Would someone like to inform the Melbourne Demons that a footy game is four quarters in duration?
The Dees went as far west as possible to play the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium and for three quarters, they gave every indication that they were going to prevail over the reigning premiers.
True, it was close for most of the way. Melbourne outscored West Coast by two points in the first two quarters to hold a four-point advantage at the main break. They outscored West Coast by eight in the third quarter and took a 12-point lead going into the final quarter.
Then, they simply vanished.
West Coast put up 37 points to Melbourne’s nine and defended home ground with a 85 – 69 win.
A win over the 2018 premiers may have been just the tonic the Dees needed in the Toyota 2019 AFL Premiership competition, but the fourth quarter disappearing act put any such thoughts to bed.
The outcome left Melbourne on three wins against six losses to this point and the next three games on their fixture ahead of their Round 13 bye do not seem to offer much in the way of hope, other than to pray for an upset against GWS, Adelaide or Collingwood.
In the northern hemisphere, things going awry is often referred to as “Things going south,” but we cannot say things are “Going north for the Demons, as their course over the first nine rounds seems to defy any direction.
West Coast has won three consecutive now, the beneficiaries of a soft fixture that presented them with Gold Coast, St. Kilda and Melbourne. Of their six wins, however, the only thing that looks like a scalp and not a hairpiece was the 22-point win over Collingwood in Round 3 and all three of their losses were by substantial margins, so even though the Eagles’ fixture for the balance of the season appears soft, there is nothing carved in stone.