Semi Final, 1987
Melbourne vs Sydney
Sunday 13 September
Melbourne win by 76 points
Goalkickers: Robert Flower 4, Tony Campbell 3, Greg Healy 3, Steven Stretch 2, Todd Viney 2, Graeme Yeats 2, Warren Dean 1, Ricky Jackson 1, Jim Stynes 1, David Williams 1, Brian Wilson 1
Statistical categories led:
Highest score in Semi Final
A week after destroying North Melbourne in the Elimination Final the Demons thumped Sydney as well. John Northey, with a point to prove against the team who had sacked him, relished a second ruthless finals victory, and his side's eigth in a row.
The Demons lined up as a young side with only two players of over 100 games experience, and a grand total of nearly 1300 games less than their opponents - but the Swans were without star forward Warwick Capper. Melbourne regained Brian Wilson, the only player in their squad who had played a final before 1987, but lost Dean Chiron to suspension.
Sydney had been the excitement machine of the season, and with thousands of spurned South Melbourne fans suddenly remembering their love for the red and white, a big crowd poured in to see the match. Robert Flower continued his great end of season form by marking and kicking the first goal of the match. Minutes later he flew for another mark and when it spilt to the ground soccered it through for another goal and the Demons were off to a flier thanks to the skipper.
Despite Flower's two early goals the Swans took a five point lead into quarter time. Sydney, or South Melbourne, hadn't won a finals match since 1945 and had been humbled by Hawthorn the week before so they had their own weight of expectation hanging over them, and couldn't withstand the rampaging Demons in the second term. Melbourne's 8.9 beat their own record for a second quarter in a semi final, set in 1946. By half time the visitors were 31 points behind and by three quarter time the margin was ten goals. Once again Flower ran off the ground near the end of the match to a rapturous applause.
The victory booked the Demons a date with Hawthorn in the Preliminary Final. Northey and his team were trying to keep a lid on the mania surrounding the side but supporters had well and truly torn the lid off, crowding the change room after the match to sing endless repeats of "Robbie Flower walks on water".
Best were Stretch, Lovett and Yeats. Brian Wilson left the ground in the first quarter after receiving a knock in the face and after suffering blurred vision had to see an eye specialist to be cleared to play the next week.
Greg Healy and Gerard Healy were the first brothers to play against each other in a final since 1912.
Canberra Times - 14/09/1987
Age - 14/09/1987