North Melbourne have moved from eighth to fifth on the ladder with their win over Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday. A round of upsets has seen them leap frog Collingwood, St Kilda and Brisbane.
Melbourne have been bottom of the ladder all season, but have have been playing better than a last place side, knocking off Brisbane recently. North Melbourne are fighting out for a top 8 finish and although winning in recent weeks, havent been playing to their full potential.
North Melbourne By 29pts
North Melbourne came out firing, with Harvey scoring very early in the game. Although Melbourne were then able to answer through Miller at the other end, Jones kicked the next three goals. This was followed by a kick out of the air from Petrie for another goal. At this stage, North are looking more dangerous going into the forward 50, and have been getting their hands on the ball more. Paul Johnson has moved well at this early stage for Melbourne, and Corey Jones looks in good touch for North. Harvey put another one through in his typical style, roving inside the 50. Alot of numbers in Norths forward 50, as Melbourne bring it out they have very few options. Hale took a strong one on one mark, his 4th for the quarter, and converted for a 6 goal lead. At times Melbourne skills look great, while at others it is dreadful. Buckley has been prominant in this quarter and is one that has been able to find targets. At Quarter time, Buckly has had 12 touches, and Valenti and Davey have had 6. While Hale, Harding and Rawlings have all had 7 for North Melbourne.
Melbourne: 1.3.9 Vs North Melbourne: 7.3.45
Melbourne came out better in the second quarter, Miller outting through his second, Paul Johnson was invlove again. Urquhart has been involved early in this quarter, would like to see him in the middle. Melbourne are looking alot better so far this term, having a couple more chances to find targets up forward but disposal has let them down. At the other end, Campbell was able to kick one of his textbook goals, streaming into the 50, and Harvey has picked up him game, breaking the lines and finding targets. Valenti showing good signs for Melbourne. Brad Miller looking dangerous too, make that very dangerous, with his 3rd and Melbournes 3rd for the game. After a hard slog for a fair time, Thomas was able to snap a goal, after a poor kick from MacDonald turned the ball over. Half Time and a 38 point advantage to North Melbourne. Buckley now has 19 touches, MacDonald 13 and Valenti, Jones + Davey 12. For North, Harvey has had 15, Simpson + Gibson 14, and Jones + Wells 12.
Melbourne: 3.4.22 Vs North Melbourne: 9.6.60
Melbourne had the chance to convert the first goal of the second half but were unable to put it through. Melbourne are playing with a very open forward line, which has looked to concern North at stages. Again, some untidy disposal from Melbourne resulted in a good spot up from Harris, and a goal to Thomas. Dunn had been reported twice in a matter of 30 seconds, smacked Harvey in the guts and then shouldered him in the chin. Hero. Meanwhile, North couldnt kick the resulting free kick on goal, while up the other end Davey can convert and the margin is back to 38 points but Jones is able to produce the quick reply. Norton was able to dribble a goal from a boundary snap. Should be enough to get him a game for the next year, after living off his mark last season. North Melbourne now not able to penetrate their forward 50 while Melbourne are running hard. Not Good signs for a North supporter. Newton on the end of a down field free kick and put it through to make it a 31 point game. Thats the margin at 3 quarter time. Buckley has had 24 touches, MacDonald 21 and Bell 18. While Harvey has had 24, Simpson 22 and Gibson 19 for North Melbourne. Urquhart was prominant that quarter and now has 15.
Melbourne: 6.8.44 Vs North Melbourne: 11.9.75
Terrible free kick to Valenti has given Melbourne a great start to the final term, as he kicked truely, 25 points. Finally Thomas has been paid a free for being held onto when chasing the ball, and stretched it back out to 31 points. Very lucky though. Nice kick at goal from P.Johnson brings it back to 25 pts, has played well. Another ridiculous free kick to Melbourne, this time going to Sylvia on 50 who pumped it home to bring it back to 19 points. Great courage from Thomas and Davey, both going hard at ball but Thomas was taken high/held the mark and was able to put it home. After a flurry of goals at the start of the quarter, it turned into a slog for a while until Morton put one through. Urquhart hasnt seen it this term yet! Bad mistake from Buckley kicking in, played on, tackles by Hale and goal to Thomas. Looks as though North have weathered the storm. It has been a scrappy final few minutes, no real scores either way.
Melbourne 10. 10. 70
North Melbourne 14. 14. 98
Melbourne: Miller 3, Newton 2, Morton, Sylvia, Valenti, Davey, P.Johnson 1
North Melbourne: Thomas 5, Jones 4, Harvey 2, Campbell, Hale, Petrie 1
Melbourne: Buckley 27, MacDonald 26, Jones 26, C.Johnson 26
North Melbourne: Simpson 30, Harvey 27, Wells 26, Power 24