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MATCH REPORT - MELBOURNE v FREMANTLE


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A GAME OF TWO HALVES - Part One by Whispering Jack

Sometimes you get the best and the worst when you go to see a sporting contest. This usually means that you get the best from the winner and the worst from the loser. However, on Sunday in the game between Melbourne and Fremantle, we saw the best and the worst from both teams.

The Dockers blew the game open when they took a 27-point lead into the first break and by half time they led by fifty points. Such was their dominance that they were threatening a victory of such gargantuan proportions that it would have made the Hawks' 104 point opening round win on this same ground and against the same club look paltry and insignificant.

There is no need to describe what transpired in the game's first hour from a Melbourne point of view because it was all too familiar. We've seen it time and again in the first six rounds - an orgy of errors, ineptitude (one centre square clearance in the first quarter and a half!) and, at times, downright incompetence from a home side that this week managed a meagre three first half goals and conceded eleven, of which many were a result of stupid stuff ups. In other words, much of the misery of the home team's fans - many just sat there with heads cupped in their despairing hands - was self-inflicted. Was it my imagination that the birds circling the ground at the main break drew near bore a closer resemblance to vultures than the seagulls that normally emerge out of the skies at around that time every week?

I spent a great deal of main break searching for a food stand on the ground floor of the MCG, the powers that be having made the decision to close the one they usually operate on most match days in the Redlegs area on level one. Presumably, they did so because they expected the handful of members and supporters in attendance might as well be as starved for food as they were of enjoyment for the game.

It was a bleak scene down there in the bowels of the great stadium; there was no sweet perfume in the half time air but there were so many blank looks and sad faces among those who had answered the call to come and support their team. Most were looking for some sort of sustenance or relief from the gloom of the day's events while some were simply looking for a way out of the ground.

At moments like these, some unusual thoughts can pop into your head. Such as the fact that the single most enjoyable moment of the day so far had come when the trumpeter was blowing his way through a rendition of the tune to the club's song. His performance probably had some artistic merit, but what I found entertaining in a devilish sort of way was the sight of this bloke in the red jacket whose face was becoming progressively more blue with every note he played. Similar to the colour of my face when Jeff Farmer intercepted an errant handball to run into an open goal in the second quarter.

"Keep your eye on the red and the blue."

Which was exactly what we try to do each week but it's a hell of a way to spend an afternoon these days.

A GAME OF TWO HALVES - Part Two by Whispering Jack

I have no idea as to what was happening below us in the Melbourne rooms during the main break but when the team came out for the start of the third quarter, a momentous change came over the game. Suddenly, the Demons were winning the ball out of the middle thanks to Mark Jamar's strong and heroic ruck work and Brock McLean's grunt at the stoppages. Cameron Bruce and Brad Green came alive and the burden of the club's disappointing start to its 150th anniversary season seemed to lift and disappear into thin air.

It was as if a whole new life had been breathed into the side as players who were dropping marks, fumbling handballs and fluffing their kicks half an hour ago came out of their collective shells and suddenly, everything started falling into place. Players were suddenly hitting their targets by foot and by hand. Goals which had been so hard to come by for most of the season, started to come at a regular rate.

Was a miracle about to happen?

Brad Green and Brad Miller scored important early second half goals, followed by Robbo and then we saw a touch of brilliance from Aaron Davey who twice ran rings around the Docker defences. One of his goals, from 50 metres after selling enough dummies to stock a sizeable nursery, must be a goal of the year contender. Matthew Bate and Brent Moloney lost the hesitation that marked their play earlier in the game. They became the danger men with their long kicking to position. Miller controlled centre half forward and was taking telling marks on a lead as well in contested situations.

The crowd was getting involved too as the Demon surge continued but just when it looked as if the visitors might be completely overrun, Matthew Pavlich chipped in with a couple of goals before the final change of ends. The Dockers led by 32 points and their temporary crisis appeared to be over.

But Melbourne wasn't finished yet and its final quarter onslaught was a thrilling nine goal performance - one that stunned the football world (not to mention the 19,423 punters at the ground). Moloney and Miller scored goals but the quarter really belonged to Robbo and Tiwi Island rookie Austin Wonaeamirri who each snagged three goals. Austin's crumbing goals and his effervescent enthusiasm in their celebration were infectious and they lifted the side and the crowd and they carried the club to its greatest fightback win ever.

