Hawthorn win by 1 point
1 - David Neitz
Last MFC Game
The so-called Merger Match was played against the backdrop of an impending vote to merge the teams. Hawthorn could still play finals, but Melbourne fans knew that if the merger went through it would be the club's last game as the Demons.
David Neitz kicked four goals in the first quarter to get his side off to a fast start, but a seven goal to two second quarter put the Hawks in front at the long break.
Jeff Farmer booted three goals in a five minute burst during the third term, and by the last change the gap was under a goal. In a tense, dramatic last quarter Jason Dunstall - who had already booted six in the second quarter - kicked his 10th goal, and his 100th for the season which prompted a crowd invasion that held the game up for six minutes. Dunstall had a night out against undersized defenders Luke Norman and Andrew Lamprill, who were forced to play on him due to the Demons' lack of tall defenders.
The Hawks needed to win to qualify for the finals and ensure that it wouldn't be their last match ever and they held on to win by the narrowest of margins. Meanwhile Garry Lyon, who had been out injured for months, described the week as "the most emotional of his career".
Melbourne 18.11.119 d. Hawthorn 10.8.68
Goals - Bradly 3, Corrigan 3, Gehling 3, Molloy 3, Parker 2, Doyle 1, Grant 1, McDonald 1, Yze 1
Best - Corrigan, Bradly, Grant
100th goal against
Age 02/09 shows Obst having the calf injury.
Football Record 1996 finals
Age - 01/09/1996
Age - 02/09/1996
Herald Sun - 21/04/2001