It’s been 11 years since the Demons celebrated victory over North Melbourne, and the opportunity to snap their long losing streak after last week’s impressive road win over the Adelaide Crows (6-2) where many within the club acclaimed last weeks 41 point victory was one of the finest team performances in the last ten years. On the flip side, the Kangas were licking their wounds after their worst season performance against the suddenly resurgent Sydney Swans who comprehensively outplayed the ‘Roos by 42 points.
However, it was the Kangas who bounced out of the blocks at football headquarters with such a dominating display to earn a 26 point lead at the first break which included a season high 34 tackles in the one quarter. The 2015 All-Australian ruck man, Todd Goldstein was amongst the prime catalyst to lead the way for the Shinboners as he controlled the air with clinical tap outs to hurt the Demons. Ben Cunnington was damaging early with a clever goal but he was forced off the ground after an apparent knee injury which didn’t look good as he winced with pain but managed to hobble off.
In the second quarter, the Demons responded with six goals of their own with young Demon, Mitch Hannan bobbing up with three goals whilst captain Jack Viney ramped up his game in the midfield as the game intensity lifted a couple of notches. Former Crow, Bernie Vince was the projected minder on the North’s dangerous Shaun Higgins as the extra attention attracted niggles which led to spot fires which opened up more drama with many players including the return of Ben Cunnington, to dish out a body blow to the disruptive Demon. Higgins found a way to respond to such physical attention with a clinical long goal at the city end as North held onto a two point lead at half time as the spiteful game prolonged both opening quarters to over 34 minutes.
The third quarter was anybody’s guess to what would unfold in this intriguing tussle as the Kangas skipped out to a handy four goal lead even though it could of been bigger margin hadn’t Shaun Higgins missed his two easy chances along with Big Benny Brown. But the power forward still responded accordingly to boot his third for the term as the Dees defence was seemingly tethering at that stage before a late goal to stem the tide and give the Demons half a chance to make it just 22 points at the last break with Robbie Tarrant and Scott Thompson being the key roadblocks for North as they restricted the Demons to one goal in the third quarter.
The Demons however re-emerged with plenty of run to open up a frantic last quarter as they looked dangerous peppering into attack but also missing many shots with Ex Giants youngster, Thomas Bugg being the major culprit with four behinds. The experience and poise of ex Hawk and four time Premiership player, Jordan Lewis, slotted home his only goal to reel in the deficit once again back to two points. The intensity of the game was rising once again as the momentum was back with the Demons seeking to break their winning drought against the ‘Roos.
With just on 10 minutes remaining, North’s Taylor Garner, gained possession on the run after a consecutive run of quick fire handballs to slot a crucial goal and a few minutes later, Mason Wood snapped truly under pressure for his second goal to give North some breathing space… even though the Demons replied moments later from the Dean Kent, it was the rising Luke McDonald’s scrambling snap after North’s rapid play of multiple short and sharp disposals killing off the Demons to give North a much deserved victory by 14 points and a slim shot at getting back into the top eight finals discussions following their sixteenth consecutive victory in 11 years.