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Demonland

PURPOSE by Mel Rundle

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I could see it coming but I never thought it would happen at this time and in this place in front of a massive home crowd at Adelaide Oval. Not in this city where Demon fans have waited for a decade and more to taste the fruits of victory - any victory.

But it happened here and while the result was in doubt until seconds before the final siren blared it was the sweetest of wins, a three-pointer that resulted from a fantastic team effort based on hard work and commitment to the cause from a team that has copped its share of hard knocks in recent times.

When Paul Roos was appointed to coach the club last September, the memory of Melbourne's most recent visit to this city less than a month earlier was still fresh in the mind. The 68-point debacle at AAMI Stadium in Round 22 was a common feature of the way the Demons went about things in 2013 and could be described in one word as "purposeless". Roos has instilled a sense of purpose into the team based on a strong desire to defend its position.

They came out and after a minor hiccup when they let Patrick Dangerfield slip through for the opening goal of the game, they stunned the Crows, their large band of supporters and the football world with their desire and commitment for the football.

They had two great leaders in Nathan Jones and Jack Grimes who led from the front all afternoon although the former was under a bit of a cloud (said to be a slight twinge during the warm up which he shrugged off with disdain). Grimes was magnificent in defence, providing the rebound and, in the end, a perfect game-saving spoil to prevent a late Dangerfield mark. He was aided and abetted by Tom McDonald, Jeremy Howe and Neville Jetta playing his best game for the club in blanketing Eddie Betts. Then there was the enigmatic Lynden Dunn who has stepped up this year and is doing what all players must do - make a contribution every week.

Melbourne sits last in the competition for scoring this year but it scored seven unanswered goals from early in the first quarter until late in the opening half and at one stage led by 36 points. It's forward line was led by Chris Dawes, as solid as a rock but he had lots of assistance and the heart was warmed by Jack Watts' composure in kicking a great goal and by the nippiness of smalls in Jack Viney and Jay Kennedy-Harris. Dom Tyson and Bernie Vince in his homecoming, were also important players.

After the main break, the game changed and Adelaide came back. The team that was here last year would have crumbled and fallen away but Melbourne has a sense of purpose these days and it resolutely fought back hard and thanks to some accuracy in front of goal and a great pack mark from the Russian (another former local) they held sway.

Despite the enormous pressure applied by the home team and the roar of 40,000 voices willing them on to win and even to influence the umpires to produce an uneven free kick count (and please don't get me started), they held firm.

There is still an issue with scoring - the dividend from the last half was a mere 4.2 to 7.9. But that will come perhaps with one more tall forward or a ruckman who can kick goals while resting up there.

The main thing for now is that the team is gaining increasing respect and a win such as this one in hostile territory will serve it well in the future as it welcomes in a brave new world for the Demon faithful.

Melbourne 4.0.24 7.2.44 8.4.52 11.4.70

Adelaide
1.1.7 2.4.16 5.10.40 9.13.67

Goals

Melbourne
Dawes 3 Bail Jamar N Jones Kennedy-Harris Salem Tyson Viney Watts

Adelaide Dangerfield Jenkins Podsiadly 2 Crouch Petrenko Thompson

Best

Melbourne
Dawes Vince Tyson Viney Kennedy-Harris Grimes

Adelaide Dangerfield Jacobs Smith Sloane Thompson Laird

Changes

Melbourne
Nil

Adelaide Nil

Injuries

Melbourne
Georgiou (concussion)

Adelaide Lynch (concussion) Jaensch (heavy knock)

Reports

Melbourne
Nil

Adelaide Nil

Umpires Donlon Chamberlain Bannister

Attendance 44,216 at the Adelaide Oval

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