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Greatest wins (best 50 in the last 50 years)



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No.28 1987 Round 10 v Bombers at Windy Hill 

We all remember Brett Bailey as the bloke who kicked the winning goal to win the 1987 Night Grand Final, to deliver the first silverware that many of us remember.  It was the catalyst in our 87 rebirth.  But we should also remember a game in 87 out at Windy Hill that I attended about a month later and one in which Brett Bailey was the star. 
 

After 9 rounds, the Dees were 4 wins 5 losses and struggling to again rise up the ladder beyond 8th. The Bombers were very strong having the core of the 84 & 85 premiership teams still on board and in the five. A loss here would make finals very hard to achieve and at Windy Hill, this assignment was very difficult.  Daniher, Merrett, Madden, Salmon, Hawker, Foulds, Duckworth. Many red and black stars. We’d beaten them in the night GF (perhaps catching them off guard and through sheer grit) but to win at Windy Hill would be a massive hurdle.  I hadn’t seen us win there so it was unfathomable to see a win.  Plus we had most of our top 5-6 top players out again. 

So how did we win it? Simply I remember two things. The first was the wind.  It was a distinct advantage to the end.  Yes we had to be smart but I actually thought the windy day would suit the Dons. The second was the tenacious fight from all the blokes in red and blue.  They were seriously outgunned for talent but not heart.  
 

We used the breeze first to setup the game with a 3-goal advantage.  We were down by a goal about at half time so it was game on.  But the umps were crucifying the Demons with the home crowd getting the noise to create frees. 
But in the third with the wind, we kicked 9 goals to 2 goals.  We kicked the last 6 goals of the 3rd quarter and now led by 6 goals.  Northey leapt our at 3/4 quarter time. Sheedy ripped into his troops. 
This 3rd quarter avalanche was brought about by the skill of a young 20 year old Gary Lyon (I remember he was a lean, smart and agile young forward) and a pure footballer in Brett Bailey.   Bailey was not quick or highly skilled, but used his engine, his smarts and his desire to win the footy. Two different styles of players. Lyon kicked 3 goals in the 3rd.  I also remember a great goal to Russell ‘Rhino’ Richards. The Rhino was such an energetic footballer with a burst of pace.  
In the last, our desparation and fight held out the Bombers. Spalding, Wight and Giles holding out the talls.  Koop, White, Yeats kept the smalls shutout. Our contested footy held firm and they only scored 3 goals in the last.  The siren gave us a 22 point win. Brett Bailey kicked 5 goals and Lyon 4 goals.  Bailey was clearly BOG with over 30 possessions and probably 20 contested.  
The Bombers were despondent. The arrogant Sheedy was beaten.   A team of mostly battlers and youngsters had caused a huge boilover (again). We had a sense that with some stars returning from injury, we could make a run for the finals.  This upset win would ultimately prove pivotal to our run to 1987 September action. 
 

Melbourne 15.12.102 defeated Essendon 11.14.80. 

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No. 40 2017 Round 8 v Crows at Adelaide Oval I went across to see this game with a degree of hope but could not have expected the result.  We’d just lost to the Hawks by 3 points to go 3-4 and so

No.26 1990 Round 20 v West Coast Eagles at Subiaco WA i I The Dees had had a very good year and at 13 wins 6 losses, we were set for another finals appearance.  The Eagles were in 2nd position, a

No 23 2017 Round 12 v Collingwood at MCG Another big Queens Birthday clash. This was huge. The Dees were now under Goodwin and Buckley was facing some heat on his coaching performance.  We’d beat

No.27 2018 Round 10 v Adelaide at Alice Springs 

In 2017, the Crows had embarrassed the Dees in Darwin winning by 7-8 goals.  They were runners up in 2017 after being flag favourites.  Whilst having a mixed start to 2018, they were a strong side.  The Dees had the Alice Springs Footy in the Red Centre game and were desperate for a win in the NT. We’d just beaten the lowly Blues by 109 points in round 9 (6 wins 3 losses) with 4 straight wins so confidence was up. The game also was Jake Levers first game against his former club.  This game would see if we were pretenders or contenders. The family sat down to watch the game on the electronic flat screen 55cm device with anticipation.  

