Demons’ streak grows with big win over GWS

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Melbourne have reached the outright second-longest winning run in club history by extending their streak to a dozen matches with a 67-point AFL thrashing of GWS.

A dominant 10-goal third quarter was the catalyst as the Demons registered their highest score of the season in the 19.6 (120) to 7.11 (53) win at the MCG.

Christian Petracca starred with 29 disposals and two goals as Max Gawn, Jack Viney and Clayton Oliver (31 disposals, seven clearances) all shone in the engine room.

Bayley Fritsch (four goals) and Kysaiah Pickett (three) fired in attack, while Harrison Petty returned from injury to play an influential role alongside rock-solid Steven May in executing the Dees’ defensive intercept game.

Melbourne’s 12-match winning run dates back to round 20 last year and includes the drought-breaking grand final victory.

But it is still well short of the club-record 19 straight victories across 1955-56.

The latest performance didn’t set hearts racing in the first half but was still enough to blow away a GWS side that was good enough to reach the second week of last year’s finals series.

The Giants dominated clearances (15-3), contested possessions (46-33) and insides-50s (19-9) in the first quarter as co-captains Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio got to work.

But Melbourne managed to keep their opponents goalless in the opening term for the third straight week as May and Petty led the rebounding efforts.

Umpire backchat will be a hot topic of discussion again after the Demons were pinged 50-metres for disagreeing with a free kick paid to a ducking Bobby Hill for a high tackle.

The resulting goal trimmed the margin to 19 points, 10 minutes after half-time.

But Pickett nailed the quick reply and four goals in a seven-minute burst helped the Demons kick away during a 10.2 to 2.2 third-quarter demolition.

It was the highest-scoring quarter by any team this season.

Tom Sparrow’s lunge to knock back a loose ball and set up a goal for Fristch in the final quarter epitomised Melbourne’s superior work rate and desperation.

Tom Green (35 disposals), Kelly (33) and Callan Ward (34) won plenty of the ball for GWS and Hill finished with two goals.

No.3 draft pick Finn Callaghan had 13 disposals and kicked a late goal on debut.

Just 20,791 fans were on hand to witness Melbourne’s third home game of the season, their first against an interstate opponent.

A total of more than 102,000 saw the reigning premiers’ opening two home games against Victorian rivals.

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