Essendon win by 2 points
Essendon were less reliant on fill-in players than they had been in their first two pre-season matches, but were still expected to be second best against a near full-strength Melbourne side.
The Demons were the shortest priced favourites they'd been for any game since Round 19, 2000 and dominated the first few minutes but were wasteful with their attacking chances. Two late goals by the Bombers cut the margin to three at quarter time, and they drew level by the half.
The underdogs opened up a two goal lead during the third quarter before Melbourne fought back to again level the scores at the last change. The Demons then got two goals in front themselves before conceding the last two - including the eventual game winner caused by a Jack Viney defensive clanger - to lose narrowly.
Bail, Cross, Dawes, Dunn, Frost, Garland, Garlett, Gawn, Grimes, Hogan, Jamar, Jetta, M. Jones, N. Jones, Lumumba, McDonald, McKenzie, Newton, Salem, Toumpas, Tyson, vandenBerg, Viney, Watts
"Undermanned Dons deny Demons in thriller" - afl.com.au 05/03/2015