misty grey-yellow shroud. You could barely hear the lapping of the tiny waves around us as we ploughed through the eerily silent waters. Internet communication via satellite was intermittent and limited. I picked up an early score that had Essendon leading 1.2.8 to nil but I wasn't worried. The next time I managed to get on line, it was Melbourne leading by two goals midway through the second quarter. We were on our way. They had a trivia competition on board and the rules were strict - no cell phones. My confidence was up and I wasn't worried but a little over an hour later when I was back on line, I had to look twice as the ¾ time score flashed on the screen to show the Bombers leading by nine points. The fog was thicker than a pea soup. The air became frozen. I was literally overcome by a sickening feeling like sailing the Titanic through another dead ocean with an iceberg directly under the bow. There was never a satisfactory explanation given as to why Melbourne crashed so badly that day. The Bombers were the competition's easybeats copping defeat after defeat in the weeks and months that followed and it looked as if the Demons would be their only victim for the season until they triumphed over an injury depleted Gold Coast at Etihad Stadium in Round 21. Some put it down to poor preparation in the week before the game while others claimed that Melbourne got ahead of itself, that the players had big heads and turned up lacking focus. At the other end of that season in the second last round, Melbourne suffered another humiliation at the hands of a lowly team in Carlton when it needed a victory to maintain its finals hopes. At least there was an explanation for that result - the young team was rapidly tiring after a long exhausting season. It was at least a plausible if not entirely comforting excuse for a loss to an opponent going through its own long string of defeats. This time around there are no excuses whatsoever. There is nothing and nobody left to blame. All of the stars are nicely aligned and you simply cannot question, the current board, CEO, coach, conditioning staff, playing list, ground announcer or boot studder. There is no reason on the strength of the form shown by the team last week; the coolness, the calmness and the discipline that we saw from a team which shrugged off an early four goal deficit to blitz to a well fancied opponent with ten consecutive consecutive goals in the period before and after half time. The sort of form that is epitomised by four of your players (including a 19 year old who played 75% of game time) accumulating 30 touches or more and another nine clocking up at least 20 disposals when the team is down a player from before quarter time is irrepressible and simply can't be overturned in the space of a week. Even the loss through suspension of Bernie Vince who was one of the team's 30 possession men against the Saints - something that once might once have been regarded as catastrophic - is not a major problem when Dom Tyson is waiting in the wings to replace him. Carlton toiled hard in the season opener against Richmond but was outclassed and saved by further ignominy thanks to its accuracy in front of goal. They won't have to contend with a Dustin Martin this weekend but instead, face an opposition with a multitude of mid sized runners led by the AFL's leading ruckman and some very classy talls at either end of the ground. The players have the right mindset and are now well and truly used to disposing of any hoodoo or curse they might encounter along their football journey. I even checked the weather forecast in the region of the North China sea and am led to believe that it will be all sunshine and blue skies on Sunday. No fog, no hard rain. The evidence is there for all to see - another hoodoo will bite the dust in the most emphatic manner. Melbourne by 65 points
  8. Demonland

    THE LAST TIME THEY MET

    I still have nightmares .. CARLTON B: Zach Tuohy, Sam Rowe, Jacob Weitering HB: Dylan Buckley, Lachie Plowman, Sam Docherty C: Kade Simpson, Sam Kerridge, Ed Curnow HF: Jack Silvagni, Liam Jones, David Cuningham F: Matthew Kreuzer, Levi Casboult, Matthew Wright FOLL: Andrew Phillips, Patrick Cripps, Bryce Gibbs I/C: Dennis Armfield, Liam Sumner, Dale Thomas, Simon White EMG: Blaine Boekhorst, Nick Graham, Andrejs Everitt IN: Liam Sumner OUT: Blaine Boekhorst (Omitted) MELBOURNE B: Sam Frost, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta HB: Jayden Hunt, Oscar McDonald, Tomas Bugg C: Billy Stretch, Bernie Vince, Dom Tyson HF: Angus Brayshaw, Jack Watts, Aaron vandenBerg F: Christian Petracca, Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent FOLL: Max Gawn, Nathan Jones, Jack Viney I/C: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Clayton Oliver, Sam Weideman EMG: Colin Garland, James Harmes, Cameron Pedersen IN: Viv Michie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Sam Weideman OUT: Jeff Garlett (illness), James Harmes (omitted), Cameron Pedersen (omitted)
