Australian Rules-Demons scorch Bulldogs in AFL decider, end 57-year drought
PERTH, Australia : A fast-finishing Melbourne Demons ended a 57-year premiership wait on Saturday, claiming the Australian Football League's top honour with a 74-point Grand Final victory against a shell-shocked Western Bulldogs under lights at Perth Stadium.Christian Petracca amassed 40 disposals and two
PERTH, Australia : A fast-finishing Melbourne Demons ended a 57-year premiership wait on Saturday, claiming the Australian Football League's top honour with a 74-point Grand Final victory against a shell-shocked Western Bulldogs under lights at Perth Stadium.
Christian Petracca amassed 40 disposals and two goals in a dominant midfield display, helping the Demons to a 21.14 (140) - 10.6 (66) win before a 61,118 strong capacity crowd.The AFL awarded coronavirus-free Western Australia its first Grand Final because of a prolonged lockdown in the game's traditional home state of Victoria.
The Demons settled early by scoring four of the first five goals, but the Bulldogs fought back in the second quarter with midfielders Adam Treloar and Marcus Bontempelli kicking two majors apiece to set up an eight-point lead at halftime.Melbourne's victory quickly became assured after the break as they piled on 12 unanswered goals, with forwards Bayley Fritsch (six goals) and Ben Brown (three goals) leading the way. headtopics.com
Petracca was awarded the Norm Smith medal for his best-on-ground performance.On the path to their 13th premiership, the top-ranked Demons demolished the Geelong Cats and the Brisbane Lions in the playoffs.Melbourne's last Grand Final win, however, came against the Collingwood Magpies in 1964.
"It's a long time coming. My heart goes to everyone at home in the eastern states watching this, we did this for you," Demons captain Max Gawn said."I must admit in the second quarter I was a tad nervous, but then we were able to get going in the second half.
"After 57 years of pain (the premiership cup) is coming home."For a second year running, COVID-19 restrictions played havoc with the AFL season.Crowd limits were routinely imposed and matches were shifted around ever-changing state border rules, but unlike 2020 the complete fixture list was fulfilled and full-length games were played.
(Reporting by Joel Dubber in Perth, editing by Ed Osmond) Read more: CNA »