Hawks snatch comeback win from Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks snatch comeback win from Demons

By Sam Lienert 21/02/2009 09:49:56 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson admitted his side's last-gasp comeback AFL win over Melbourne was probably undeserved, but that was of little solace to the Demons.

The reigning premiers' 0.11.3 (69) to 1.8.9 (66) NAB Cup victory over last year's wooden spooners in Launceston was more galling for Melbourne than thrilling for the Hawks.

The Demons, who failed to win a game last pre-season to set the scene for a dreadful year, had the chance to start their 2009 campaign in ideal style when they led by 33 points at the last change.

But the Hawks stormed home with six unanswered goals, key forward Jarryd Roughead booting his fifth with five seconds on the clock to snatch the win.

"I'm not sure the best team won today, unfortunately for the Demons," Clarkson admitted.

But that was no comfort for Melbourne counterpart Dean Bailey.

"The scoreboard said we lost so we came second," Bailey said.

Clarkson was pleased his team found some late form and showed enough spirit to get across the line.

The charge started with Roughead kicking the opening goal of the final quarter, before Jarryd Morton and Cameron Stokes both produced stunning snaps as Melbourne wilted under the pressure.

Clarkson admitted until then there were few positives.

But the Hawks had excuses.

The Demons were coming off a much longer preparation, having started their pre-season two weeks after the grand final.

The Hawks also had many youngsters, fielding only 12 members of their premiership side and losing two of them - Chance Bateman (ankle) and Michael Osborne (corked quad) - before halftime.

Hawthorn stayed in touch mainly due to the superb showing of Roughead, who kicked three goals from as many kicks in the first quarter, all from difficult angles.

Captain Sam Mitchell was his normal prolific self in the midfield, while of the younger brigade, 21-year-old Travis Tuck was the standout with 23 touches.

There were promising signs from the Demons despite the disappointing result.

Brock McLean and Brad Green, who was close to leaving the club in the off-season, were both very good in the midfield, while Matthew Bate shone up forward with four goals.

Rookie-listed ruckman Jake Spencer and 19-year-old midfielder Kyle Cheney, yet to play a premiership season game, were both impressive.

But Bailey said his side paid for wasting chances when they were in control.

"When they kicked for goal, their accuracy was outstanding, some of the shots that Roughead took wide were beautiful kicks," he said.

"It just goes to show that goal-kicking and set shot kicking from all angles is vitally important and that was certainly a lesson for us today."

Clarkson said the injuries to Bateman and Osborne were minor, but the club would probably take a cautious approach and rest them from next weekend's clash with Carlton.

The Demons also had some injuries, a corked knee to skipper James McDonald and a hamstring injury which is expected to sideline exciting young forward Austin Wonaeamirri for two-to-three weeks.

Both sides also had a player reported in the first quarter - Melbourne's Paul Johnson for an innocuous clash with Mitchell, while the Hawks' Clinton Young could be in more trouble for arriving late at a marking contest and crashing into Aaron Davey.

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