The Gold Coast Suns have chalked up their third win of the AFL season with an unconvincing eight-point win over Melbourne.
After a tight first quarter, the Suns took the lead with four straight second-quarter goals and were never headed, winning 11.20 (86) to 11.12 (78) at the MCG on Sunday.
The last half threw up plenty of chances for the Demons to chip away at the Suns’ lead, but Melbourne left their run too late.
In truth, the match should’ve been all over by halftime, with the Suns butchering opportunities to put the game out of the Demons’ reach.
The score review system was called on early when James Frawley’s shot from the left of the 50m arc looked to be punched over the line.
But the goal stood, despite the review cameras offering multiple angles of a punch.
The goal sparked the Demons, with majors to Chris Dawes and Cameron Pederson following quickly for a 10-point Melbourne lead.
But that was as good as it got for the Demons, conceding the next 11 scoring shots.
Gold Coast’s midfield machine began to purr into action, denying Melbourne from every stoppage.
Only wastefulness in front of goal prevented the Suns from stretching this well beyond Melbourne, who trailled by 20 points at halftime.
The Demons showed greater intent after the break and were back within 14 points before a steadying David Swallow major.
A switch for Jeremy Howe to attack coincided with a shakier performance from the Suns’ defence but the Demons couldn’t make them pay on the scoreboard.
Trailing by 19 at the last change, a long goal-less spell ended after fifteen minutes when Melbourne’s Nathan Jones snapped truly to bring the deficit back to 13.
Gary Ablett and David Swallow goals looked to have ended the contest but another Melbourne fightback meant it was not until Greg Broughton’s 26th-minute major that the Suns could feel safe.