The Dees were on fire early as we scored 4 goals but the Crows answered with two quick replies. It was to be 7 goals to 3 goals at quarter time. Our attack on the footy, pace and multiple scoring options was too much for the Crows.  Our midfield dominated. Whilst sometimes still overpossessing the footy (we had 468 possessions) the Dees dominated the rest of the game. We outscored the Crows by 5 goals to 1 (2nd qtr), 6 goals to 1, then 5 goals to 3 in the last.  It was a smashing and a complete four quarter effort. A late goal to the Crows may have caused some frustration as I was pushing for the 100 point win.  The final margin was 91 points.  Unbelievable.  Gawn has dominated Jacobs.  Viney, Jones and Oliver has dominated in the contest with 30+ possessions each albeit mostly handballs.  Jetta had beaten Eddie Betts again. Lever had controlled the backline. 
The goals were shared around.  Hogan (5 goals) and Tommy McDonald were the key forwards.  Melksham, Neal-Bullen, Tim Smith and Petracca were other forwards who chimed in with multiple goals each.  But the star was Angus Brayshaw.  He had 37 possessions (22 kicks 15 handballs) 14 marks and 3 goals. It was hard to fathom why the Crows didn’t shut him down. Perhaps they tried and simply failed. Brayshaw was clearly BOG, with his kicking - by right or left foot -  propelling countless Demon attacks.  Strangely, he only got 2 Brownlow votes (Neal-Bullen got 3 votes) for the game which highlighted the bizarre system of the umps votes.  
 

The Dees had shown their ability, their contested footy superpowers and their attacking power.  We were on a high, with the finals a real chance and we couldn’t wait to see what the rest of 2018 brought us.  
 

Melbourne 23.8.146 defeated Adelaide 8.7.55

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2 hours ago, spirit of norm smith said:

No.27 2018 Round 10 v Adelaide at Alice Springs 

In 2017, the Crows had embarrassed the Dees in Darwin winning by 7-8 goals.  They were runners up in 2017 after being flag favourites.  Whilst having a mixed start to 2018, they were a strong side.  The Dees had the Alice Springs Footy in the Red Centre game and were desperate for a win in the NT. We’d just beaten the lowly Blues by 109 points in round 9 (6 wins 3 losses) with 4 straight wins so confidence was up. The game also was Jake Levers first game against his former club.  This game would see if we were pretenders or contenders. The family sat down to watch the game on the electronic flat screen 55cm device with anticipation.  

The Dees were on fire early as we scored 4 goals but the Crows answered with two quick replies. It was to be 7 goals to 3 goals at quarter time. Our attack on the footy, pace and multiple scoring options was too much for the Crows.  Our midfield dominated. Whilst sometimes still overpossessing the footy (we had 468 possessions) the Dees dominated the rest of the game. We outscored the Crows by 5 goals to 1 (2nd qtr), 6 goals to 1, then 5 goals to 3 in the last.  It was a smashing and a complete four quarter effort. A late goal to the Crows may have caused some frustration as I was pushing for the 100 point win.  The final margin was 91 points.  Unbelievable.  Gawn has dominated Jacobs.  Viney, Jones and Oliver has dominated in the contest with 30+ possessions each albeit mostly handballs.  Jetta had beaten Eddie Betts again. Lever had controlled the backline. 
The goals were shared around.  Hogan (5 goals) and Tommy McDonald were the key forwards.  Melksham, Neal-Bullen, Tim Smith and Petracca were other forwards who chimed in with multiple goals each.  But the star was Angus Brayshaw.  He had 37 possessions (22 kicks 15 handballs) 14 marks and 3 goals. It was hard to fathom why the Crows didn’t shut him down. Perhaps they tried and simply failed. Brayshaw was clearly BOG, with his kicking - by right or left foot -  propelling countless Demon attacks.  Strangely, he only got 2 Brownlow votes (Neal-Bullen got 3 votes) for the game which highlighted the bizarre system of the umps votes.  
 

