Essendon win by 17 points
1 - Guy Rigoni
Adem Yze played his 150th consecutive match.
Having lost two in a row the Demons were on the slide in 2003, and when they went to the first quarter huddle 29 points behind it looked like they were set for a heavy beating.
Essendon were the red hot favourites, and when Brad Green - the second highest goalkicker for the Demons - started as a loose man in defence it looked as if they were already intent on saving the game before it had even begun. The extra man at the back didn't hurt Damian Cupido who booted three in the first 12 minutes.
Jeff White was smashed in the centre during the opening term, but when Darren Jolly went into the ruck to begin the second his influence helped the Demons burst to life and boot six goals to cut the margin to five points at the long break.
The third quarter was played in near darkness, but Travis Johnstone booted a goal immediately after the restart to put his side in front. He had just one more touch for the game as it lost any claim to being a great match and instead became a struggle in the wet and dark MCG. It was a telling statistic that Melbourne had won just one game in the wet over the last three years.
It was then that Matthew Lloyd - who didn't have a goal to half time - won a controversial double goal in the last quarter to win the game. He had goalled to put his side in front, and after Dean Rioli added another to extend the margin the Essendon spearhead went to ground after a seemingly innocuous confrontation with Alistair Nicholson and won another kick from the square to end the game.
Best were Jolly, Nicholson and Yze
"Demons almost derail a typical Don display" - The Age 27/07/2003