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THE RED AND BLUE CENTRE by George on The Outer

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While some may not be pleased with Melbourne “selling” games to play in the NT it has to be clear that after this round the MFC heart beats strongly in the middle of Australia at Alice Springs.

Before the game, a match of third and fourth teams on the ladder would have been thought to be a close, hard fought contest.  It never was, as Melbourne set about re-writing the record books with a 91 point win over last years Grand Finalist.  

Demonland fans have been watching the slow progress of the Club as it eliminated the horror records over a couple of years, but now the records are being made on the positive side of the ledger and in some cases, the best ever in club  history.

In this game alone -

• The Demons recorded five wins in a row, which hasn’t happened since Nathan Jones first started playing;

• The Demons’ unbroken run of consecutive winning quarters stretched to 18  which is four more than the previous club record;

• The Demons inflicted Adelaide’s greatest loss under Don Pyke;

• The Demons first quarter score against the Crows of 7.1 was its highest since 2011; and

• Melbourne scored its greatest ever win over Adelaide.

The list could probably go on and on, but more importantly, some of those records are still open-ended with the Bulldogs facing a worrying prospect next week.

The game in Alice Springs was also a great victory off-field for the club. The version of the Grand Old Flag sung in Arrernte certainly cemented the locals as Demons supporters, as witnessed around the ground.  And apart from the financial incentive of playing there, the exposure on FTA television with nearly an hour of free “advertising” before the game would have pleased sponsors.  

Wavering supporters who have yet to commit to the club in 2018, should be knocking on the membership department doors at 9.00am on Monday to ensure seats come September.

It was hard to comment on individual efforts, as every single player contributed with Simon Goodwin ‘s mantra of contested football producing the results again.  

An opening 5 goals before the Crows had troubled the goal umpire almost guaranteed the win in the first quarter but the Demons didn’t stop and further scores of 16 goals in the following quarters showed the difference between the sides, while the Crows could only manage 5 in total after quarter time.

It all started in the middle, with Max Gawn dominating with 49 hitouts against Sam Jacobs and he also more than doubled Jacobs output for the game with 12 touches to 5. The mids took full advantage from Max’s touch with Brayshaw playing what was probably his best game with 37 touches, Oliver 31, Viney 35 and Jones 28.  

If the Crows thought they would target Jake Lever, it was sadly mis-placed.  15 touches at 93% efficiency was the highest on the ground, 4 intercept marks and 3 rebound 50’s just broke Tex Walkers heart.  It was good that he wasn’t playing to face the ignominy.

Once again the work of the forwards in Jesse Hogan (5 goals) and Tom McDonald (2 goals) was first class with Hogan maintaining his record of a goal in every game. Equally as important was their ability to provide targets, take contested marks and bring the ball to ground that gave others like Jake Melksham, Alex Neal-Bullen, Christian and Mitch Hannan to crumb goal after goal. The Crows simply had no answer.  

While Tom McDonald under an injury cloud pre-game it was good to see him run out the game, and it was also telling that the club could afford to bring both Jayden Hunt and Cam Pedersen to the Alice and still have Casey win convincingly the day before.  

The depth now at the club is truly comforting, and the lack of injuries is also a big factor in understanding where we sit today. To be able to get into the senior team is going to be a difficult task for many, and only resting younger players or unexpected injury will see any change in the coming weeks. Being able to rest players is certainly something the club has not been able to contemplate in past years.  

Melbourne has made Alice Springs one of its “fortresses”.  Next week, the team heads to its new “fortress” of Docklands (Etihad, Telstra, Marvel or whatever) Stadium. With the looming name change and a continuation of the form of these past 5 weeks, especially in this game, it will be the rest of the competition who will marvel at the 2018 Demons.  
 
Melbourne  7.1.43  12.2.74 18.6.114 23.8.146

Adelaide  3.1.19 4.226 5.4.34 8.7.55

Goals 

Melbourne Hogan 5 Brayshaw Neal-Bullen Petracca 3 T McDonald Melksham T Smith 2 Hannan Jones Spargo

Adelaide Betts Douglas 2 Fogarty Gallucci Gibson Jenkins

Best 

Melbourne Brayshaw Oliver Lever Gawn Viney Neal-Bullen Vince Hogan Hibberd ... and 13 others

Adelaide Talia M Crouch Laird Greenwood Doedee

Injuries 

Melbourne Nil

Adelaide Seedsman (adductor) replaced in selected side by Myles Poholke, Brown (concussion)

Reports Nil

Umpires Donlon, Deboy, Brown

Official crowd 6,989 at TIO Traeger Park

BF925AAE-EF10-4991-85D0-0D310C6BAF32.jpeg

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