The Dees had shown their ability, their contested footy superpowers and their attacking power.  We were on a high, with the finals a real chance and we couldn’t wait to see what the rest of 2018 brought us.  
 

Melbourne 23.8.146 defeated Adelaide 8.7.55

I loved this game,  'sons'... thanks for reminding me.

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On 5/3/2020 at 10:16 PM, Dr. Gonzo said:

I went to Vic Park once as a 10 year old in 1992 and stood in the outer with my dad and uncle (both Melbourne) another uncle (Collingwood) and his friend (Melbourne) when another Jako (Jakovich) kicked 7 goals after being dragged early and we ran over the Pies in the last quarter. I was too young or stupid to care about the Pies supporters and was cheering the Demons home and singing the song on the walk back to Hoddle Street.

Don't remember getting any dirty looks or worse, but my dad was keen to get out of there in a hurry. Shame to see grounds like that lost to history, one of the best hamburgers I've ever had was there too on the grill just inside the entry gate. Collingwood supporters have the reputation but the team who I have had the most issues with at the footy is Saints supporters.

Saints supports are a bunch of morons, In the 2006 elimination final the were out in force.

I let them know all about it though 🤣🤣🤣

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No.26 1990 Round 20 v West Coast Eagles at Subiaco WA i I

The Dees had had a very good year and at 13 wins 6 losses, we were set for another finals appearance.  The Eagles were in 2nd position, and had won their past 15 home games. The Eagles and their fans were arrogant.  But we had won the prior 4 games, we’d won the past 4 games against rivals the Eagles including beating them at Subi in 1989 thanks to a late Tommy Kavanagh matchwinner (so it was a possibility we could repeat the dose). 

From the opening bounce to the end, this match was physical and tough footy. There were 3-4 fights and altercations even before the opening bounce.  Watching it on TV still gave a sense this one was a grudge match status.   There were to be no easy kicks.  The Dees had a tough team under Northey and we stood up. 
We opened strongly with 4 goals to 1 goal by quarter time.  The midfield of Obst, Wilson, Tingay and Eishold (perhaps his best game) were getting on top. But Greg Healy had copped a head knock and ruled out early in the game and other players wore a few heavy knocks. This team had come together with most players around the 22-25 yo mark and were past the 50 game experience mark.  They were ready.  
By half time we’d kept a 3 goal buffer.  As in the prior game between the teams earlier in 1990, the Eagles struggled to hold Bennett. 
The Dees took advantage in the 3rd and stretched the advantage to 5 goals.  Danny Hughes was moved forward early in the 3rd quarter and responded with strong marks and provided a handy 2 goals.  
At the start of the last quarter we went out to a 8 goal advantage by the 15 minutes mark and it was game over.  This was an impressive four quarter effort.  Final margin was 36 points.  Bennett finished with 6 goals to again prove the Eagles main tormentor.  Stynes was a warrior in the ruck with an occasional spell with the “Duke”Earl Spalding. The backline of Lyon, Grinter, Brett Lovett and Steve Febey were exceptional.   

But the excitement hadn’t ended. In fact the thing about this game that sticks in my memory is the players coming off the ground and Brian Wilson and Rod Grinter giving it to the crowd and celebrating the win with the same toughness they’d displayed on the field. The Dees had shown they had grown up and could withstand the physical pressure and had the talent to match.   We weren’t afraid of anyone.  

