Melbourne win by 17 points
Still a chance of making the five, as long as they beat the wooden spooners elect, the Demons found themselves a game and percentage outside the finals on Saturday night after a lacklustre performance delivered them the four points at Moorabbin.
In muddy conditions the Saints were spirited against their fancied opponents and stuck with them for three quarters before kicked seven behinds straight in the final term and throwing any chance of winning away. Had they not sacked Mark Jackson weeks before 'Jacko' might have been the difference, only kicking two goals in the second half.
Melbourne's focal point came in the unlikely form of Michael Reynolds, thrown to full forward only because Peter Moore was a late withdrawal. Reynolds had played three games off the bench for one goal before the day but celebrated his 20th birthday by booting six. He should have had a seventh but hit the post from right in front.
Also promising was ruckman Glenn McLean who dominated his more experienced opponent Jeff Sarau for most of the day. Between Reynolds, McLean and Brian Wilson - who came to life in the last quarter after being unsighted most of the day - the Saints couldn't cope and suffered their 14th loss of the year.
Melbourne entered the last month of the season as a chance of breaking the finals drought but standing in their way were the top four sides on the ladder. It would take a monumental effort to topple enough of the big hitters to sneak into the September action. "We are still in there but, naturally, we've got to keep winning" said Barassi. "If we don't make it we're just not good enough".
Best were Icke, Zantuck and McLean. Boland replaced Moore in the selected side. Ellingworth suffered a corked thigh, Sutcliffe a bruised knee, Wright a bruised hand and Johnson a bruised calf.
Melbourne 11.16.82 d. St Kilda 6.7.43
Goals - Johnson 3, Battiston 2, McKenzie 2, Hutchison 1, Muir 1, Bateman 1, Templeton 1
Best - Hepworth, Johnson, Battiston
Melbourne 21.18.144 d. St Kilda 16.7.103
Goals - McCarty 7, Bailey 3, Healy 3, Grinter 2, Howard 2, Hutchinson 1, Newport 1, Payne 1, Ward 1
Best - McCarty, Thomas, Healy