The true Demon faithful spilled onto the hallowed turf as the trumpeter blared out the theme song and they covered the entire surface of the MCG. I was out there on the ground with them and, when I looked up, the vultures had disappeared.

Melbourne 1.3.9 3.8.26 8.15.63 17.17.119

Fremantle 5.6.36 11.10.76 13.17.95 15.23.113

Goals

Melbourne Robertson Wonnaeamirri 4 Davey Miller 3 Green 2 Moloney

Fremantle Pavlich 5 Tarrant 3 Farmer 2 Bell Ibbotson Mundy Palmer Solomon

Best

Melbourne McLean Wonnaeamirri Robertson Davey Miller Bruce Green

Fremantle Pavlich Solomon Palmer Sandilands Bell Ibbotson Tarrant

Injuries

Melbourne Nil

Fremantle Luke McPharlin (corked buttock)

Changes

Melbourne Matthew Whelan (gastro) replaced in selected side by Daniel Bell

Fremantle Des Headland (knee) replaced in selected side by Daniel Gilmore

Reports Nil

Umpires James Stewart Avon

Official crowd 19,423 at MCG

And just for balance, here's a link to the DOCKERLAND MATCH REPORT by Shane Richmond who, when previewing this game described Melbourne as "useless". I guess that makes Fremantle (insert your description here).

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haha... I thought Dockerland has a very deluded view of the match.

Full of excuses.

Go Dees! What a way to celebrate a 2 week break!

Clunk

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It was a bleak scene down there in the bowels of the great stadium; there was no sweet perfume in the half time air but there were so many blank looks and sad faces among those who had answered the call to come and support their team. Most were looking for some sort of sustenance or relief from the gloom of the day's events while some were simply looking for a way out of the ground.

So how close were you to leaving?

Be honest. I mean even Dean Bailey gave us credit for staying. I have been going to the Members with my Dad for nearly 40 years and at half time he said "Shall we go?"

He has seen more games than I this year and he was completely jacked off quietly. I said "No there is one reason i want to stay-wonaeamirri".

Sunday was my 3rd time watching him and each time HE WAS THE ONLY ONE PLAYING FAIR DINKUM ATTACKING FOOTBALL!!!!!

I'm going to stay and watch him-he was the only shining light. I told dad it was cool if he wanted to go but i was going to stick it out.

Dad agreed to stay till 3 Q time. The rest is..............we saw what happened. My voice is gone.

Did anyone leave and miss the half?

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My old man messaged me (we sit in different areas) to say that he was heading off at half time. Only problem was that I had to remind him that he was my lift home, so he was forced to stay till the end. He thanked me later :lol:

Ha Ha You can remind him of that for years-Classic!!!!

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I can honestly say I never had any plans to leave. I always had a feeling that we'd see some interesting things...

I like watching a few good little plays in between all the garbage. The Roos game last year was a good example. Newton mark, worth the price of admission.

I have, in the past, left before the end of the match because I wanted to beat the traffic. The whole "stay 'til the end" thing is a bit infantile if you pick on other for leaving before the end to beat the crush. But I had no plans to on Sunday.

Which is weird. We were bad enough in the first half to warrant a few people leaving.

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Bring-Back-Powell said:
My old man messaged me (we sit in different areas) to say that he was heading off at half time. Only problem was that I had to remind him that he was my lift home, so he was forced to stay till the end. He thanked me later :lol:

Ha ha ha nice one.

Was never going to leave, was my last live game for the next two years as I head over seas tomorrow afternoon!!! What a way to sign off!!!

Couple of pics

 

 

Edited by Cards13
delete pics
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I think I've only ever left a game early twice in my life.

Dad kept telling me we're going to win, and I laughed at him. He was going to put money on us and I told him not to... oops :huh:

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Ooops alright.

Nah my dad gets the train back to the country area so he has to wait till well after the game anyway so I ususally stay to the end as well, due to being on crutches I have left a little early in a few games this year as it takes me forever to get to the station.

