Round 21, 2000
Melbourne vs Geelong
Saturday, 30 July
Melbourne win by 18 points
Goalkickers: David Neitz 5, Shane Woewodin 4, Adem Yze 3, Brad Green 1, Travis Johnstone 1, Andrew Leoncelli 1, Anthony McDonald 1, Stephen Powell 1, Guy Rigoni 1
3 - Shane Woewodin
2 - David Neitz
1 - Peter Walsh
Best and Fairest
36 - Shane Woewodin
31.5 - David Neitz
28 - Jeff White
13 - Adem Yze
13 - Travis Johnstone
7 - Matthew Collins
7 - Alistair Nicholson
Statistical categories led:
Equal most contested marks in a game: David Neitz (8)
A huge crowd turned up to the MCG to see whether or not Melbourne could confirm themselves as an unlikely final four side by taking their first win over Geelong since Round 1, 1994. In reality many of the 75,000 strong crowd had come to see the Olympic Torch paraded around the 'G for the first time since 1956. Ron Clarke relit the 1956 Olympic cauldron, John Landy re-read the oath, Geelong played their 2000th league game and Melbourne booked themselves a double chance in September.
The Cats dominated around the ground in the first half but couldn't make it count on the scoreboard. They had a 20 point lead early in the second term, but dropped their effort and a David Neitz goal late in the second narrowed the lead to eight points.
On the stroke of the halftime break Shane Woewodin had caused a brawl by dropping Cat Brad Sholl after Sholl had nudged Neitz, but Woewodin let his football do the talking in the second half with the ball and a 4.8 to 2.1 third quarter helped the Demons hit the lead. He had 35 possessions and four goals to win universal acclaim as the best player on the ground.
Gary Hocking had racked up 16 possessions in the first half, but when Andrew Leoncelli went onto him for the third term he had just two more touches. Peter Walsh also did an important job in the third quarter, blanketing Ronnie Burns who had booted four goals in the first half.
White and Neitz were also amongst the best, but Jeff Farmer played his worst game for weeks and was benched in the third term.
Cat Marcus Baldwin kicked three goals with his first three kicks in league footy, but kicked just two more goals from ten kicks in four further career games.
On the same day Collingwood upset North Melbourne, allowing the Dees to not only solidify their spot in the top four but to jump to 3rd and increase the possibility that they would avoid the rampant Essendon in the first week of the finals.
Neale Daniher said "After being 24points down halfway through the second , it was important the skipper kicked a goal on half-time. We dominated the game in the second half without hitting the scoreboard."
For the second year in a row Melbourne's Round 21 game saw seven Demons booked for engaging in a melee. David Neitz and Adem Yze received the heftiest penalties ($3500), while Jeff White and Rusell Robertson were both fined $3000 and Travis Johnstone $2500. Shane Woewodin and Jeff Farmer were found not guilty.
"Double prize for Demons" - The Age 31/07/2000