Match report: Dees dominate Crows to stamp premiership favouritism

A dominant Melbourne outfit was far too much for Adelaide to handle, the Dees belting the reigning premiers by 32 points at Casey.

A four-goal second term put distance between the two teams at the half-time break, and Melbourne pushed on in the second half to stamp their early premiership favouritism.

Original image: @Superfooty

With reigning league best and fairest Erin Phillips and defensive master Courtney Cramey still missing, the Crows couldn’t deal with the many Demons contributors despite their constant pressure.

Though the regular customers in Karen Paxman, Elise O’Dea and Daisy Pearce again did the work in first half, it was a full team effort that allowed the Demons to mark their second victory from two starts.

The dominant outings by Lily Mithen and Kate Hore will also excite Melbourne, with more stars rolling off the production line.

It was almost a dream start for the Demons as Erin Hoare’s tap found Karen Paxman who bombed long into the chest of Alyssa Mifsud in her first game, but the wind carried her shot away from goal.

The Dees would pressure, but dogged defence from Adelaide meant it would take something special to break through despite the strong breeze assisting Melbourne.

That special moment came from Aliesha Newman, who burst inside the forward 50 with three bounces before checksiding the ball from the pocket, slotting home an amazing goal of the year contender.

But the Crows would be no pushovers as Sarah Perkins looked to stamp her influence on the contest after a quiet game last week, getting a clearing kick that would’ve gone through for a goal had the returning Abbey Holmes not been in the way to mark and claim the goal as her own.

Melbourne wasted opportunities going forward in the remainder of the first term, and Kate Hore’s shot on goal after the siren that fell short was a good summary of how wasteful the Dees were.

Ironically, it was against the wind that Melbourne did the damage, scoring easy goals from the goal square on multiple occasions.

Again it was Newman making the difference, this time spotting Shelley Scott for a tap-in from close range.

Lauren Pearce was taken high across half-forward, and she handballed to Mifsud who expertly spotted last week’s hero in Richelle Cranston for a set shot goal.

When Tegan Cunningham cleanly picked up below her feet, she set the table for Mifsud to again create a goal as Lauren Pearce marked and goaled from close range and blowing the lead out to 20 points.

It took a bit of luck for Adelaide to answer despite having use of the wind, bombing long from 60 metres out, and her long-range effort was allowed to dribble home when everyone stopped for an apparent Sarah Perkins free kick.

The goal was quickly erased, however, as Paxman spotted a leading Tegan Cunningham to restore their 20-point lead at the half-time break.

Unsurprisingly, Elise O’Dea, Karen Paxman and Daisy Pearce had 36 disposals between them at the major break, but contributions of the likes of Lily Mithen, Meg Downie, Bianca Jakobsson and Ashleigh Guest in defence, and all those involved in creating goals, were making the real difference.

The Crows just looked as though they were unable to match Melbourne’s constant midfield onslaught, though Dayna Cox and Ebony Marinoff were doing all they could to stem the flow.

Melissa Hickey, who had her ankle strapped during the second quarter, showed no effects of an injury as she snapped truly from just inside the 50 metre arc to further swing momentum in Melbourne’s direction.

Ruth Wallace was able to kick an inspired goal roving off Rhiannon Metcalfe’s tap deep forward, but it was quickly negated.

Emma Humphries weaved her way out of traffic before bombing long to Mifsud, who setup yet another goal by handballing to Cunningham in the goal square for her second.

The margin could’ve ballooned further in the final quarter had it not been for inaccuracy from the Demons, but they were still able to make it a dominant victory through Newman’s second goal.

Jenna McCormick was able to add a consolation goal late on.

The loss is disastrous for the Crows who now slump to 0-2 and a poor percentage, with their hopes of going back-to-back looking dashed even at this early stage in the season.

But for the Dees, this performance gives them added confidence after a scare last week against GWS, and they proved why they are the team to beat this season.

 

Melbourne: 1.1, 5.2, 7.4, 8.8 (56)
Adelaide: 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 (24)

Goals
Melbourne: Tegan Cunningham 2, Aliesha Newman 2, Shelley Scott, Richelle Cranston, Lauren Pearce, Melissa Hickey
Adelaide: Abbey Holmes, Jasmyn Hewett, Ruth Wallace, Jenna McCormick

Leading disposals
Melbourne: Karen Paxman (21), Kate Hore (19), Lily Mithen (18), Elise O’Dea (18)
Adelaide: Ebony Marinoff (18), Chelsea Randall (17), Dayna Cox (13), Justine Mules (13)