Grand Final, 2000
Essendon vs Melbourne
Saturday 2 September
Essendon win by 60 points
Goalkickers: Jeff Farmer 3, Stephen Powell 3, David Neitz 2, Russell Robertson 2, Brad Green 1
Best and Fairest
27 - Stephen Powell
25 - David Neitz
21 - Daniel Ward
17 - Anthony Ingerson
12 - Jeff White
Jeff White (also with Fremantle)
After destroying North Melbourne to qualify for their first grand final in 12 years the Demons had the misfortune to come up against a team who had lost just one game all season. Despite overnight rain the match was played in perfect conditions.
Having pushed them early in the season some tipped the Dees to pull off one of the great upsets, and they had the first shot on goal with David Neitz missing.
The Demons led for the first four minutes, and when Powell goalled midway through the term they hit the lead again, but the 12 scoring shots to six at quarter time total told the story of what was to come. Their kick-ins from full-back were particuarly terrible, often allowing the Bombers to launch straight back into attack.
Troy Simmonds was knocked out by a vicious Michael Long hit on the Southern Stand wing side during the second quarter and failed to register a stat. Brad Green also suffered a serious injury, a blow to the neck during the first quarter causing him to miss the rest of the match. At one point he was put on oxygen as the swelling in his throat restricted his breathing. Both were later cleared of serious damage. Shane Woewodin also struggled throughout the match after straining a hamstring in the early minutes.
During the match Jeff Farmer was revealed to be playing with a broken rib. This wasn't known until his shirt was pulled off to reveal a chest protector during one of a number of skirmishes during the day, he had been battling the break for the entire finals series.
Neale Daniher said "Today we were losers, no doubt about that, but over the season I see our young team as winners."
James Hird beat Nicholson, Febey, Grgic, McDonald and Woewodin on the way to 29 possessions and a Norm Smith Medal.
Cameron Bruce was a late withdrawal and was replaced by Ben Beams who also failed to get a touch.
Brent Grgic was reported for striking Dustin Fletcher in the fourth term and was suspended. Both David Schwarz and Daniel Ward were fined for engaging in a melee and were both fined $3500.
Stephen Powell was the Demons best with two goals in the first quarter, and 21 touches for the day, Matthew Collins kept Scott Lucas goalless and Neitz took six contested marks for the day.
B: Daniel Ward, Anthony Ingerson, Alistair Nicholson
HB: Peter Walsh, Matthew Collins, Steven Febey
C: Adem Yze, Shane Woewodin, Anthony McDonald
HF: Brad Green, David Schwarz, Stephen Powell
F: Russell Robertson, David Neitz (c), Jeff Farmer
R: Jeff White, Guy Rigoni, Andrew Leoncelli
INT: Brent Grgic, Travis Johnstone, Ben Beams, Troy Simmonds
Age - 04/09/2000