MELBOURNE has somehow escaped with a one-point AFL win over Gold Coast with Tom McDonald shanking a behind off the post in the dying seconds of the match.
The Demons looked like they were slipping to another defeat when Nick Holman’s goal with less than a minute to play put them ahead but a career-first goal for Marty Hore and then McDonald’s desperate scramble allowed Melbourne to steal a 8.13 (61) to 9.6 (60) win.
The loss was cruel on the Suns, who must have thought they’d claimed their fourth win of the season when Holman made the most of a vacant goal square to kick a goal on the run.
From the next centre bounce the ball found its way to Hore, who coolly slotted with his left foot from 50-metres to level the scores.
The Demons again got the ball from the middle and charged inside the Suns’ 50 as the clock ticked down.
Eventually it broke to McDonald, who failed to make a clean connection on the bouncing ball but did enough to divert it on to the post before the final siren sounded.
McDonald was the leading goal scorer in a scrappy affair, booting three majors while Holman and Ben Ainsworth had two each for the Suns.
Clayton Oliver was the busiest player on the ground with 38 disposals and 15 tackles while Jake Melksham had 11 marks.
David Swallow picked up 35 disposals for the Suns, with Darcy McPherson (27 disposals, eight tackles) also impressive.
Defender Michael Hibberd suffered a suspected broken collarbone after he and Suns’ co-captain Swallow collided heavily contesting the ball late in the second quarter.
Jordan Lewis and Melksham also had to receive treatment in the dressing room for ankle knocks but both managed to return to the game.
The Suns had injury concerns of their own when Sean Lemmens, in his first game back from an ankle injury, limped out of the game after hurting the same joint at the start of the third term.
The victory lifts Melbourne to 3-5, the same record as the Suns, who have now lost four matches on the bounce.
The Demons play West Coast in Perth next weekend while the Suns are away to Port Adelaide.
© AAP 2019
MELBOURNE 3.2 3.5 5.9 8.13 (61)
GOLD COAST 2.1 3.3 5.6 9.6 (60)
Goals: Melbourne: T McDonald 3 C Petracca J Harmes J Hunt J Melksham M Hore. Gold Coast: B Ainsworth 2 N Holman 2 D MacPherson J Corbett P Wright S Lemmens W Powell.
Venue: Metricon Stadium.