Jump to content

  • Podcast: 2021 Season Review  

  • Podcast: 2021 Season Review  

STEALING THE CATS’ CREAM by George On The Outer


Demonland
 Share


Recommended Posts

They were leading by 44 points well into the third quarter of a game to decide the minor premier, having kicked nine unanswered goals. The Cats were about to lap up their bowl of cream, dreaming of next week but the Demons led by Max Gawn had other ideas. In a stunning finish, they stole the game from under them to claim the plaudits as best team and top of ladder position.

In a remarkable game, it all came down to Max having to kick the winning goal after the final siren, something which seems to have become a regular feature in Geelong-Melbourne games in the past few years.  This time Max struck the ball truly and ignited a riot of emotion among the Melbourne players, coaches and supporters glued to their TV screens throughout the country. The vision of scenes that will become iconic.

The game started as expected, given this was a match between the top two sides in the competition. It was hard contested football with neither side conceding. The Demons had the upper hand but small mistakes were costly. Once again, their set shot kicking was slipping with both Jack Viney and Bayley Fritsch missing chances to put the side well in front early in the piece. Tom Sparrow was showing all his nervousness with kicks into the man on the mark, but composed himself to provide a good shut-down job on Dangerfield during the quarter.  At the first change, for all their troubles, the Demons led by a mere two points.

The second quarter was a complete disaster for the Demons. The Cats kicked eight goals in a row, mostly in a 15 minute patch, where they simply got one centre clearance after another, and their forwards capitalised on the free entry coming their way.  Max Gawn was being given a bath in the middle by Stanley, who was simply jumping over him to provide his mids with first touch. It wasn’t helped with James Harmes time and time again losing his man at centre bounces, as he often did last week. The rot was finally stopped when Viney was re-introduced late in the quarter and the Demons finally began to get their hands on the ball again. But the damage had been done, and the Cats took a 39 point lead into the main break.

Something had to change. Early in the third, Luke Jackson missed a set shot, to continue the goal drought for the side, which had recorded a single goal from their previous 23 entries into the forward 50m.  But slowly the pattern of the game began to change with Clayton Oliver finally kicking a major to put an end to the sequence of nine unanswered goals for the Cats.

Jackson was thrown into the ruck, and matched Stanley’s athleticism. Geelong’s clearances stopped. The conditions also became slippery which was inhibiting the Demons skills and swift ball movement. By three quarter time, they had clawed back the Cats lead but it was only to a deficit of 32 points.

All seemed lost from the fans’ perspective. Although the momentum had swung through persistence and hard work, nobody in the history of the game had come back from this far behind at the final break to win against Geelong on its home turf. 

Cue the Gawn and Oliver show.

Within the first minute a swift clearance resulted in a Kozzy Pickett goal.  This was quickly followed up when Charlie Spargo got his toe to the ball in the goal square to record another major. Max was winning the taps now, and the clearances from the middle continued. Clarrie snapped truly from the pocket and the Demons had put three in a row on the board. Spargo crumbed and snapped truly with 15 minutes to play to bring the score within seven points. Suddenly, it was game on.

With seven minutes to play, Fritsch who had been absent for a majority of the game, outbodied his opponent to run into the open goal and the Demons were only a point down. The Cats seemed to be floundering and their main playmakers Dangerfield and Selwood were on the interchange, spending seven or eight minutes resting in an attempt to revive the old legs. Geelong had a chance to put it beyond doubt with Cameron missing and a collision between two Cats players in the dying minutes denied them a certain goal. 

It was all down to the final minute and a quick kick forward by Angus Brayshaw was inexplicably deemed deliberate out of bounds.  Fortunately, Guthrie put the resultant free over the boundary on the full, and in a game already on a knife edge, Close punched the ball away after the whistle had blown. Lever took the resultant 50m penalty, spotted Gawn unattended, standing 15 metres out from the goal with Harmes by his side. The kick to the spot that Max pointed out was perfectly placed and he obliged with the mark. 

