A EUPHORIC Simon Goodwin has repeated Melbourne's want to embrace long-suffering supporters' joy at the club marching into its first preliminary final in 18 years.
The Demons booked a date with West Coast in Perth with a 16.8 (104) to 10.11 (71) triumph at the MCG on Friday night over a Hawthorn side that inflicted considerable misery on them in the past decade.
Luke Breust – 2
Won't remember this finals series too fondly after being held goalless opposed to Neville Jetta. Gunston was the lone hand in attack for the Hawks and they needed their other All Australian player to stand up to help pick up the slack.
ALASTAIR Clarkson has nipped speculation about Jarryd Roughead's future in the bud, saying his captain would remain at Hawthorn next year.
Roughead, who turns 32 in January, has long been contracted for 2019 but recently there has been widespread speculation he would not be at Waverley next year after it emerged he and Clarkson had been in talks about his future.
A SENSE of pride filled Alex Neal-Bullen as he absorbed the scenes unfolding in front of him in the Melbourne-dominated terraces of the MCC on Friday night.
MELBOURNE's grand old flag is finally flying high again.
The Demons are through to their first preliminary final in 18 long years after Simon Goodwin's talented young team survived a last-quarter scare to record a convincing 33-point win that sent a raucously pro-Melbourne crowd of 90,152 into delirium at the MCG on Friday night.
Angus Brayshaw – 5
Not Brayshaw's most prolific game (12 disposals) and he spent a fair chunk of time off the ground after a collision late in the third term with Shaun Burgoyne. But a decisive and courageous mark backing into traffic, in a crucial patch in the third term when Melbourne was making its charge, was significant in the context of the match, and his two goals show he can always be damaging.
1. Demons can win in multiple ways
Melbourne had little right to be ahead at half-time. Hawthorn led most of the categories – contested possessions, clearances and inside 50s – that made the Demons statistical darlings throughout the season. But Simon Goodwin's men used instantaneous ball movement to hurt the Hawks when they did get a look in and that efficiency was crucial in the 33-point victory.
MELBOURNE remarkably booked its place in a preliminary final on Friday night, perhaps even ushering in a new era in the AFL with a significant 33-point victory over Hawthorn.
But while the Demons led throughout an epic at the MCG, one moment – and two incredibly costly mistakes at either end of the field – turned the match on its head.
HAWTHORN and Melbourne have named unchanged teams ahead of the first bounce in Friday night's cut-throat semi-final at the MCG.
The Hawks will be trying to avoid becoming the seventh top-four team since 2000 to crash out of the finals in straight sets, while the Demons are bidding to make their first preliminary final in 18 years.