Melbourne win by 19 points
The Demons kept their finals aspirations alive with a gritty come from behind win against wooden spoon bound Richmond. After they had struggled before running away from another spoon contender in Richmond a week earlier it was hardly the form of a team about to play finals football, but the result was all that mattered now to John Northey and his troops. They had the first two goals of the game before the Tigers went forward, but came out on the wrong end of an 11 goal term.
They had to battle against a Richmond side who were playing out of their skin. After his king hit on Stephen Newport in 1985, Jim Jess struck another blow against the Demons by moving into attack and kicking seven goals before being calmed by Sean Wight in the second half. As rain and sun came and went through the day the Demons eventually ran the Tigers down. They had already had their chances to put the game away, kicking multiple goals at the start of both the first two quarters but had let the Tigers back into it to the point where they were 16 points in front at half time.
The rain came hard in the third quarter and Melbourne did better in the conditions. They were still a goal behind at the last change but ran over the top of the Tigers to win.
Best were Healy, Jackson and Flower
It left Melbourne a game and a half outside the five with three matches remaining, but they were rapidly closing the gap. The question was whether they had enough time left the complete the job. A computer simulation in The Age only gave them a 19 per cent chance of making it.
Richmond 19.17.131 d. Melbourne 13.21.99
Goals - Giles 3, Koop 2, G. Lovett 2, Battiston 1, Richards 1, Rugolo 1, Cordner 1, Turner 1, Newport 1
Best - Newport, Turner, Koop
Reports - Steve Turner (striking)
Richmond 15.9.99 d. Melbourne 9.13.67
Goals - Hewitson 4, Duursma 2, Howat 1, Cartledge 1, Normington 1
Best - Wayne, Gow, Cartledge