The siren sounded and Max converted truly - the smile on his face could have been compared to a Cheshire cat. The look on the face of Chris Scott and the finger pointing of the Geelong defenders in the vicinity was priceless. 

The outcome from the Melbourne perspective gave the true meaning of the phrase… “a game-changer” with Gawn going from being soundly beaten to a match winner.  Clayton Oliver with 37 touches and 9 clearances simply moved the goal posts.  Chipping in with two goals of his own put the icing on the cake for his performance, and may well have put the Chas Brownlow medal around his neck for the season. 

Down back Lever took twelve intercepts including nine marks to turn the tide and those who questioned the draft picks that Melbourne gave to secure his services had only to look at this game to see his value. Jackson had reversed the ascendancy of Stanley at a low point of the game for the side. All these little things caused others to come into the game and make the contributions needed to get over the line.

It is worth remembering that this was the side’s third successive six day break. That they still got the job done was another big credit to Darren Burgess and his team. Kudos must also go to the coach who was able to inspire the remarkable turn-around and has now finished up with a 17 win and 1 draw season. 

The side now has belief entering the finals series.  When they encounter the same situation in coming weeks, they know they can overcome what previously would have been impossible. 

For them, the cream at the top is now theirs for the taking. 

MELBOURNE 2.3.15 3.5.23 6.7.43 12.9.81

GEELONG 2.1.13 10.2.62 12.3.75 12.5.77

GOALS

Melbourne Pickett 3 Brown Oliver Spargo 2 Fritsch Gawn Viney

Geelong Hawkins 4 Cameron Rohan 2 Close Dahlhaus Dangerfield Selwood

BEST

Melbourne Oliver Petracca Gawn Salem Lever Pickett

Geelong Selwood Dangerfield Hawkins Smith Henderson Guthrie

INJURIES

Melbourne Nil

Geelong Nil

REPORTS

Melbourne Nil

Geelong Nil

SUBSTITUTES

Melbourne J. Jordon (unused)

Geelong S. Higgins (unused)

UMPIRES

Matt Stevic Craig Fleer Jacob Mollison

Official Crowd 0 at GMBH Stadium

ReportRd232021.png

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3
  • Love 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Match Previews, Reports & Articles  

    THE TRADING CHRONICLES 2021 by Whispering Jack

    MUCH ADO ABOUT NOT MUCH The 2021 Free Agency and Trade Periods were billed by Fox Footy as promising a “period like no other and that certainly proved correct but not for the reasons that Network spin suggested when promoting its daily program of news from the trade desk. The truth is that the football public has endured an uneventful and forgettable fortnight unless you perhaps, happen to be a Carlton or a Hawthorn fan. The Blues managed to pick up the biggest name of the trade peri

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features

    CHANGES 2021 by The Oracle

    Part 1: Moving right along … For the first time in aeons, the end of the football season hasn’t felt as if it passed so swiftly. We’re still living the dream of 25 September, 2021 and rightfully so — we were patient, long-suffering and we’ve earned the right to party hard (as long as we’re not infecting the rest of the state as some health authorities contend). But we’ve also come into October which in football terms means that for one segment of the Melbourne Football Club — the recru

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 12

    THE APPRENTICE by Whispering Jack

    Melbourne Next Generation Academy prospect Mac Andrew has had a meteoric rise in the eyes of many track watchers who follow the fortunes of football talent at the elite level. So much so that under the AFL's new rules which prohibit clubs from matching bids on their NGA players within the first 20 selections, there’s a widely held perception that Andrew is falling out of the club’s grasp.   Despite being buoyed by the Demons’ drought-breaking premiership, some fans are showing their a

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 3

    OUR GRAND OLD FLAG by George On The Outer

    When an AFL Grand Final approaches, supporters look for omens to help them foresee how their team will fare in the contest.   Melbourne supporters were, until just before Saturday’s opening bounce, the best in the business at looking for positives to give them hope and direction - a natural feeling after 57 years in the wilderness. So when the Bulldogs’ streamers kept slipping from the handle of the Premiership Cup as Glen Jackovich delivered it to Optus Stadium, they wondered whether it