Melbourne 21.13.139 defeated West Coast Eagles 15.13.103  

 

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No.25 2016 Round 12 v Collingwood at MCG

Queens Birthday.  It’s unfortunate that’s it become our “Grand Final”.  But the rivalry is the magic that connects us.  The Dees had been starved of Queens Birthday celebrations since our previous win in 2007. So we were very keen to turn it around.  We had beaten the Pies in a 2015 late season round (after 8 years of losing) so we were confident we could finally win a QB game.  60,000 fans created a great atmosphere.  The late afternoon start meant a few relaxing drinks and an enjoyable “Big Freeze” event pre game but we were on edge. 
The Demons started on fire as we got a goal within a minute. But the Pies got on top and were two goals up.  Enter big Max Gawn.  Against Brodie Grundy, Gawn got our midfield into the game and we drove the ball forward.   Ben Kennedy (recruited from the Pies) was electric, creating havoc on the ball or forward.  Some Petracca magic got us excited, and a Gawny goal put us in front.  The Dees fans were going crazy.  We piled on 7 goals to 1 for the quarter to take a 26 point lead into halftime. What a turnaround.  
The 3rd quarter saw a tight arm wrestle but we kept a 5-goal buffer.  We were nervous but needn’t have.  Goals were added by the Dees before Watts got two goals to seal the game (as the Pies crowd headed for the exits) before Gawn fittingly got the last goal. It ended with the Dees getting a 46 point victory.    

Maxy was our BOG with strong performances from Viney, Kennedy and Bernie Vince. It was great to see Paul Roos celebrate the win as he had grown the team and this win confirmed our positive direction.  After many years of despair, we were able to celebrate at a Queens Birthday game.  

Melbourne 16.8.104 defeated Collingwood 8.10.58 

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Interested in getting some opinions.  I didn’t have the 2008 come from behind win versus Freo as a top 50.  I was overseas in 2008 and 2009.  I heard mixed opinions from mates about the game.  The Captains Club crew.  Was it a fabulous moment to celebrate being 8-9 goals behind to win it ? With some Wona magic?? or a moment where one of the worst Dees teams in the last 50 years simply clicked for a half against an equally pathetic dockers team that kicked themselves out of the game. 

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No.24 1991 Round 20 v North Melbourne at MCG

This match ultimately saw the Phoenix of Allen Jakovich rise.   It was an amazing day that saw the Dees have a player with such charisma arrive once the football scene. 

The background to the match is worth noting.  We had been stung by a 20-game loss to the Kangas in 1990 yet recover the make finals and almost go all the way. Then we played them and got revenge through a 10-goal win in round 5 1991.  So we were confident but were battling it out with North to make the finals (Dees in 7th place on 10 wins 8 losses and Kangas in 4th place in 11 wins 5 losses).  North had just beaten the top of the table Eagles and had young gun forwards in Carey and Longmire.  
A loss here would probably make it very tough to make the final 6. 

The Dees opened on fire but inaccurate kicking for goal was proving costly. Jakovich has kicked all our goals (6) but we were behind 8.4 to 6.12. North’s full back Mick Martyn was unable to stop Jako who 6.4 up to half time.  Longmire also was proving hard to match as Dees defender Paul Bryce struggled for pace. 

The third quarter was the story of the day.  The Dees finally got on top with a 10-goal quarter.  It was highlighted by Jakovich’s soccer style goal over his head from 15 metres out. We were in shock.  We knew he was a talent. But that was ridiculous.  By 3/4 time, Jakovich had 10 goals.  Goal number 10 coming with a tight angle banana kick on the boundary line after the season. North were in disarray as Sholl and Brayshaw were tried on him. The Dees had marched to a 38 point lead. Through the amazing work of Stynes both in the ruck and around the ground, the midfield of Obst, Dyson, Stretch and Steven Clark has now got on top and were giving our forwards good supply.
The last quarter saw us calling for more Jako goals. But instead he nearly exploded.  A very very soft free kick was awarded against him and he let the ump know. Unfortunately despite a warning his temper and his mouth (and the Dees runner trying to stop him) led to a report for abusive language.  Jako missed a few chances but finally got goal 11 and our 20th goal.  We won by 52 points and our season was alive. Stynes and Jakovich were clearly our best, but Peter Rohde’s job to shutdown Carey also was very crucial to the victory.  
 

