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MATCH REPORT - SLOW START AT THE TOP

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SLOW START AT THE TOP by Bewitched 

The hot conditions would probably have proved too much for Bernard Tomic but, for the women of Melbourne, the heat and the humidity were the perfect conditions to enable them to overcome the Adelaide Crows after a now standard slow start in the nation's Top End.

What is it about the slow starting Demons? 

Only once during this inaugural AFLW season have they held a quarter time lead and that was in the opening round against the league-leading Brisbane Lions when they scored three points to nothing and failed to goal until just before half time. Their best quarter time score to date stands at 1.1.7 when they trailed the Doggies by a couple of goals in round three.

And so it was last night at TIO Stadium with a listless start that, as in Sydney the week before, saw the opposition on 2.1.13 at the first change (only this week the Dees hadn't even scored a point). It was almost as if last week's shock loss had sucked the life and the fight out of the team - but all that changed in the second quarter.

Led by inspirational skipper Daisy Pearce, they fought their way back into contention for a grand final berth. After Deanna Berry bobbed up for the team's first goal early in the second quarter, an arm wrestle ensued and the Crows took sway with a goal in response midway through the term. However, from that moment on until late in the night it was all Melbourne with Daisy leading the way. She was everywhere. At one stage she goaled up forward and moments later was marking strongly deep in defence.

Along with Karen Paxman who had 21 possessions for the game, Pearce (20) was fantastic and so were the hard tackling Elise O'Dea and youngster Lily Mithen.

It looked as if their fast start in the thirty degree sauna-like conditions had taken its toll over the Crows. They were completely shut out in the third quarter and when Aliesha Newman scored Melbourne’s fifth goal at the 10-minute mark of the final term, they seemed to be up against an unassailable lead. 

But as is usual for Melbourne sides, that was not the end of the drama because two late goals from Adelaide, one after the other, led to a heart-stopping finish. The final siren couldn't come too soon.

The equation for next weekend is simple. The Dees must beat Fremantle at Casey Fields on Saturday and then hope for a Pies victory over Adelaide on Sunday to set up a replay of the opening round clash in the grand final due to take place in Brisbane.
  
Melbourne 0.0.0 2.1.13 4.3.27 5.4.34

Adelaide 2.1.13 3.1.19 3.1.19 5.2.32

Goals

Melbourne Berry Mifsud Newman D Pearce Scott

Adelaide Bevan Gibson Perkins Randall Riley

Best

Melbourne Paxman Pearce Newman O'Dea Mithen Smith Berry

Adelaide Foley Bevan Randall Randan Phillips

Injuries

Melbourne Nil

Adelaide Nil

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Adelaide Nil

Umpires Andrew Crosby, Brodie Raynor and Nathan Toner

Crowd 5,100 at TIO Stadium, Darwin

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Whatching Collingwood towel up GWS today is leaving me with mixed emotions.

On the one hand, thinking of what we could have done last week with one straighter shot at goal in that last quarter.

On the other, knowing that the Pies look strong enough to sink the stilletos into the Crows next week.

Naturally, our girls have to do the right thing the day before.

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Really liked the contributions from a lot of the younger players. Kat Smith was very good this week, and showed just how good she's going to be - such a cool head for one so young. Mithen, Grierson & Berry, who although not yet 20, seem to put in reliable efforts in every game. And Aleisha Newman - wow!

It was good in the second half to see Rocky Cranston make a big contribution too. After her suspension in the first round, she seemed a bit tentative about using her strength and aggression, but she got a lot right in the last half. Hope she keeps it up.

And I thought Lauren Pearce was good this week too, despite being sling-tackled and hitting her head, without getting a free for it, as it would have been in every other game of AFL played anywhere since the Trengove/Dangerfield fiasco. Surely a woman's head is "sacrosanct" too??

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9 minutes ago, Akum said:

Really liked the contributions from a lot of the younger players. Kat Smith was very good this week, and showed just how good she's going to be - such a cool head for one so young. Mithen, Grierson & Berry, who although not yet 20, seem to put in reliable efforts in every game. And Aleisha Newman - wow!

It was good in the second half to see Rocky Cranston make a big contribution too. After her suspension in the first round, she seemed a bit tentative about using her strength and aggression, but she got a lot right in the last half. Hope she keeps it up.

And I thought Lauren Pearce was good this week too, despite being sling-tackled and hitting her head, without getting a free for it, as it would have been in every other game of AFL played anywhere since the Trengove/Dangerfield fiasco. Surely a woman's head is "sacrosanct" too??

One thing that stood out was the game of young Jasmine Grierson as you mentioned.  

Her effort in the second half and composure at the contest were a real highlight for me.  I honestly think she has a huge future in this competition and could possibly become one of the AFLW guns in a few years.  She moves with purpose and seems to always have enough time to make the right decision when in traffic.

I really hope we get over Fremantle on Saturday at Casey because on current form, I think Collingwood could very well beat Adelaide.  The big test for both us and the Crows is the recovery after such a gruelling contest up in Darwin.

Would be a remarkable comeback if we managed to jag the open spot in the GF after our slow start to the season.  :cool:

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On 13 March 2017 at 0:27 AM, Krazy Jaeger O'Smeara said:

One thing that stood out was the game of young Jasmine Grierson as you mentioned.  

Her effort in the second half and composure at the contest were a real highlight for me.  I honestly think she has a huge future in this competition and could possibly become one of the AFLW guns in a few years.  She moves with purpose and seems to always have enough time to make the right decision when in traffic.

I really hope we get over Fremantle on Saturday at Casey because on current form, I think Collingwood could very well beat Adelaide.  The big test for both us and the Crows is the recovery after such a gruelling contest up in Darwin.

Would be a remarkable comeback if we managed to jag the open spot in the GF after our slow start to the season.  :cool:

Don't know about anyone else, but I'm really going to miss watching this team after the next week, or hopefully two weeks.

It seems that we're just getting used to the players, the way they play, and they're just starting to gel as a team, and it will be over.

The reason I really like Elise O'Dea & Jas Grierson is that, after starting fairly slowly, at some point (probably at some time in the second half of the Collingwood game) a light seems to have flashed in their heads and they suddenly seemed to realise that they were capable of playing to a much higher standard, and now they both really take the game on.

The same could be said of younger players like Lily Mithen, Deanna Berry, Alyssa Mifsud and Kat Smith, who have all shown plenty, as well as newbies to the game like Cat Phillips, Lauren Pearce & now Aleisha Newman. 

I don't think it's a coincidence that since O'Dea & Grierson have improved, it's freed up Daisy too - other teams can't double-team Daisy any more because they also have to tag Elise, whose ball use is just as dangerous, and Jas provides the run and ball use out of defence that we thought we'd need Daisy for, allowing Daisy to spend more time in midfield where she can do more damage.

So next year we could have three Daisys - Daisy and "O'Deasie" and "Jasey"!

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