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In a wonderful night for the Melbourne Football Club – the Demons have beaten the Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and now advance to the preliminary final.
They will face a difficult task up against the Eagles in Perth next week, yet none of the remaining teams could ignore the roll and form of the Demons, as they look to create history.
Melbourne were relentless tonight and never wavered from the plan that was laid out by Simon Goodwin. The Hawks did waver. They challenged ferociously, made poor skill errors and at times dropped off in intensity.
That, in the end, was the difference between the two teams and the reason the Demons have been able to build the wonderful season that now threatens to become stunning.
Melbourne were consistent and resilient whereas the Hawks showed flashes of brilliance and promise, yet never looked like reeling in the juggernaut that the Demons have become.
Christian Petracca was outstanding for the Demons and Tom McDonald, Angus Brayshaw, Jake Melksham and Sam Weideman all played their roles.
For the Hawks, Jack Gunston found himself playing something of a lone hand up front. He needed far more support if the Hawks were to compile a score that would threaten the numbers the Demons have consistently put on the board this season.
It is indeed a grand old flag and the Demons will play off for a spot in the Grand Final when they face the Eagles next week.
The Hawks will walk away after a disappointing straight sets exit yet believe they have the basic structures in place to return in 2019 and be a force to be reckoned with once again.