Enough from the Dees
August 01, 2010By Steve Healy
Brisbane vs Melbourne...
A QUIET Saturday night at home. I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch the game. I opted to listen to Brisbane and Melbourne on the radio instead of watching the other game on TV. It would be an important game - a must-win one to keep our ever-so-slim finals chances alive. Mind you, being put up against a piss-weak Brisbane outfit, one which consisted of a pair of injured/out of form/so called “star” key forwards. A team that were on track to win the wooden spoon. A team that had lost 12 of their past 13 matches. The only thing that could possibly stop my Dees was our poor interstate record. But that couldn’t stop our blistering form, even in tough conditions.
The game began; the Demon juggernaut began. Sylvia, who played the game of his life, went bang from outside 50 to open proceedings. A lucky reply from the Lions came due to a turnover, Rischitelli on the end of the good work. It didn’t stop the Demons though, Morton nailed a goal from just inside the arc. Green, continuing his fantastic form, had seven disposals and four marks inside the first 10 minutes. He hit the post on his kick from the boundary line, however. J Watts was also getting plenty of the ball, mainly just sweeping handballs in the midfield. Frawley went to Brown, Garland to Fevola. The two had one handball between them in the first term. Fevola came off later with an injury, and his night was soon over. Second-gamer Ryan Harwood received a free and scored from 30, and the Lions drew level with a couple of quick behinds. But I needn’t have worried, that was as close as the Lions got for the whole match. Dunn and Wonaeamirri (A great snap) added goals and it was us by 13 at the first break. Scully, Sylvia and MacDonald had 31 possessions between them.
Brennan bounced one through from inside the centre square to kick-start the Lions’ quarter, while Jack Watts assisted Brad Green with his first with a handball over the top. Bennell got a bit carried away and kicked a fantastic behind. SYLVIA! GOAL! BAIL! MARGIN OUT TO 4 GOALS! The Demons were playing superbly. Brisbane needed an answer, Proud provided it, but the Lions provided no proud. We were dominating the free kick count. Sylvia was starring. Dunn kicked his second from a 50-metre penalty and Johnson provided an amazing goal out of the ruck. Siren. 4.5 to 9.5. What a great first half. I ate my dinner with a big grin on my face. Sadly, for the Lions, Xavier Clarke’s first game back was cut short with another injury.
The skills diminished and more rain fell, but still, early on, all looked well. After two possessions in the first half, Jurrah showed some spark with a snapped behind but was well held all night by McGrath. Jamar continued to get some of the ball. McKenzie sounded good. But out of nowhere, Albert Proud, a relatively unknown youngster popped up and nailed two goals from a similar position within a couple of minutes. The ball went forward again, courtesy of Black, who was also lifting his game. Brown crumbed and snapped his first. The Demons managed to slow the game down, and a fantastic goal from Green put the margin back out to 20 points, where it stayed at three quarter time.
Melbourne can let you down from that position. The Lions began to get on top. Mitch Clark, one of Brisbane’s better players, kicked two behinds within the first few minutes to make the margin an even three goals. This was soon followed by a trademark set shot goal from Jonathon Brown. The Dees continued to soak up the time, playing conservatively. Scully, Sylvia and Bruce were on top in the midfield, still. It was the gravity had been sucked out of the Gabba. The ball was floating all over the place. Sherman broke the scoring drought with a soccered behind. Banfield kicked one, and I was extremely worried. Nervously shaking in front of the radio, I took a sigh of relief as Dunn was given his second 50-metre penalty, again against Rockliff. He soaked up the time and drove it through the sticks from 55, a fantastic kick. Proud missed a shot which could’ve given the Lions the slightest bit of hope. The clock ticked down, the siren sounded. WE WON! 7-10-1! It wasn’t a pretty win, but it’ll do.
Brisbane 2.2 4.5 7.6 9.10 (64)
Melbourne 4.3 9.5 10.8 11.8 (74)
Brisbane: Proud 3, Brown 2, Rischitelli, Banfield, Brennan, Harwood.
Melbourne: Dunn 3, Sylvia 2, Green 2, Johnson, Wonaeamirri, Morton, Bail.
Brisbane: Rischitelli, Proud, Rockliff, Redden, Clark, Black.
Melbourne: Sylvia, Jamar, Scully, Dunn, Green, Watts, MacDonald, Garland, Bruce.
My Votes: 3. Colin Sylvia (MELB), 2. Mark Jamar (MELB), 1. Tom Scully (MELB)
Umpires: McLaren, Grun, Hay.
Crowd: 26,144 at the Gabba.
• Colin Sylvia is tackled by Jared Brennan at the Gabba, Photo by Mervyn Lowe. The Slattery Media Group