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22-Feb-99 Melbourne Bows Out of Ansett Cup
St Kilda last night advanced to the quarter-finals of the Ansett Cup by knocking Melbourne out of the competition at Waverley Park.

The Saints won by 21 points, 12.9(81) to 9.6(60) with new captain Nathan Burke starring on opponent Jeff Farmer, who was taken from the ground early in the third term.

The game appeared to be heading beyond Melbourne's reach early in the third quarter when full-forward Jason Heatley put the Saints 32 points ahead. Just as he did in the previous quarter, Heatley booted the Saints' first goal of the term after marking in front of opponent Marcus Seecamp.

But four unanswered goals by the Demons to end the quarter and a nasty injury to Stewart Loewe left the game wide open. Loewe was carried off on a stretcher after an accidental collision with teammate Shane Wakelin during a marking contest just before three-quarter-time. He later had three stitches in his scalp, but rejoined his teammates on the field after the final siren and should be available for Saturday's quarter-final against North Melbourne in Hobart.

At three-quarter-time Melbourne had reduced its deficit to seven points. St Kilda stretched its lead to 12 points early in the last quarter through a goal to Peter Everitt, but goals to David Neitz and Jeff White got the Demons to within a point.

Just when the match appeared set for a thrilling finale, however, the Saints banged on three goals in as many minutes to go a 20-point lead with two minutes remaining.

Heatley began the burst when he took a juggling mark in the goal square and converted his third goal of the match. Quick goals to Jason Traianidis and Tony Brown then sealed the victory.

While the Saints' forwards put the score on the board, it was their defence that stood firm during the match, restricting a normally potent Melbourne forward structure to just three goals in the first half.

Exciting new recruit Lenny Hayes answered a brief challenge from Melbourne when he kicked the Saints' seventh goal, courtesy of a free kick and a 50-metre penalty.

Unfortunately for the Demons, Steven Febey will miss the next four weeks with a fractured cheekbone. On a more positive note however, Scott Chisolm improved as the game progressed and James McDonald was very lively around goals. Neale Daniher was pleased with the form of some of his younger players but felt that the team 'weren't quite ready for the tempo of the game'.

Melbourne was without captain Todd Viney, Garry Lyon, Stephen Tingay, Glenn Lovett, Brent Grgic and Anthony Ingerson. The Saints did not risk Robert Harvey, who should be ready to resume next week after being hampered by calf soreness.

Melbourne will now play Carlton at 2pm next Sunday at Maryborough.

Goals: J McDonald 3, Neitz 3, Longmuir, Schwarz, White.

Best: Rigoni, Yze, J McDonald, M Febey, Leoncelli

Injuries: S Febey (depressed fracture of cheekbone), Brown (bruised shoulder)


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