  9. THE DAISY CHAIN by Georgina on the Outer In a must win match against Carlton Light (the colours worn by their AFLW opponents), Daisy Pearce with a great 29 disposal game, led her team to a victory which has kept the Demons final hopes alive. Similarly, the result dropped the early season favourite out of contention. The Demons must keep winning to stay in the hunt, but the two competition leaders in Adelaide and Brisbane play each other in a fortnight, when one must lose and that could give Melbourne the chance to break into the top two. A scrambly (is that a word?) first quarter saw each team register a solitary behind, although Melbourne played with more fluency one it got the ball outside. However, unforced errors continued to give the Blues opportunities and on a number of occasions left the Demons well exposed. In the second quarter, Melbourne came out firing as the Daisy chain started in motion. All around her we had players starting to blossom and Cat Phillips started to give Daisy first use of the ball and the goals came. While the Light Blues also managed a couple of goals these were both from dubious free kicks and fifty metre penalties. The AFLW seriously has to look at the fifty metre penalty for the competition, as it is simply too harsh, given that the majority of players at the moment are barely capable of kicking anything near that distance. Melbourne was moving the ball quickly by handball and benefitting from the clearer air after the first quarter congestion. Carlton on the other hand was almost solely dependant upon Vescio who continued to get the ball out and up forward. The third quarter saw a more aggressive Melbourne with tackling the highlight. It shut the Light Blues down, as they could only manage two points in 20 minutes while Melbourne scored 2 goals 4 behinds. The Demon forwards were still found lacking when needed in contests - they were often simply not there and it was up to the mids and flankers to do the hard lifting. Surely a three goal lead when the Light Blues had only scored two in ¾ of footy would be enough, but the Demons took the foot off the accelerator and fell asleep in the last. Suddenly, they found the scores level at the nine minute mark and from then on it became a great physical contest. This was the challenge and Daisy, Alyssa Mifsud, Elise O’Dea and Richelle Cranston all stood up to it do well. There was one more goal for the game - to Cranston - and that was enough to put the team in front and eventually win the game. With plenty of time remaining, others were asked to stop the furious charge from Carlton, and Brooke Patterson took a particularly telling mark in the backline to deny them their final opportunity and turn them into an even lighter shade of pale. Melbourne 0.1.1 3.2.20 5.6.36 6.6.42 Carlton 0.1.1 2.3.15 2.5.17 5.6.36 Goals Melbourne Mifsud 2 Berry Cranston O'Dea Scott Carlton Ayre 2 Jackobsson Sheirlaw Vescio Best Melbourne Pearce O'Dea Paxman Mithen Mifsud Carlton Hosking Exon Vescio Ayre Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Patrick Burns Ben Cheever Brodie Rayner Crowd 3,965 at Casey Fields, Cranbourne
  10. In a must win match against Carlton Light (the colours worn by their AFLW opponents), Daisy Pearce with a great 29 disposal game, led her team to a victory which has kept the Demons final hopes alive. Similarly, the result dropped the early season favourite out of contention. The Demons must keep winning to stay in the hunt, but the two competition leaders in Adelaide and Brisbane play each other in a fortnight, when one must lose and that could give Melbourne the chance to break into the top two. A scrambly (is that a word?) first quarter saw each team register a solitary behind, although Melbourne played with more fluency one it got the ball outside. However, unforced errors continued to give the Blues opportunities and on a number of occasions left the Demons well exposed. In the second quarter, Melbourne came out firing as the Daisy chain started in motion. All around her we had players starting to blossom and Cat Phillips started to give Daisy first use of the ball and the goals came. While the Light Blues also managed a couple of goals these were both from dubious free kicks and fifty metre penalties. The AFLW seriously has to look at the fifty metre penalty for the competition, as it is simply too harsh, given that the majority of players at the moment are barely capable of kicking anything near that distance. Melbourne was moving the ball quickly by handball and benefitting from the clearer air after the first quarter congestion. Carlton on the other hand was almost solely dependant upon Vescio who continued to get the ball out and up forward. The third quarter saw a more aggressive Melbourne with tackling the highlight. It shut the Light Blues down, as they could only manage two points in 20 minutes while Melbourne scored 2 goals 4 behinds. The Demon forwards were still found lacking when needed in contests - they were often simply not there and it was up to the mids and flankers to do the hard lifting. Surely a three goal lead when the Light Blues had only scored two in ¾ of footy would be enough, but the Demons took the foot off the accelerator and fell asleep in the last. Suddenly, they found the scores level at the nine minute mark and from then on it became a great physical contest. This was the challenge and Daisy, Alyssa Mifsud, Elise O’Dea and Richelle Cranston all stood up to it do well. There was one more goal for the game - to Cranston - and that was enough to put the team in front and eventually win the game. With plenty of time remaining, others were asked to stop the furious charge from Carlton, and Brooke Patterson took a particularly telling mark in the backline to deny them their final opportunity and turn them into an even lighter shade of pale. Melbourne 0.1.1 3.2.20 5.6.36 6.6.42 Carlton 0.1.1 2.3.15 2.5.17 5.6.36 Goals Melbourne Mifsud 2 Berry Cranston O'Dea Scott Carlton Ayre 2 Jackobsson Sheirlaw Vescio Best Melbourne Pearce O'Dea Paxman Mithen Mifsud Carlton Hosking Exon Vescio Ayre Injuries Melbourne Nil Carlton Nil Umpires Patrick Burns Ben Cheever Brodie Rayner Crowd 3,965 at Casey Fields, Cranbourne
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