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE ICING ON THE QUAKE by Whispering Jack

    It’s not Christmas yet but if the Melbourne wins its last game of the 2021 season, then many of its fans will be celebrating early. There already are some parts of our town where the pending festivity is preordained. Houses are decked out with red and blue banners and streamers, some of which appeared as early as last Saturday week, on the morning after the Demons’ magnificent 83-point crushing of Geelong in their preliminary final at Optus Stadium. While it’s great to see the numbers of lo

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    CAT SKINNING by George On The Outer

    When they defeated the Geelong Cats in the 2021 AFL Preliminary Final on Friday night in Perth, Melbourne proved that there is more than one way to skin those cats.  They did it in the ruck and in the middle, they did it in the forward line, they did it in defence and around the ground, but importantly, each and every player a Demon guernsey spent his night at Optus Stadium skinning an opponent. Following the after-the-siren win against Geelong in Round 23, there was an expectation of

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    THE POINTY END by The Oracle

    The AFL’s two oldest clubs, Melbourne and Geelong, face off on Friday evening in a sudden death Preliminary Final. It’s a game that promises plenty in terms of fascination and intrigue as a result of the rivalry that’s been building between the teams over recent encounters that have been tight struggles which have gone to the wire with two of them decided by after-the-siren goals. The added touch of mystery attached to this week’s meeting comes by virtue of the fact that it’s going to take

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    THE VFL YEAR THAT NEVER WAS by KC from Casey

    The rising case numbers and the continuing lockdowns in Victoria and NSW spelled doom for the 2021 VFL season which went through a slow, painful demise before its recent official cancellation. After weeks of indecision, the AFL decided to pull the plug on the season with the 10-0 Bulldogs recognised as minor premier, but without a premiership cup and without awarding the J.J. Liston Medal for the best and fairest VFL player. It was somewhat fortuitous for the integrity of the competition th

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Casey Articles

    TAMING THE LIONS by George On The Outer

    With nine finals debutants in the side, the Melbourne Football Club had a daunting assignment ahead of it in the First Qualifying Final — to overcome the competition’s highest scoring side, the Brisbane Lions. In the end, the Demons accomplished the task by putting the bite on their opponents on their way to taming the Lions and recording a 33 point win that propelled them into one the two Preliminary Finals of 2021.   It was one of those debutants, Luke Jackson, who put the bite in more

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

    RETURN TO NEVERLAND by Whispering Jack

    The greatest Demon A HIGHWAY OF DEMONS by Whispering Jack CHAPTER SIXTEEN - RETURN TO NEVERLAND  I have a six year old grandson who recently took up the family tradition of following the Demons. He had his first taste of the game a few years ago when he went to the “G” with his parents to watch the 107-point massacre of Carlton and he went to another game in the following season which was also a W for the Dees. But his appetite for the club has grown exponentially this year and wh

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Special Features 13

    METAMORPHOSIS by Whispering Jack

    I’ve always believed that when the home and away matches come to an end, the football season takes on a completely different shape and character. During the regular season, each team’s goals progress as the weeks pass and if you’re good enough to survive and make the grade, the situation changes. The comparison can be made with the life cycle of a butterfly going through stages from egg to larva to caterpillar, cocoon and in the end to a bright and colourful creature that emerges from darkness i

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Previews

    STEALING THE CATS’ CREAM by George On The Outer

    They were leading by 44 points well into the third quarter of a game to decide the minor premier, having kicked nine unanswered goals. The Cats were about to lap up their bowl of cream, dreaming of next week but the Demons led by Max Gawn had other ideas. In a stunning finish, they stole the game from under them to claim the plaudits as best team and top of ladder position. In a remarkable game, it all came down to Max having to kick the winning goal after the final siren, something which s

    Demonland
    Demonland |
    Match Reports

  • Tell a friend

    Love Demonland? Tell a friend!
×
×
  • Create New...