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  1. Melbourne fans were left with a feeling of holding a three quarters full glass in their hands after their team’s 26 point win over St Kilda in their second JLT Community Series match up last night. Their team produced some stylish and scintillating football in the first, second and final terms in front of 4,567 fans at Casey Fields but it was the complete fade out in what is often described as the “premiership quarter” that left some of them with worries about the season ahead. Yes, it was only a practice match but this was a team that missed the finals last year by a slim percentage margin and surely, its occasional propensity to switch off from time to time was one of the contributing factors to that sorry outcome? The Demons were quick out the blocks with their eight goal opening term in which ruckman Max Gawn was a dominant factor who gave his midfield led by an effervescent, slim line Clayton Oliver an armchair ride that opened up multiple avenues to goal with some strong contested football. The Saints somehow managed four goals on the rebound but Melbourne maintained control and looked comfortable as it led by 39 points well into the shadows of the half-time break. The team seemed to ease up the pressure just a little late in the second term but not only did they completely lose momentum in the third, they also coughed up the lead after a run of seven unanswered goals left them five points in arrears until a Jeff Garlett kick found a way from the outside of his boot through the big sticks to settle the team down 30 minutes into the quarter. Big Max had been a little quiet after half-time but he was back to his best in the pressure cooker atmosphere in the final term as the Dees regained their composure in the final quarter through Angus Brayshaw who booted their first two of six goals that saw them safely home. Despite the lapse in that third quarter when the team was often beaten on the rebound after pushing hard forward, there was still plenty to be pleased about with a little over two weeks to go before the main campaign starts. Recruits Jake Lever and Bayley Fritsch were impressive with the former putting in a superb display in defence. The team was generally neat and precise in its ball movement, and there was great depth and evenness through the team with 13 goal kickers. Also pleasing is the fact that there would be close to half a dozen important players out of the side (including Jack Viney, Jordan Lewis and Tom McDonald) who will also come into selection consideration for the opening game in a fortnight’s time. With a full strength side, Simon Goodwin might yet have a team that can fill his glass with success. Melbourne 8.4.52 11.5.71 12.8.80 18.11.119 St Kilda 4.1.25 6.4.40 12.7.79 14.9.93 Goals Melbourne Brayshaw Garlett Hogan Melksham Oliver 2 Bugg Fritsch Hannan Hunt Petracca Salem Tyson Vince St Kilda Bruce 3 Sinclair 2 Acres Armitage Billings Clark Gresham McCartin Membrey Savage Steven Best Melbourne Oliver Gawn Hibberd Petracca Lever Hogan St Kilda Billings Acres Ross Geary Savage Steele Injuries Melbourne O McDonald (back tightness) St Kilda Steven (rolled left ankle) Reports Nil Umpires Rosebury, Fleer, Mollison Official crowd 4,567 at Casey Fields
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