A six-goal haul by Brent Harvey has helped North Melbourne stave off a resurgent Melbourne, with the Roos emerging five-point victors in an AFL thriller in Hobart.
At a windy Bellerive Oval on Sunday the Kangaroos won 21.10 (136) to 20.11 (131) but the scoreline didn’t do justice to the tussle and a stoic effort by the Demons.
The result came down to the wire, with Dean Kent finding the middle pins for Melbourne in the final 30 seconds, taking the Demons to within five points of victory.
Billy Stretch had a late stab at goal for the Demons to steal the match but it went through for a behind and was then ruled to have happened after the siren anyway.
Harvey was a stand-out for the white and blue, with 22 disposals along with his valuable scoring.
He found support from Todd Goldstein who finished with five goals and 38 hit outs.
The game went all the Roos’ way in the first quarter as they raced away with seven wind-assisted unanswered goals, including a huge 70-metre-plus bomb from Jack Ziebell.
By the first break the Kangaroos boasted a 36-point lead, with Goldstein’s 19-point contribution alone swamping the Demons’ total.
But with the breeze in their favour, Melbourne flew from the boxes in the second term and by the main break had a seven-point lead.
The third quarter brought the true battle as each team shared in the free-flowing, high-scoring play.
But the Roos narrowly took the upper hand with a 18-point margin at the final break.
Dean Kent was a standout for Melbourne in the fourth term, with three goals and four overall.
Max Gawn finished with 63 hit outs and Bernie Vince 32 disposals.