We enjoyed the win but couldn’t stop talking about the soccer scissor goal. Surely goal of the year was the common talking point.  Jako had the spotlight and we had a new star in the team. 
 

Melbourne 20.20.140 defeated North Melbourne 13.10.88 

Edited by spirit of norm smith
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No 23 2017 Round 12 v Collingwood at MCG

Another big Queens Birthday clash. This was huge. The Dees were now under Goodwin and Buckley was facing some heat on his coaching performance.  We’d beaten them in 2016, we were the team to watch and were now capable of rising up the ladder.  But 2017 started slowly with 5 wins 5 losses and had come off the mid year bye. The Pies also had 5 wins, and on a roll with 3 straight wins.  We needed this. 

With Hogan missing, the converted Tom McDonald was our key forward amongst a few midsized options in Hannan, Melksham and Petracca. Pedersen was our makeshift ruckman. It was going to be a challenge.

The game opened evenly in a spirited contest. Then the Pies got in top, taking advantage of some poor turnovers and kicked 6 in a row before Petracca magic saw us get two goals back.   At half time the Pies had a 4-goal lead and momentum. Questions were being asked. We were pretenders. The Pies were on top. Howe had taken another huge speccy but this time unfortunately he was wearing black and white.
 

But it was to be an emotional second half. Some unlikely hero’s in the third.  Bugg stepped up to kick two goals in the third quarter. Frost controlled the back half and rebounded with pace.  A goal from 50 metres out from Watts brought us back. It was game on. Finals atmosphere.  The Pies wouldn’t stop either and by 3/4 time it was even.  We were screaming in the last as we got on top. Viney and Petracca was unstoppable in the contest.  The Pies get a goal to be within 4 points. 5 minutes to play. 
 

The lasting memory will be the last goal. The sealer. Dees defend in the back 50 and Oscar McDonald squirts a kick out of the pack to Harmes. Harmes gathers on half back and kicks over Watts ahead. Watts is 10 metres clear of an opponent.  He gathers on the 50 arc and runs, bounces and nails the goal from 25 metres out.  The roar was absolutely deafening.   We were all jumping around like excited school kids. One minute to play. We held on to win by 4 points.  We were hoarse.  I think I lost my voice singing Its A Grand Old Flag. A great victory.  
 

(post script - the Pies got their revenge with a victory over us in round 23 by 16 points to deny us a finals spot with us missing out by a hundredth of a percentage point). 

 

Edited by spirit of norm smith
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On 4/22/2020 at 5:39 PM, spirit of norm smith said:

Yes he left us as a 24 year old star.  The irony was that Healy left the Dees and could have played in the GF in 88. In fact he won the Brownlow in 88.  He was an elite footballer and was sorely missed.  

How many times in his career did Gerard Healy actually win his own hard ball?

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I hope this match gets a mention:
http://demonwiki.org/1993+Reserves+Grand+Final

Not a bad reserves team:
B: Jeff Hilton, Scott Simister, Shane Burgmann
HB: Rod Keogh, Andy Goodwin, Haydn Robins
C: Darren Cuthbertson, Graeme Yeats, Jason Norrish
HF: Brett Evans, Adrian Campbell, Kevin Dyson
F: Andrew Lamprill, Darren Bennett, Greg Healy
Foll: Greg Doyle, Michael Pickering, Chris Sullivan

 

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No.22 2006 Elimination Final v St.Kilda at MCG

After being in the top of the ladder battle and a top 4 finish, with 12 wins 5 losses, the Dees season had staggered.  One win from the last 5 rounds saw us finish 7th. A round 22 thrashing by the Crows by 10 goals had us as underdogs versus the Saints. We’d beaten them earlier in the year thanks to a David Neitz 8-goal effort. 

