Match Report: Dees win in a cracker see-soaring affair against the Giants
Saturday, February 03 2018 @ 10:37 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Tash Gunawardana
AFLW Round 1 Melbourne vs GWS
Venue:Casey Fields Date: 3/2/18 Time: 5:05pm
The Melbourne Demons won in a cracker of a match against the 2017 bottom placed GWS Giants this afternoon at the Casey Fields, the home of the Melbourne Women's Football Club. Both sides put on an entertaining see soaring contest from the first ball up till the end of the match.
For the whole match you could not pick a winner in this match due to both teams playing with a high amount of intensity and pressure. It was a great spectacle of women's football for the 5,100 fans who were there to see it. In particular many of the Melbourne fans who came to support their beloved Dees ladies play in their opening round match.
Before the match the young Melbourne Demons fans formed a guard of honour for the Melbourne players to run through. The Giants team ran through the banner first before the Demons who had two African drummers play the drums before there team song blasted through the grounds speakers. When the Melbourne theme song started playing the home crowd became loud to cheer their ladies onto the ground. The two captains Daisy Pearce and Amanda Farrugia tossed the coin in the centre and the Giants won the toss. Farrugia chose to kick to the left of the ground with the breeze and the Dees to the right of the ground.
Nothing could separate both the Dees and Giants in the first term, as the pressure from both sides was immense from the start of the quarter to the end. The Giants captain Farrugia led from the front with her pressure on and off the ball. Farrugia was influential in setting up the Giants first goal of the match as she kicked it into the forward 50 and the ball went over the back and Jacinda Barclay slotted through the goal for the Giants.
In the first term Melbourne had majority of the possession and plenty of inside 50s but were unable to make the most of their opportunities with the football, as their disposal efficiency let them down. Melbourne scored their first goal of the match after they were able to break away out of the middle with clear possession and Melissa Hickey for the Dees kicked the football forward and Melbourne finally kicked their first goal of the match via Shelley Scott.
The Dees had a lot of the play late in first quarter but they were still behind at quarter time by four points due to a late goal in time on through Irish new recruit Cora Staunton on the run from 30m out. Staunton showed her speed that with her goal on the run. Karen Paxman was in the hands of trainers, as she hobbled from the ground and she looked to be in immense pain. The Giants made the most of their limited opportunities when they went forward with 2 goals to 1 goal to the Dees at quarter time. Britt Tully was leading disposals for the Giants with 5 and Karen Paxman with 8 disposals leading the way for the Dees.
The second term begun tightly contested and with immense pressure, as the first quarter did. Phoebe McWilliam's kicked through the first goal for the Giants and the Giants had a 10 point lead and looked like they would run away with this match, as they were getting on top in the play.
It looked like two Giants players were on Daisy Pearce for the whole first half, as she was unable to break away clear from the contest. New recruit Courtney Gum who is 36 years old, played well for the Giants with her ferocious tackling and showed that age is only a number. It was a very tight tussle for the entire second quarter as neither team dropped off their intensity, especially the tackling pressure was high. Both teams defences held up well with neither forward lines able to score. For most of the second term the Dees were a bit scrappy with their possession of the football as they were unable to find targets.
The Giants led by 9 points at the major break over the Dees. Britt Tully and Meg Downie were leading disposals for the Giants with 9 and Elise O'Dea and Lily Mithen with 9 respectively.
Melbourne came out with a lot of pressure and intensity in the third term and as a result were able to slot through first goal of the second half through Tegan Cunningham. The Dees kicked their second goal in a row after Shelley Scott kicked the football forward and Rochelle Cranston slotted through the major. Melbourne took back the lead early on in the third. Alicia Eva for the Giants placed a good hard tackle in the contest.
The Giants were deep in attack in the last couple of minutes but were unable to get a major, as they weren't clean with their disposal of the football. Melbourne kicked a dribble goal via Kate Hoare and the Dees towards the end of the third term were getting on top of the Giants.The Giants were able to stay in the match due to a throw of the ball after the Dees player was tackled, which resulted in a drop punt kick at goal by Jacinda Barclay.
This third term showed how still tightly contested both teams were playing with neither team able to breakaway clear with possession or get in front by more than 10 points. The 36 year old Gum continued to play well for the Giants as the game went on. Giants kicked a ripper of a goal via Phoebe McWilliams who booted through her second from the outside of her boot from the boundary after a Melbourne kick out of defence error with a minute left in the third term. Elise O'Dea and Daisy Pearce were leading disposals for Dees with 13 each and Britt Tully and Courtney Gum both had 12 disposals for the Giants respectively.
The Giants went into the final stanza with a 5 point lead over the Dees. Both teams held up well in all parts of the ground making for a breath taking contest. This match could of gone either way with the Dees kicking to the end with the breeze in the last term. Daisy Pearce broke away in the second half and was able to get on top in the contest. Pearce led from the front after being heavily tagged for most of the first half, but like a true champion she stepped up for her Dees and was able to get her team over the line by a goal. Pearce ended the match with 19 disposals.
Courtney Gum made a Giant debut playing well for the Giants in defence and the middle of the ground, she would finish the match with 17 possessions. Cranston slotted through another goal for the Dees and she was a gun up forward and showed a lot of potency in the forward line. Melbourne gained the lead back by a point and this was credited to their inside 50s count racking up. As a result, they were able to boot another goal through Shelley Scott. Melbourne were up by 7 points with 10 minutes left.
Melbourne were all over the Giants in the last quarter, as they lifted their intensity and pressure around the ball when they needed to. Faruggia was valiant till the end, because she set up another goal for her Giants by kicking it inside 50 and her Irish teammate Staunton was rewarded a free kick and slotted through the goal truly. Scores were levelled with less than five minutes of play left in the match and both teams still gave it their all.
Fans from both teams were so nervous in the last few minutes of play and the Dees fans were very vocal each time the Dees players went near the ball, you could hear the roar. Pearce did everything she could to get her team over the line with efforts such as taking a courageous mark in the centre. The pressure in the last few minutes of the match was immense and right up with both fans on the edge of their seats and you could feel the pressure.
Cranston was versatile again up forward and was able to slot through a goal out of nothing. She played well up forward for the Dees and was their standout in the forward line with 3 goals. The Dees were able to hold on and win by a goal at their home at Casey Fields in a cracker of a match.
MELBOURNE 1.2 1.3 4.3 7.3 (45)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 2.0 3.0 5.2 6.3 (39)
Melbourne: Cranston 3, Scott 2, Cunningham, Hore
GWS Giants: McWilliams 3, Barclay 2, Staunton
Melbourne: D.Pearce, O'Dea, Downie, Cranston, Scott, Mithen
GWS Giants: McWilliams, Farrugia, Barclay, Staunton
Melbourne: Paxman (back)
GWS Giants: TBC
Umpires: Gibson, Johansen, Curtis
Official crowd: 5100 at Casey Fields