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TOO LITTLE TOO LATE by Meggs


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It was a hot afternoon at IKON where the ferocious Cats came to play, had read the manual on how to beat us and the Demons were unable to match them for the first three quarters.  
 
With physical pressure, they took the game on with relative ease and though our resistance seemed better than the previous two weeks it was still not good enough.  
 
Within the opening minute, Kate Hore marks within range, but her shot was a miss-kick, like a fat iron, and it kinda set a flat tone for the afternoon.  
 
Young Geelong stars Nina Morrison (clearly best on ground) and Georgie Prespakis were ferocious, while 3-time best and fairest winner Amy McDonald started proceedings with two great goals in the opening quarter.  
 
Maddi Gay did give the Demon faithful some hope after the half time siren with a terrific long-range goal from a mark.  Only three goals in it at half time.
 
The Cats came out strongly after the main break and put the game beyond reach leading by 30 points at ¾ time.  
 
An unassailable lead?  That’s what everyone thought.  
 
Melbourne in eight seasons had never lost three games in a row.
 
Well in the ¾ time huddle, with Harris hurt, Mick Stinear mixed it up.  He threw Tahlia Gillard into the ruck, with dynamo Goldie, Kate Hore and the extractor Westy and within seconds of the commencement of the last quarter we had scored a goal.  
 
The season-long weight of expectation of being reigning premiers, the hunted versus the hunter, had somehow lifted from our players’ shoulders.  Emerging belief.  Nothing to lose.  
 
It was a very exciting last quarter comeback to watch at the ground but ultimately it was too little too late.
 
After witnessing almost three weeks of un-Melbourne-like football at least we finally displayed some of our trademark exciting football in the last quarter of 2023.  
 
Demons Fans were building with excitement as we kicked five goals in the last to nearly pinch a win, falling sadly short by less than a goal.  
 
That Loz Pearce snap was agonisingly close to forcing extra-time.  
 
Eden Zanker started holding her marks and kicked three brilliant last quarter goals to finish on 23 goals for the season, an AFLW record. Congratulations Edo.
 
Geelong Coach Dan Lowther was shown on the big screen several times looking highly nervous.  
 
The big Geelong contingent who came up on the buses sensed the danger too and started cheering loudly for their team as the margin kept whittling away.  
 
But fortunately for them the siren sounded before our last forward thrust could be completed.
 
In the end the Cats deserved the win.
 
For the Dees
 
Goldie was strong throughout, Hanksy is our talented talisman, Maddi Gay plays so well in finals, Westy made a strong comeback, Liv Purcell is an important cog in the midfield along with Paxy and Loz Pearce while Zanker starred in that last quarter.  
 
There were several players who didn’t impact the match and really every time we win, we have an even contribution.  Sadly, not this week.  Sherriff and Lampy were missed.
 
The Demons will now start all the end of season processes including players reviews and list management.  There is obviously some work to be done to improve.
 
Well, that’s the season wrap up from Meggs.  
It has been a pleasure going to matches, reporting and reviewing and he thanks you for taking the time to read these missives.
Coaches and next week
 
Melbourne Coach Mick Stinear was gutted but said Geelong deserved to win.  For three quarters Geelong got first use of the ball.  
 
Our belief kicked in in that last quarter and at least showed what the group is capable of. We were unfortunately out of form at the wrong time of year. Why was that Mick?
 
Geelong coach Dan Lowther thought his side had enough of a buffer at ¾ time to win the match but was nervous towards the end and clearly relieved when that final siren sounded.  
 
He highlighted Hanksy’s outstanding last quarter.  
One concern for the Cats is their fading last quarters. In their 2 finals so far, Geelong has only scored 1.1.7 and their opposition 8.4.52.
 
The Cats have earned a Preliminary Final contest next week against Brisbane at Ipswich starting at 7:45pm Melbourne time.  It will be a tough assignment for them, and we wish them well.

MELBOURNE 0.2.2 1.4.10 1.7.19 6.9.45
 
GEELONG 2.4.16 4.5.29 6.7.43 7.8.50 
 
GOALS
 
MELBOURNE Zanker 3 Gay Hanks A Mackin
 
GEELONG A.McDonald 2 Crockett-Grills Darby Moloney Parry Scott
 
BEST 
 
MELBOURNE Gay West Zanker Gillard Purcell Hanks 
 
GEELONG Morrison A McDonald Webster M McDonald Parry Prespakis
 
INJURIES 
 
MELBOURNE Nil
 
GEELONG Nil
 
REPORTS 
 
MELBOURNE Nil
 
GEELONG Nil
 
UMPIRES Adams Scott Talbot
 
CROWD 5,057 at IKON Park
AFLWReportSF2023.png
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