The Saints started well and we struggled against their strong defence.  Three goals to half time was a poor performance but thankfully we were only 20 points down at half time.  Jamar and Whelan were out of the game injured. Gehrig went off injured for the Saints in the 2nd quarter after trying to evade Carroll. Neitz was being well held by Sam Fisher and Hughton double team.   Harvey was everywhere and we needed someone to step up to combat him.

The lift came from youngsters Davey, McLean, Bate and Jones.  The mids of junior McDonald and Bruce started to win more of the footy and we got back into the game.  It was only one goal deficit at 3/4 time but the Saints opened the last quarter with a goal and control of the game but couldn’t kill us off. Yet we seemed to have run our race and we couldn’t crack their defence. Halfway through the last quarter, suddenly it was the Saints that cracked.  Goals to McLean and Green had us even and then Neita kicked another to put us in front. The Dees army that had been subdued roared as McLean and Yze followed with another two goals to win by 18 points. It was relief.

After losing in the elimination final in the prior 2 years, we finally won a final again.  It was hardly convincing and a tough win but it was September action and we’d won it and stayed in contention.  

Melbourne 13.12.90 defeated St.Kilda 10.12.72 

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21 hours ago, Queanbeyan Demon said:

How many times in his career did Gerard Healy actually win his own hard ball?

Didn't need to did it and it looked easy because of his skill!

Buckley gut half his possessions with handpasses from teammates Ready to Kick from behind the mark  

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No.21 1990 round 16 v Essendon at Windy Hill

This game is one that most Dees fans have good memories about.  The last quarter has been replayed a few times in the archive footage.  But there was a lot to this match. 

The Dees opened 1990 with 5 straight wins against quality teams but by July we’d slipped to 9 wins 6 losses after 3 straight losses.  The Dees had been beaten by 5 goals by the lowly Saints, then anniliated by the Kangas by 21 goals and then lost to the Cats by a goal at Geelong.  We desperately needed to win.
On the other hand, the Bombers were flying and back to the top of the ladder. 12 wins 2 losses. They had just smashed the Hawks, the reigning premiers by 11 goals. To go to Windy Hill and win seemed impossible.  Yet we had beaten them comprehensively in round 3 by 6-7 goals so there was a marginal hope.  

My family and I were holidaying in the Gold Coast and the match was fully televised on channel 7.  We had planned to watch the game but may have planned to venture out if it became ugly.  The breeze was worth 3-4 goals by reports and we kicked into the breeze at the start.  Whilst the Bombers were on top and missed some good chances, we were only 3 goals down. The Bombets defied the breeze to kick the opening 4 goals of the second quarter. Our hearts were dropping. The walk down to the beach was tempting us. But then the Dees clicked and kicked the next four goals to restore the faithful.  At half time the lead remained 15 points to the Bombers.  Bennett had been held to a single goal as we relied on Ricky Jackson as our only multiple goalkicker. 

Again in the third quarter we held in the game and were 27 points by the last break. It was a fight.  The Bombers opened better and went out to a 34 point lead via a Greg Anderson snap in his wrong foot.  Despite the wind, hope was fading by the half way point.  Some quick goals gave us momentum and a Greg Healy snap under pressure made it three in a row and back to a 3 goal lead.  Then a 3rd goal to Jackson and two goals to Darren Bennett (5 goals) put us in front. Bennett’s mark over Van Der Haar lives as a great moment as Van Der Haar was crushed by Bennett’s size and leap.  His goal lifted all in red and blue. Incredible.  We were jumping around.  What a fight back.  Three minutes to play and the Bombers were attacking.  They were relentless.  But on the rebound, Heaver ran through the middle, took three bounces and handballed to Jackson who missed from 20 metres out.  But he’d been pummeled after the kick. He got a free and nailed the sealer.  
 

We won by 8 points in an amazing upset.  You couldn’t get the smile off our faces.   In the final 14 minutes, the Dees kicked 7 goals to snatch it.  It proved the catalyst to our year and we won every game for the rest of the regular season to get 7 straight leading to the finals.  
 

