Melbourne win by 1 points
The Demons first 'home' match in Darwin came against the backdrop of 13 straight losses outside of Victoria dating back to 2006 and without a win off the Eastern seaboard since 2004. Disappointing losers to West Coast the week before, the Demons went in as underdogs against a Port side exceeding many expectations to be solidly in finals contention.
The Demons scored the first two goals through Watts and Miller, and opened up a comfortable lead in the first term before the Power struck back. A Bennell goal after the siren restored the comfortable gap for the Demons going into the second term. Once again Port struck back late in the second quarter, but Melbourne took a lead into half-time and the only question was which side would wilt in the 27 degree temperature and 88% humidity.
In the third quarter the Demons were irresistable and inspired by a career best five goals from Miller, recalled from the VFL that week, they were five goals in front. Spending their three quarter time break in a cool room while Port stayed out on the ground might have been the difference they needed to ensure they ran out the game, but Port started well with the first two goals of the last term. Green kicked what might have been the sealer, but Port proceded to exploit Melbourne's use of Colin Sylvia as a backup ruckman while the exhausted Jamar was off the ground and an exhillarating ten minute burst saw them hit the front.
Bennell's roved his fourth to put the Demons back in the lead before Port wrested the advantage away from them again. Green goalled on the run from 30m out to tie the scores before Jack Trengove punched through a point to give the Demons a lead with a minute left. As the last few seconds ticked away the ball entered the Port forward line, but Colin Garland spoiled and the ball bounced away from the Port forwards as the siren sounded on the Demons first one-point victory since Round 20, 2005.
The match was just the 5th time in VFL/AFL history that a side had led by 32 points at 3/4 time and only won by a point.
Best were Bennell, Green and Miller.
"Young Dees Hold Nerve In Thriller" - The Age 23/05/2010