So that’s it, the 2021 Toyota ALF Premiership is run and done. After a 57-year drought, the longest current active in the AFL, The Melbourne Demons are the 2021 Premiers claiming their 13th Flag in a massive win of the Western Bulldogs.
In what was billed as a potential all-time great grand final, the Demons ended up blowing out the Dogs late in the 3rd quarter and for the length of the 4th to claim a 74 point win. That’s right, the team that so called professionals like Mark Robinson and David King had not even finishing in the Top 8 have put together a fairy-tale of a season.
After jumping out to a big 21-point lead by the end of the 1st quarter, the dogs came back strong in the second end and took an 8-point lead into the main break. At the start of the 3rd term the dogs picked up where they left off and extended their lead before Melbourne rattled off 6 goals straight to end the term and start the 4th. They continued to pile on the points in the 4th lead by inspirational midfielder Christian Petracca who had some key involvements on that run of 6 goals to not just stop the goals from the Bulldogs but also help the Dees kick a few to take back the lead. Of course the Demons captain and leader Max Gawn was hugely influential in the Ruck with his hitouts to advantage and being able to pick the right man out with most of his disposals.
The only player I could’ve seen taking the Norm Smith medal away from Petracca was Bayley Fritsch who bagged himself 6 goals in a dominant forward display. But a well-deserved Norm Smith medallist, one I’m sure no one is surprised by. A true leader for the Demons all season and stepped up big when his team needed it tonight. What makes the win even more sweet was seeing discarded North Melbourne forward Ben Brown kick 3 goals in a grand final while his former team, the team who said he wasn’t needed by the Roo’s ended up dead last on the ladder.
While the loss was epic for the Dogs, at times they looked like they would roll to a 2nd flag in 6 years. Performances from Captain Marcus Bontempelli who kicked some big goals while they were rolling and defender Caleb Daniel who racked up 37 disposals in a grand final, second only to, that’s right, Christian Petracca who managed 40. And Adam Treloar, the man not wanted by the Collingwood Magpies. He managed 3 big goals including 2 to stop the run of Melbourne early in the second quarter and had things gone another way, maybe it would’ve been his name on the Norm Smith Medal.
But back to our Premiers, the Demons. While the vast majority of there fans will have been watching at home in Melbourne after the softest premier in the country Mark McGowan refused to let them go to WA for the Final. Even if they were fully vaccinated and had 2 negative covid tests. The Dees faithful will surely be celebrating tonight in and around Gosch’s Paddock. The win will be made even more special, as Melbourne Demons legend Neale Daniher, who is currently suffering with Motor Neurone Disease (MnD) but will have got to see his club lift the flag. And talk of former president and club legend Jim Stynes who passed away in 2012 from Cancer.
As for the Demons, hopefully when they return home to Melbourne, they’ll be able to celebrate with the fans who’ve waited so long for this moment. It’s a shame we are still under Covid uncertainty, but a celebration needs to be had for those Dee’s fans.
Enjoy the moment Melbourne, as a Cats fan I know how it feels to win on Grand Final day (though not for a while ha-ha). Soak it up, drink it in, you never know when you might get this opportunity again.