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1987 Exhibition Match vs North Melbourne

18 October - BC Place, Vancouver
Crowd: 7980

Melbourne 6.3, 8.8, 13.11, 19.13.127
North Melbourne 2.2, 7.7, 13.10, 16.15.111

Goals - Greg Healy 5, Graeme Yeats 3, David Williams 2, Ricky Jackson 2, Todd Viney 2, Simon Eishold 1, Tony Campbell 1, Dallas Normington 1, Brad Sparks 1, Warren Dean 1

Having qualified to play North after defeating Sydney a week earlier, the Demons temporarily left Vancouver for a two day holiday at Banff in the Canadian Rockies before returning for what was billed as the "World Championship" match

With $30,000 in prize money on the line both teams tried to take the match seriously. With a raft of injuries both ways Melbourne even selected the recently retired Shane Zantuck before VFL officials told them that they would probably lose the game on protest if they played him.

Instead Adrian Battiston, unable to run and David Williams - ill were named in the squad. Fortunately for John Northey he had the Under 19's on tour with the main squad and was able to pick four of their players to make up the numbers. They had lost Danny Hughes (broken thumb) and Robbie Flower (displaced shoulder) with injuries plus Jim Stynes and Sean Wight who were touring Ireland.

The four Under 19's players who were named were Dallas Normington, Cameron Smith, Geoff Allardice and Glen Kiley.

As with the first game the match was played as a 15-a-side contest with no named centreline. The difference was that there were only 7980 fans in attendance, far down from the 35,000 who turned out to watch the match against Sydney 11 days earlier.

North Melbourne had travelled from London where they'd beaten Carlton in a spiteful clash known as the "Battle of Britain". The league had spent the week before the second Vancouver clash trying to play down the contest as a violent spectacle, an image not helped by a photoshoot featuring Swan John Ironmonger eating raw meat in a gutter before the first game.

With a still injured Robert Flower acting as the water boy, the teams played twenty minute quarters and with only three men allowed in the centre square. The Demons leapt out to a handy lead at quarter time against a North side who had been up at 5.30am that morning travelling from Los Angeles. North struck back in the second quarter and at the last change the margin was a solitary point before the Demons kicked away in the last.

Ross Oakley and the VFL declared the matches a success, which couldn't be said for the local promoter who bankrolled the two matches. He needed 35,000 for the final just to break even and went home with empty pockets. The match had originally been scheduled for the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Melbourne travelled home having played a record 31 games for the year, their season finally over.

Best were O'Dwyer, Healy and Viney

Team (no centre line due to reduced teams)
B: Chiron, Icke, Allardice
HB: Grinter, Spalding, Lovett
HF: Viney, Dean, Williams
F: Jackson, Campbell, Eishold
Foll: O'Dwyer, Yeats, Healy
INT: Normington, Smith, Sparks, Kiley, Battiston

Media
Age - 15/10/1987
Age - 19/10/1987
Age - 20/10/1987

Created by supermercado. Last Modification: Thursday 18 July 2019 20:34:26 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 7)

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