Melbourne win by 23 points
Having stumbled into the finals with five losses from their last six games most tipsters were picking Collingwood to end their season at the first finals hurdle, but Melbourne rose above their form and injury issues to register a resounding win.
The victory was gained without the injury Garry Lyon (thigh/groin), Danny Hughes (strained groin) and David Flintoff (thigh) who had broken down during the week. On the other side Collingwood sensationally dropped full-forward Brian Taylor despite the fact that he had kicked five goals the week before.
With the Pies on top in the second quarter, John Northey swung a change and replaced Steven O'Dwyer and Todd Viney with Ricky Jackson (pictured left celebrating a goal) and Graeme Yeats. The duo came off the bench and helped drag the Demons back into it. Jackson's pace burnt up the expansive Waverley surface and he helped himself to two goal after just two minutes on the ground.
The game was won in the third quarter. With Stynes taking control in the centre, and Jackson continuing to torch the Magpies, the Demons kicked five goals in five minutes as part of a nine goal to four avalanche.
Gavin Brown and Peter Daicos were shut down by Brett Lovett and Stephen Newport, and the mercurial Daicos spent much of the 3rd quarter on the bench.
An errant Sean Wight pass which landed in the arms of Tony Shaw cut the lead to eleven points just before three quarter time but Brian Wilson's left foot snap at the 30 minute mark broke a run of three straight Pie goals.
Writing in The Age Gareth Andrews said ''"There is something special about this Melbourne side and they are starting to make a habit of winning finals matches. Tipping against them should not be taken lightly. In evaluating what further part they might play in the finals, careful attention must be paid to their fanatical desire to win. They won eight games in 1989 but less than two goals, and this can only happen with a team of character".
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