Demons down Tigers by 55 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons down Tigers by 55 points

By Guy Hand 18/04/2010 05:48:42 PM Comments (0)

After two successive AFL wooden spoons, Melbourne are finally starting to stir.

The Demons posted their second straight victory with a 55-point thumping of hapless Richmond at the MCG on Sunday to signal their rebuilding program is finally starting to take effect.

While not quite in nose-bleed territory on the AFL ladder, the Demons are clearly on the rise - moving away from the cellar they have occupied in recent seasons to sit just outside the top eight on percentage.

Five goals to Colin Sylvia and exceptional midfield performances from Brent Moloney and skipper James McDonald guided the Demons to a 20.13 (133) to 11.12 (78) triumph, and rare successive wins.

Melbourne had posted just seven victories in the previous two seasons.

But they have turned the corner this year - losing unluckily to Collingwood by a point before beating Adelaide and now Richmond.

Coach Dean Bailey admitted some good performances after two difficult years would give a lift to all at the club.

"It's good for the supporters - no question. The boys are slowly building a bit of confidence, which is the thing we've needed to continue on from the last couple of weeks," Bailey said.

"We're headed in the right direction."

Melbourne did briefly look under threat after leading by just six points at halftime against a spirited, but heavily undermanned Tigers outfit.

Even without four players including Ben Cousins under club-imposed suspensions and injured skipper Chris Newman, the Tigers held the Demons goalless in the second term.

But with Demons president Jim Stynes watching on in the crowd just days after surgery to remove several brain tumours, Melbourne lifted markedly after halftime - booting seven goals to the Tigers' two behinds.

Forward Brad Green, who finished with four goals, and clearance specialist Moloney helped Melbourne take total control in the third term.

Moloney finished with 37 possessions, nine tackles and nine clearances, while McDonald continued on from a strong first half to gather 30 touches for the match.

The Tigers remain winless in their opening four matches, bottom of the table and warm favourites to claim the wooden spoon from the Demons.

All Richmond's defeats this season have been by 55 points or more.

But Tigers coach Damien Hardwick felt his side had been competitive for three quarters - lamenting their third term fadeout.

And he also aimed a barb at his quartet of players suspended by the club after defender Daniel Connors' alcohol-fuelled antics got out of control in a Sydney hotel the previous week.

"For three quarters we were okay. In that third quarter we let ourselves down badly," Hardwick said.

"We are a very young list, but unfortunately when four players put their hands up and get themselves suspended, it doesn't certainly help us."

Tigers defender Kelvin Moore was outstanding for his well beaten side, while Jack Riewoldt and first-gamer David Astbury booted three goals apiece.

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