(post script- But of course 1990 was still not our year). 
 

Edited by spirit of norm smith
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5 hours ago, spirit of norm smith said:

No.21 1990 round 16 v Essendon at Windy Hill

This game is one that most Dees fans have good memories about.  The last quarter has been replayed a few times in the archive footage.  But there was a lot to this match. 

The Dees opened 1990 with 5 straight wins against quality teams but by July we’d slipped to 9 wins 6 losses after 3 straight losses.  The Dees had been beaten by 5 goals by the lowly Saints, then anniliated by the Kangas by 21 goals and then lost to the Cats by a goal at Geelong.  We desperately needed to win.
On the other hand, the Bombers were flying and back to the top of the ladder. 12 wins 2 losses. They had just smashed the Hawks, the reigning premiers by 11 goals. To go to Windy Hill and win seemed impossible.  Yet we had beaten them comprehensively in round 3 by 6-7 goals so there was a marginal hope.  

My family and I were holidaying in the Gold Coast and the match was fully televised on channel 7.  We had planned to watch the game but may have planned to venture out if it became ugly.  The breeze was worth 3-4 goals by reports and we kicked into the breeze at the start.  Whilst the Bombers were on top and missed some good chances, we were only 3 goals down. The Bombets defied the breeze to kick the opening 4 goals of the second quarter. Our hearts were dropping. The walk down to the beach was tempting us. But then the Dees clicked and kicked the next four goals to restore the faithful.  At half time the lead remained 15 points to the Bombers.  Bennett had been held to a single goal as we relied on Ricky Jackson as our only multiple goalkicker. 

Again in the third quarter we held in the game and were 27 points by the last break. It was a fight.  The Bombers opened better and went out to a 34 point lead via a Greg Anderson snap in his wrong foot.  Despite the wind, hope was fading by the half way point.  Some quick goals gave us momentum and a Greg Healy snap under pressure made it three in a row and back to a 3 goal lead.  Then a 3rd goal to Jackson and two goals to Darren Bennett (5 goals) put us in front. Bennett’s mark over Van Der Haar lives as a great moment as Van Der Haar was crushed by Bennett’s size and leap.  His goal lifted all in red and blue. Incredible.  We were jumping around.  What a fight back.  Three minutes to play and the Bombers were attacking.  They were relentless.  But on the rebound, Heaver ran through the middle, took three bounces and handballed to Jackson who missed from 20 metres out.  But he’d been pummeled after the kick. He got a free and nailed the sealer.  
 

We won by 8 points in an amazing upset.  You couldn’t get the smile off our faces.   In the final 14 minutes, the Dees kicked 7 goals to snatch it.  It proved the catalyst to our year and we won every game for the rest of the regular season to get 7 straight leading to the finals.  
 

(post script- But of course 1990 was still not our year). 
 

One of of my best footy memories was that amazing comeback.  A wonderful day!

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6 hours ago, spirit of norm smith said:

No.21 1990 round 16 v Essendon at Windy Hill

This game is one that most Dees fans have good memories about.  The last quarter has been replayed a few times in the archive footage.  But there was a lot to this match. 

The Dees opened 1990 with 5 straight wins against quality teams but by July we’d slipped to 9 wins 6 losses after 3 straight losses.  The Dees had been beaten by 5 goals by the lowly Saints, then anniliated by the Kangas by 21 goals and then lost to the Cats by a goal at Geelong.  We desperately needed to win.
On the other hand, the Bombers were flying and back to the top of the ladder. 12 wins 2 losses. They had just smashed the Hawks, the reigning premiers by 11 goals. To go to Windy Hill and win seemed impossible.  Yet we had beaten them comprehensively in round 3 by 6-7 goals so there was a marginal hope.  

