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MATCH REPORT - Round 16

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ESCAPE FROM JAIL by George on the Outer 

The Demons rightly got out of jail today against the Blues at the MCG in a game in which many supporters of the Red and Blue were at one stage thinking they were in for a repeat of Round 22 of last year when Carlton put paid to Melbourne’s slim finals hopes for 2016.  
 
The Demons were in the top eight and playing against the team sitting 16th. Other games prior to the 3.20pm start on the weekend had already determined that Melbourne could slip outside the top eight should it lose, and then have to face up to three of the top four sides in the coming month.
 
Things weren't looking so good, especially with co-captains Nathan Jones and Jack Viney along with Dom Tyson, Jack Watts, Christian Salem and Tomas Bugg all among those missing through injury or suspension. And just coming back from the rehab were Jeff Garlett, Jesse Hogan, Joel Smith and not so long ago Max Gawn - hardly a situation to feel confident about especially since Carlton had already defeated Sydney and GWS Giants this season and took ladder leaders Adelaide to within two goals. With a midfield that wouldn’t set the world alight and a lot of underdone players, the Demons were ripe for the pickings once again!
 
And so it was almost to be as Carlton jumped Melbourne in the first quarter to lead by three goals at the first change. The Blues play the old “rope-a-dope” style of game and if you give them freedom they will just chip the ball around and then surge forward. A stern word from the coach and a change in game style saw the end to that and by half time the Demons had pulled back the deficit to be within one point thanks to Tom McDonald's goal after the half time siren.

Injuries to Cripps and White placed Carlton in jeopardy of running out of legs, and it certainly looked to be the case as Melbourne hit the front early in the third term through Tom McDonald's third and by ¾ time it had extended its lead to nine points. By that time, the elder McDonald had kicked his fourth; for the second time in three matches his goal kicking exploits made a world of difference in keeping his team out of jail.
 
A series of stupid and costly mistakes by a few Melbourne players handed the momentum back to Carlton and by 10 minutes into the final quarter they led by nine points. The game then became an arm wrestle and the Demons willed and dragged themselves to a two point lead with only minutes remaining. The wrestle continued and in the telling stages of the match, Neville Jetta took the critical mark in the Carlton backline that denied them an opportunity to take back the lead. The ball moved to the other end and Alex Neal-Bullen marked with a minute left in the match and using up his full 30 seconds, he passed to Jordan Lewis rather than shooting for goal. Another 30 seconds was used up and Lewis converted after the siren for the Demons to run out winners by eight points.

Melbourne did get out of jail in the end but it did so through hard work and effort which is now their modus operandi in almost every game it plays. The question now is whether it can carry the team through the next month?  
 
We can only wait and see ...

Melbourne 1.2.8 7.4.46 11.5.71 14.6.90

Carlton 4.3.27 7.5.47 9.8.62 12.10.82

Goals

Melbourne T McDonald 4 Garlett 3 Neal-Bullen Wagner 2 Hogan Lewis Melksham

Carlton Silvagni 3 Curnow Murphy Wright 2 Casboult Kreuzer Petrevski-Seton

Best 

Melbourne T McDonald Oliver Lewis Petracca Neal-Bullen Frost

Carlton Kreuzer Gibbs Murphy Curnow  Docherty Casboult

Changes

Melbourne Nil

Carlton Nil

Injuries 

Melbourne Nil

Carlton Cripps (left leg) White (left knee)

Reports

Melbourne Nil

Carlton Nil

Umpires Deboy, Williamson, Ryan

Official crowd 47,266 at the MCG

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A special vote of thanks to George who wrote this terrific report under some duress. He received news of his father in law's passing as he was putting on the finishing touches.

On behalf of all at Demonland, we send our condolences to the family. 

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24 minutes ago, Whispering_Jack said:

A special vote of thanks to George who wrote this terrific report under some duress. He received news of his father in law's passing as he was putting on the finishing touches.

On behalf of all at Demonland, we send our condolences to the family. 

Thanks George and condolences to you and your family. Thanks for all the work you and other administrators do. This site is appreciated by many and makes our great game even better.

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