EM – AFL 2021 preliminary final: Melbourne Demons vs Geelong Cats – live!

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Fri Sept 10, 2021 11.46 BST

First published on Fri 10.09.2021 10.19 BST

11:45 a.m. BST 11:45 a.m.

2nd quarter, 12 minutes left: It’s Melbourne’s night. You can just feel it. Menegola creates a lot of space with a scorching run, but Max Gawn manages to get into a fight for the ball and kick it over the back line while lying on the ground. Miers gets a turnover in the middle but hits it straight into a Demons player. Then it’s Gawn on the other end, marking a high ball that doesn’t get paid for being touched, but he knows and he keeps playing, running away from goal, turning a heavy bow, and another goal on the run!

11.42 a.m. BST11.42

2nd quarter, 14 minutes to go: The pressure tap from Melbourne remains fully open. A couple of Geelong attempts to get right through the ground are canceled. The demons bring it back to the front, Sparrow goes down and Holmes trips over him and falls in the back. Free kick to Sparrow … and he really does kick out of his pocket! Incredible night, you can’t go wrong.

11:38 am BST11: 38 am

2nd quarter, 16 minutes left: Now the cats answer. A free kick to Gryan Miers as the ball comes in, he grabbed his arm. Converted from 30 out, right ahead.

11:36 a.m. BST11: 36

2nd quarter, 17 minutes before the end: demons strike back immediately! Dangerfield almost jumps out of the center bounce, but cannot control the loose ball. Melbourne has the chance to loosen Clayton Oliver in the center. He sends the ball in. Geelong’s defensive interception marker is their strong point, and they haven’t taken such a marker tonight. Again the booty runs to a player from Melbourne and Spargo snatches the running goal.

11:34 a.m. BST11: 34

2nd quarter, 17 minutes remaining: From the second quarter the cats are not given time to move. Breathe. To find a clean property. Eventually they get a series of side passes, with the ball resting with Dangerfield in the middle, to Selwood, then a pinpoint kick within 50 finds Stanley in the lead. So fast burst speed, the Ruckman. He’s really kicking out of 30.

11:28 a.m. BST11: 28

A few misses too late and the cats are spared. What an opening statement by the Dees! Jake Lever is sore, May is sore, but the rest of the team flies like the wind.

11:19 a.m. BST11: 19

1st quarter, 4 minutes remaining: demons play blinders. Conceded the first goal, then scored five times in a row. Ground ball again within 50, Blicavs chop it out of the ground, but it comes right back on Charlie Spargo’s chest. Set shot, goal. Steven May is back on the bench with a lot of suspenders on his thighs.

11:16 a.m. BST11: 16

1st quarter, 5 minutes left: Another one for the demons! Petracca again, in a competition again within 50, the ball lands in his hands at ground level and he storms through the traffic to kick you around the corner. Melbourne dominated with pressure to get the ball early.

11.15 a.m. BST 11.15 a.m.

1st quarter, 6 minutes before the end: Stephen May got away with an Achilles tendon injury. Big for Demons fans, their full-back sore a minute ago while trying to fight Hawkins for that mark.

11.14 a.m. BST11: 14

1st quarter, 7 minutes before the end: Tom Hawkins had an absolute shock: the ball slips out of the shoe when he shoots from 50 and squirts out full. Is there anyone in Perth tonight? Is it damp there? Looks like it on the screen, but who knows.

11:08 am BST11: 08

1st quarter, 10 minutes before the end: Three in a row for the demons! The cats look flat at the moment. Brown again marks a strong 55 meters. The ball hits another pack and again it’s about placement to roam, this time Neal bulls with the flying snap.

11:06 am BST11:06

1st quarter, 11 minutes before the end: James Harmes hits the front from the break. Max Gawn hits a ball-up away from the goal towards the arch, where Harmes is about to fall.

11:05 a.m. BST11: 05

1st quarter, 14 minutes before the end: Ben Brown scores early, important for him. Marks it strong after Petracca burns away from an interruption and gets a clean start. Converts the set shot.

11:03 a.m. BST11: 03

1st quarter, 17 minutes before the end: The Cats score the first goal of the evening. Menegola roams a break on the wing, handball finds Stanley hitting a long high-kick within 50. It gets spoiled free but Jeremy Cameron finds the loose ball and dribbles a left foot home.

11.02 a.m. BST11: 02

10:25 a.m. BST10: 25

10:23 a.m. BST10: 23

10.19 a.m. BST10: 19

Shall we prepare for the rumble? Nothing excites the soul more than the word “preliminary” and here we are – the preliminary finale for the AFL season 2021. Another season with highly fluctuating schedules, short-term changes, lines for borders and strange combinations of teams with terrain. Melbourne and Geelong in Perth? Why not.

Geelong has had an interesting relationship with the preliminary finals lately. From 2007 to 2011 they had no problems at all and won up to four out of five major finals. The Prelims became a hurdle from then until 2020, with the Cats often knocking out at that point. Then they managed to play for the cup again last year. They’ve been very consistent this season, but a little under their best in the last few weeks, losing a couple of key players in Brandon Parfitt and Tom Stewart.

Melbourne has been exciting all season, even with a wobble in the middle, that threatened to break off the path, but at the end of the deal they came back strong. They’re like the Cats of 2007: a team that hasn’t won a flag since the 1960s and has a dedicated legion of fans eager to celebrate that void.

And of course these teams played a corker in the final round of the regular season, with the Demons winning off Max Gawn’s boot after the siren.

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