Demons pull off win for club legend Jim - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons pull off win for club legend Jim

04/07/2009 07:19:45 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey is demanding that the emotional 20-point win over West Coast be only the start of a sustained revival at the struggling AFL club.

The Demons honoured club legend Jim Stynes, who has stood down as chairman as he battles cancer, with the 17.10 (112) to 13.14 (92) win on Saturday at the MCG.

It was the bottom side's second win for the season, their highest score this year and they had beaten their average tackle count per match before halftime.

But it already was a big game for Melbourne before the shattering news broke on Wednesday night that Stynes is battling cancer.

They were coming off three poor efforts in a row and Bailey had made the team have a dip in freezing Port Phillip Bay twice on Monday morning.

"Next week is another game and you can't always rely on external situations ... it's time for us to take some responsibility," Bailey said of next Sunday's home game against Port Adelaide.

Bailey is also tempted to keep sending his players to Port Phillip Bay.

"It's worked this week, so we may as well 'up' the ante again for next week," he said.

"I don't think we'll be taking the foot off the accelerator just yet."

Stynes is recovering in hospital from surgery and he was a big motivating factor for the team.

They laid his original No.37 Melbourne guernsey on the changeroom floor and formed a huddle around it a few minutes before running out onto the ground.

As they left the field post-match, captain James McDonald and Aaron Davey held up the jumper to the crowd.

"There's no doubt there's a bit of relief, among the players, probably among the staff and the members and supporters," Bailey said.

"There was certainly a large emotional build-up to the game.

"The feeling in the rooms is hopefully something they gain an experience from ... we tackled really hard, we had an intention to make our tackles stick.

"It's a great confidence boost for them, no doubt."

A couple of scuffles before the first bounce set the tone for the game and Davey and Ricky Petterd are on report for first-quarter incidents.

Tackling was clearly a priority for the Demons, who had beaten their season average of 51 before halftime and ended the game with 89 - their best total this year.

Their early accuracy also proved crucial, kicking 11.2 to 7.8 in the first half.

West Coast had more inside 50s for the game and more possessions, but their lack of fluency in attack was costly.

"We should have scored better than we did and scored more easily - we put ourselves under a lot of pressure inside 50 with our shots on goal, with an error somewhere along the line," said Eagles coach John Worsfold.

Young star Nic Naitanui, the hero in their win over Hawthorn last weekend, struggled on Saturday as Demons ruckman Mark Jamar starred.

"He knows how tough it is, he hasn't had any easy ball in both his previous two games," Worsfold said of Naitanui.

The Eagles and Melbourne have now lost 18 straight on the road, only three behind Sydney's record, but Worsfold said the away wins will come as his side develops.

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