Round 21, 2002
Melbourne vs Sydney
Saturday 24 August
Sydney win by 68 points
Goalkickers: David Neitz 3, Russell Robertson 2, Paul Wheatley 2, Cameron Bruce 1, Darren Jolly 1, Stephen Powell 1, Shane Woewodin 1
Having almost certainly booked their place in September, the Demons suffered their most disappointing loss of the season as the Swans ruined any chance Melbourne had of sneaking into the top four. Barry Hall returned from injury for the Swans to boot seven goals as Sydney thrashed thei finals bound opponents.
With the game locked at one goal apiece in the first quarter, the Swans then slammed on five in a row to finish the Demons. They kicked the next two of the second term and the Dees top-four prospects were in tatters. By half time Hall had five, and by midway through the third quarter the Swans were more than 70 points in front.
The Demons were thrown into a clash against St. Kilda in the last round that could determine their finals chances. They were still a game and 2% above the West Coast Eagles, but another poor performance like the one they served up against the Swans could finish them off.
Neale Daniher said "That's probably our worst performance, or up there, for the year. We've got to be able to bounce back next Saturday to play finals."
Brown, Powell and Yze were Melbourne's best. Steven Armstrong was replaced in the selected side by Luke Williams.
David Neitz was reported for charging Ben Mathews but found not guilty.
afl.com.au - 24/08/2002