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Melbourne Demons hold off West Eagles to reclaim top spot on AFL ladder

By , in Sport , at August 10, 2021 Tags: ,

Melbourne is in its best position to win a premiership for more than 20 years.

The Demons locked in a top-four spot with a thrilling nine-point win over West Coast at Optus Stadium on Monday night.

The end to the game was much more thrilling than where it was heading, though.

Melbourne had led by 33 points in the seventh minute of the final term when the game was delayed for almost 30 minutes due to a threat of lightning.

The Eagles returned the field much more switched on than when they left it.

They kicked 4.3 to the Demons’ 0.3 after the restart, but had to settle for a 10.12 (72) to 9.9 (63) scoreboard.

The result catapulted Melbourne back to the top of the AFL ladder, with just two rounds to play, thanks to losses to the Western Bulldogs and Geelong at the weekend.

It locks away their spot in the top four and with that comes a double chance in the first round of finals.

The Demons will finish inside the top four after the home-and-away fixtures for the first time since 2000, when they lost to Essendon in the Grand Final.

Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and James Harmes were the difference in a tight midfield battle with Dom Sheed, Tim Kelly and Elliot Yeo.

After winning their first nine games of the season, the result gave them consecutive wins for the first time since beating fellow finalists Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions in round 11 and 12 respectively.

All in front of Eagles

This was the Demons’ first win over West Coast since Round 22 of 2018, also played at Optus Stadium.

The Eagles recovered from that loss and demolished the Demons by 11 goals in the Preliminary Final before beating Collingwood the following week in the Grand Final.

It’s hard to see Adam Simpson’s men producing a form reversal like that in the remainder of this season, though.

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