A week after collecting a stirring first win of 2012, the Melbourne Demons again toiled with mediocrity, losing to Collingwood 19.15(129)-13.9(87) at the MCG on Monday. Melbourne were pounded in quarters one and four and saw a mini-comeback thwarted when they came out and played poorly to begin the fourth.
Collingwood received star performances from the usual suspects; Swan (42 disposals), Beams (37) and Sidebottom (36) were all brilliant with the ball, but the Magpies weren’t without loss as Alan Didak fell early with a groin injury. Eight players kicked multiple goals in a fantastic Collingwood win which propels the Magpies up to first on the league ladder.
Melbourne came out in the first and played some truly uncompetitive football while making some unforgivable mistakes. Sinclair and Wellingham collected early goals before Thomas fed Sinclair for another with a beautiful pass running down the boundary line. Blair added a fourth before Melbourne made a few actual attacks inside 50 that carried some conviction; unfortunately they couldn’t score a major. As a result, Jolly and Swan pushed the Pies up by 35 at the first break.
In the second, Wellingham goaled after claiming a highflying mark, as did Cloke, but Melbourne got it together after the ten-minute mark. Howe kicked two in succession, one coming from a spectacular grab, and Magner rolled in number three aided by some luck to reduce the deficit ever so slightly.
The game really intensified after the half and Melbourne’s brave running actually got them somewhere. A four goal to two quarter brought Melbourne closer but they almost gave it away when Tapscott floored Fasolo with a dirty mid-air bump and gave away a double 50 meter penalty that Sidebottom luckily missed. Mitch Clarke’s second meant the Dees had six of the past seven goals until they let Goldsack boot one through, but a third soon after had Melbourne within 26 with a quarter to play.
But Melbourne gave it right back again allowing Collingwood to kick three in three minutes to begin the quarter, the best from a recovered Fasolo who snuck his goal in from a near impossible angle. Substitute Dunn kicked a couple and Clarke popped in his fourth but the Magpies had no trouble running home to victory.
Worth noting has been the play of Steele Sidebottom. The Luke Ball injury has been a blessing in disguise and while Sidebottom had definitely arrived well before today’s Round 11 clash, his ascension to superstardom has been a pleasure to watch. He has an incredible motor and possesses fantastic ball skills that will undoubtedly see him collect more than a couple of Brownlow votes when they tally them up in September.