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STICK TO YOUR GUNS by Meggs


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The Dees convincingly overcome the fast-starting reigning-premiers Adelaide to win by 21 points in a fiery Qualifying Final match at Ikon Park on Friday evening.  
 
In that first quarter Adelaide jumped out of the blocks kicking their first goal inside 20 seconds finishing with 3 goals to nil. All was quiet at Ikon Park.  
 
Melbourne, having easily outplayed lesser opponents over the past six weeks took time to ratchet up their intensity.  But, by mid to late first quarter, the Dees began to exhibit signs of wresting back control.  
 
Mick Stinear had matched up Goldie on 4-time AFLW most courageous player award winner, skipper Chelsea Randall keeping her to 7 possessions and 6 tackles for the game.  
 
Lampard was initially assigned to the dangerous Danielle Ponter but at the quarter time break Mick moved Heath to Ponter and Lampard to a wing. They were great moves — Lampy impressed everyone with her two goals and Heath was in everything laying seven hard tackles, as she does.
 
Feeling the pressure at quarter time, Stinear asked his charges to go harder and believe in our system.  Our system works.  By half-time the Dees were 2 points up.
 
A highlight of the second quarter was Bannan’s six — bounce sprint down the wing, right in front of us madly cheering fans.  It was very exciting to watch live despite it not ending in a goal.  The act itself helped build and change momentum.  
 
In the midfield Liv Purcell (BOG) and Tayla Harris were outstanding as we started successfully executing our trademark handball and running game. The Dees won the possession count 258 to 182 and marks 43 to 24.
 
What about Mackin having 15 disposals? In just a few months of learning our game she has exhibited remarkable aptitude, speed, and game sense.  Blaithin and Alyssa were selling lots of candy tonight.
 
Adelaide only scored one more goal for the match after quarter time. Even though you felt the Dees were on top the difference was only four points at ¾ time.  
 
In the last quarter the Dees kicked three goals to put the result beyond doubt. The final goal to Eden Zanker was a nice way for Edo to finish her ‘50 dazzling games’, paying homage to the @Deearmy banner.
 
The Dees now earn a week off to get over their bumps and bruises and prepare for a Preliminary Final against either Richmond or North Melbourne. Meggs predicts our opponent will be the 8th placed Kangaroos. 
 
Q1
An electric start by the Crows with a goal inside 20 seconds by danger-girl Danielle Ponter which hushed the parochial home crowd.  
 
Moments later Ponter marks again but her shot on goal misses.  Eloise Jones then misses.  But from a forward pocket ball up, Adelaide ruck Caitlin Gould doesn’t miss.  
 
About halfway through the first quarter the Dees slowly begin to match the intensity of their opponent. It’s a final and very physical as you’d expect.  You can hear the clashing of bodies.  
 
The crowd starts to get engaged with noisy encouragement to spur on the Dees. Eliza West has a shot on goal which falls short and is rushed for our first score.
 
Sarah Allan is dominating in defence.  She wins a freekick and the Crows work the ball forward with Gould kicking her second goal.  
 
Late in the quarter, Eloise Jones collides heavily with Lily Mithen with both players only having eyes for the ball.  Brave Lily looks hurt and comes off to see the medicos.
 
Just before the siren Harris earns a free in front of goal but sprays it right.
 
At quarter time Melbourne 0.2.2 to Adelaide 3.2.20
 
Q2
After the quarter time pep-talk, the Dees bring a stronger physicality to dominate the quarter.
 
The first highlight is Bannan’s electric six—bouncer which seems to have heightened the energy levels of her teammates. Lily Mithen is back out there, she’s inspiring too.  One tough cookie.
 
Purcell has the first shot, a point to the right. Moments later another inside fifty and a Daisy dribbler just misses. Finally, Purcell gets on the end of another forward chain and her kick bounces just over Sarah Allan’s outstretched hand for the first goal of the quarter.
 
Chaplin getting involved and her dangerous kick to half forward ends up with Paxy who handpasses to Lampard for a great goal on the run.
 
Edo then has a shot from the boundary line which misses everything. But from the ensuing throw in, Lauren Pearce, employing Max Gawn-style ruck craft, grabs the ball out of the ruck and kicks a huge goal. Loz getting one back on Gould and suddenly, the Dees have taken the lead.
 
At half time Melbourne 3.4.22 to Adelaide 3.2.20
 
Q3
Melbourne is on top early.  Bannan marks directly in front and kicks a goal.  Alyssa really thrives in these big games.
 
But after a Kate Hore miss at one end, Adelaide surges the ball forward where the opportunistic Ash Woodland reads the bounce of the ball and kicks Adelaide’s fourth goal.
 
At the ensuing ball up, Harris taps to the brilliant Hanks who streams from the middle and kicks towards Daisy who misses the mark but follows up and snaps on goal.  It just misses but it’s exciting stuff from the Dees.
 
Late in the quarter West cops a nasty kick to her shin and goes off for treatment.
 
At three-quarter time Melbourne 4.6.30 to Adelaide 4.2.26. It’s a four—point game!
 
Q4
Early in the last quarter Lampy tackles Steve Lee Thompson in the forward pocket. She earns a free and duly converts for her second goal.   The crowd really enjoyed that one.
 
Bannan then takes a nice mark 40 metres out following some more great linkwork by the Dees. She goes back to take her kick, strolling in deliberately but then sells some candy, running around the mark to get closer to goal and nails a bewdy. The crowd is going bananas.  Electric stuff from Alyssa.  
 
Hore then makes a huge tackle Marinoff on the wing in front of the main crowd.  We are well on top now.  And Westy’s back out there.
 
There’s a bit a feeling in this bruising encounter as players continue to push and shove. The last goal of the match is fittingly kicked by our milestone girl Zanker.  Mackin breaks a tackle and kicks it deep into the forward pocket where Edo reads it best and goals.
 
Melbourne 7.6.48 to Adelaide 4.2.27.
 
The Coaches and next week:

Melbourne Coach Mick Stinear said it was a tough physical game and an even team effort.  
 
Adelaide is a really strong side who brought their best contest footy in that first quarter and overwhelmed us.  But pleasingly we didn’t panic and knew what we had to do.  He was actually surprised how his side was able to turn it around so quickly.  
 
He singled out Lampy for her game on the wing and Lily for putting her body on the line.  Such a tough player Lil who inspires her teammates.  He acknowledged the support from the Ikon Park home crowd and the team fed off the energy.  He thinks Ikon is a quality ground for footy and is the likely venue for the upcoming preliminary final.
 
Matthew Clarke couldn’t have been happier with that first quarter but after that Melbourne were able to get the ball out to their runners.  Even though Melbourne got on top in the middle quarters they were still in it at ¾ time.  He felt Melbourne played even stronger tonight than in their Round 1 victory. Chelsea Randall is expected to be right to go next week.
 
MELBOURNE 0.2.2 3.4.22 4.6.30 7.6.48

ADELAIDE 3.2.20 4.2.26 4.2.26 4.3.27

GOALS

MELBOURNE Bannan Lampard 2 Pearce Purcell Zanker

ADELAIDE Gould 2 Ponter Woodland

BEST

MELBOURNE Purcell Lampard Bannan Mithen Hanks Harris

ADELAIDE Marinoff Allan Gould Ponter Hatchard

INJURIES

MELBOURNE Nil

ADELAIDE Randall (head knock)

REPORTS

MELBOURNE Nil

ADELAIDE Nil

CROWD 2,555 at Ikon Park

AFLWReportQF2022.png

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