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Ha ha ha nice one.

Was never going to leave, was my last live game for the next two years as I head over seas tomorrow afternoon!!! What a way to sign off!!!

Couple of pics

Great pics thx. Anyone got any pics of the crowd on the ground at the end, the colour & all the seagulls flying around?

Have a great time o/s, I'll cheer for you for the next few years while my voice holds up... :D

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I think I've only ever left a game early twice in my life.

Dad kept telling me we're going to win, and I laughed at him. He was going to put money on us and I told him not to... oops :huh:

In the paper it reported that Before half time some bookies were offering 95 - 1. Then they stopped taking bets on Freo because it was such a sure thing. If true and you spoke to a bookie you may have asked for well over 200 to 1.

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I was never going to leave, but I must admit, I'd lost all confidence in one of my favourite players, Matty Bate , by half time.

As far as I was concerned, he just didn't have it as a league player, after those repeated fumbles.

My mate kept saying "give him a go, he's in his first game back!". But I wouldn't listen!

The second half.....what a transformation!!! Bate was brilliant, skilful, and inspiring!

I hope I've learnt to be less hasty in my summation of a player's potential from that!

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i never leave a game early (well maybe the 27 minute mark to beat the rush).

but on sunday, i turned to a freo supporting aquaintance as we kicked the first goal after half time and said

"i'm giving you due warning that we're about to come back".

at the time he laughed it off...

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Great pics thx. Anyone got any pics of the crowd on the ground at the end, the colour & all the seagulls flying around?

Have a great time o/s, I'll cheer for you for the next few years while my voice holds up... :D

Cheers HBT

I have about 5 pics I'll put up of the crowd it was amazing. To many people to have a proper kick but fun none the less. I saw a guy dressed as Gary Pert from Fitzroy. It was unreal he was about 40-45 in an old lions jumper with the old skin tight lions shorts and sox on, he looked hilarious.

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I had my aunt's 60th birthday lunch in Kew. Checked the score about quarter time and wasn't too happy. A mate was there and sent me an sms saying "Don't bother coming."

Well, my brother and I left the lunch and went to the game. We didn't listen to the radio at all on the way down and got there at 3/4 time. I rang my mate to find out where he was sitting and he had left!

We gave him a call when we got in front and after the game. We were so happy we didn't take his advice.

Nobody in my family leaves early, we never have and never will.

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I've never left a game early - defeats the purpose of going in the first place. I wasn't exactly confident that we would win on Sunday, but nonetheless I wanted to see how the team reacted. Plus its not like there was going to be a huge crowd on the trains either.

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I fess up.

I actually left after the first quarter alss, BUT I had a really good excuse. My son was playing in the half-time Auskick game at the Dome. We made sure we boosted the crowd by tunring up for the first quarter but then left. I would of course loved to stay and watched it all, but it was also great seeing my son who is in Prep playing against the older kids on the Dome. He kicked the first goal of his game to boot.

We have watched the second half of the Melbourne game twice now. Not quite the same as being there live, but still bloody brilliant.

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I don't think I've ever left a game, left the local club, or even switched off the radio when that was all I could get, until the last seconds have ticked over in a Melbourne game.

Tough it out, people. Every extra Melbourne person who's there makes it less horrible for those who do stay.

It also makes it that little sweeter to be in a crowd when we do turn it around - because you know that many of the people there with you have been though the rough stuff with you, even if you can't pinpoint the faces.

(side note: S_T I think you're a legend for turning up when you knew you wouldn't get to see the game out, regardless of progress, and kids playing footy is always first priority, ay?)

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I have only ever left early once before in my life (Round 1). I have to admit I considered it, but the lure of watching my son have a kick on the G afterwards convinced me to hang around. Glad I did, but I'd love to know how many people would have left had that offer not been on the table.

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Never left a game early.

I saw a guy dressed as Gary Pert from Fitzroy. It was unreal he was about 40-45 in an old lions jumper with the old skin tight lions shorts and sox on, he looked hilarious.

I saw the same guy run past me, along the wing, on the 'G after the game. I also saw some kids in Fitzroy jumpers on the ground at the end of the game.

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