My family and I were holidaying in the Gold Coast and the match was fully televised on channel 7.  We had planned to watch the game but may have planned to venture out if it became ugly.  The breeze was worth 3-4 goals by reports and we kicked into the breeze at the start.  Whilst the Bombers were on top and missed some good chances, we were only 3 goals down. The Bombets defied the breeze to kick the opening 4 goals of the second quarter. Our hearts were dropping. The walk down to the beach was tempting us. But then the Dees clicked and kicked the next four goals to restore the faithful.  At half time the lead remained 15 points to the Bombers.  Bennett had been held to a single goal as we relied on Ricky Jackson as our only multiple goalkicker. 

Again in the third quarter we held in the game and were 27 points by the last break. It was a fight.  The Bombers opened better and went out to a 34 point lead via a Greg Anderson snap in his wrong foot.  Despite the wind, hope was fading by the half way point.  Some quick goals gave us momentum and a Greg Healy snap under pressure made it three in a row and back to a 3 goal lead.  Then a 3rd goal to Jackson and two goals to Darren Bennett (5 goals) put us in front. Bennett’s mark over Van Der Haar lives as a great moment as Van Der Haar was crushed by Bennett’s size and leap.  His goal lifted all in red and blue. Incredible.  We were jumping around.  What a fight back.  Three minutes to play and the Bombers were attacking.  They were relentless.  But on the rebound, Heaver ran through the middle, took three bounces and handballed to Jackson who missed from 20 metres out.  But he’d been pummeled after the kick. He got a free and nailed the sealer.  
 

We won by 8 points in an amazing upset.  You couldn’t get the smile off our faces.   In the final 14 minutes, the Dees kicked 7 goals to snatch it.  It proved the catalyst to our year and we won every game for the rest of the regular season to get 7 straight leading to the finals.  
 

(post script- But of course 1990 was still not our year). 
 

I was there, perched on the dirt mound they called a stand for opposition supporters. It really was a windy hill. But it was all worth it to see the looks on the Essendon fans' faces. Sweet victory.

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No.20 2002 Elimination Final v North Melbourne at MCG

2002. It was such an inconsistent year. We had beaten the top teams like Brisbane, Power and Crows yet lost to the Tigers twice.  Other losses were by small margins and we often played in bursts. The team was hit hard by injury and the loss of Jeff Farmer was hurting us (especially his winning goal against us after the siren). Still by round 21, we were in 5th place and potentially could push us to a double chance with the lowly Swans and Saints. We were virtually assured of September action.  But the Swans hammered us by 12 goals at the G meaning we lost percentage and had slipped down to 7th just holding on. Mathematically with another big loss we’d be out. We just beat the Saints in a tough last round to finish 6th.  We were led by Neitz having a strong year with 75 goals to be leading goalkicker, White, Woey, Yze and Trav Johnstone. After a poor 2001, we were back to September. We had to play the Kangas, still a strong team but now without Carey.  

Woewodin kicked our first within a minute and it was game on. But we seemed to again think it would just happen. Our inconsistency continued as the Kangas opened strongly and led at quarter time.  But again we burst clear by 21 points by half time. Vardy, Yze and Neitz were our multiple goal kickers. Johnstone was especially damaging and his delivery to the forwards was setting up goals.  The 3rd quarter was even with us holding a 4 goal lead at the last break.  We’d lost some heartbreakers in 2002 so we were nervous.  But as with other games in the year, we ended strongly with a 7 goal ending to win by 40 It was the sign of how capable this team was. Vardy kicked 5 goals to show his value and talent.  Robbo kicked the sealer at the 25 minute mark and celebrated to the Red and Blue Army at the Punt Road end.  He added 2 more goals to demoralise the Roos. No sympathy for the Roos as we headed for another week in September.  
 

Melbourne 18.14.122 defeated North Melbourne 11.18.84 
 

(post script- our complete inconsistent stop-start form continued the next week as we list to the Crows in a very cruel but symbolic end to 2002) 

Edited by spirit of norm smith
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Still lots of finals to come in the countdown and yes the 2018 finals games are included. But there was some great wins in 1987, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2000 that are particularly featuring.  

Edited by spirit of norm smith
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