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Melbourne Football Club

Quarter by quarter: Melbourne v St Kilda

Thursday, March 8: Melbourne v St Kilda, JLT Community Series, Casey Fields, 7.05pm

First quarter: Melbourne 8.4 (52) to St Kilda 4.1 (19)

Melbourne dominated the opening term, with 12 scoring shots to five, claiming a 27-point lead at quarter-time.

The Demons produced some outstanding football, which included seven of the eight goals kicked from the 11 to 28-minute mark. 

Melbourne started the term in promising fashion, after Christian Petracca capitalised on Cameron Pedersen’s strong contested grab and long bomb into the forward line to get the ball rolling.

Although the Saints answered with two in a row to claim a five-point lead, when Jake Melksham landed back-to-back goals, and Dom Tyson and Jeff Garlett kicked truly, the Demons were up by 21 points.

Blake Acres slotted through St Kilda’s third goal, but Melbourne replied, courtesy of Bernie Vince, Bayley Fritsch and Jesse Hogan, giving the home side a 33-point advantage. The margin was back under five goals after Saint Jack Sinclair managed a major just before quarter-time.

Second quarter: Melbourne 11.5 (71) to St Kilda 6.4 (40)

After 12 goals were registered in the opening term, just five were added in the second quarter.

The Demons kicked the first two in the opening 10 minutes, through Christian Salem and Clayton Oliver, while the Saints didn’t get on the board until the 18-minute mark, via Jade Gresham.

Oliver notched up his second for the match – and the term – early in time-on, giving the Demons a 39-point lead.

But when Hunter Clark snared St Kilda’s only other major for the period, the margin was 31 points at the long break.

Oliver had 17 disposals by half-time – the most on the ground – while Michael Hibberd had 16 touches. Four St Kilda players had 16 possessions: Acres, Jack Steven, Jack Billings and Jack Newnes.

Third quarter: Melbourne 12.8 (80) to St Kilda 12.7 (79)

Although Melbourne led by more than five goals entering the second half, and looked seemingly in control, it produced a poor third term to let St Kilda right back in the contest.

In fact, the Saints were so dominant – they kicked 6.3 to 1.3 – that they hit the front by six points at the 23-minute mark, after Josh Bruce landed his third for the game, and for the quarter.

Sinclair also added his second, while David Armitage and Paddy McCartin got on the board for the Saints.

Melbourne’s only major came at the 29-minute mark, when Jeff Garlett bobbed up with his second for the night.

It put the Demons back in front by the narrowest of margins entering the last quarter.

Final quarter: Melbourne 18.11 (119) d St Kilda 14.9 (93)

Melbourne got just the start it needed, when Angus Brayshaw booted his first, a minute into the final term.

And although Billings responded soon after, closing the gap back to just one-point, the Demons upped the ante yet again with the next three in a row.

Brayshaw started the run with his second, while Mitch Hannan and Tom Bugg followed with their first for the match. It gave the Demons a 19-point lead at the 10-minute mark.

Shane Savage kept the Saints in it, when his major reduced the deficit to 13 points just before time-on, but when Jayden Hunt became Melbourne’s 13th goalkicker, and Hogan booted his second, the Dees were home by 26 points.

Oliver finished with a team-high 27 disposals, while Hibberd and Petracca had 23 touches each. Hogan and Billy Stretch also had 21 possessions each. For the Saints, Seb Ross had a game-high 29 disposals, while Acres (28) and Savage (27) were next best.