Demons down Suns for third win of season
Melbourne beat fellow AFL strugglers Gold Coast by 42 points at the MCG on Sunday, the Demons claiming just their third win of the season.
The home side led by 40 points at quarter-time after holding the visitors goal-less, but the Suns were more competitive after the first break in a game that had few highlights and attracted only 18,097 fans.
High-leaping Jeremy Howe, with two spectacular high marks in the final term, gave the fans something to talk about and kicked a well-deserved goal on the final siren.
Howe and tough midfielder Nathan Jones, who also had a solid game, re-signed on Sunday with the Demons until the end of the 2015 season.
Melbourne won 16.12 (108) to 9.12 (66) with veteran forward Brad Green booting five goals and Lynden Dunn playing a strong game in defence.
Green, 31, had a day out in his 251st game against 20-year-old fifth-gamer Taylor Hine.
Skipper Gary Ablett and fellow midfielder Harley Bennell were dominant for the Suns who battled on manfully after a poor first quarter.
The pacy Bennell outshone his champion skipper and was best afield with four goals and 38 possessions in a brilliant display.
Melbourne president Don McLardy had told a pre-game luncheon on Sunday that the Demons denied accusations from former Melbourne player Brock McLean that they had deliberately lost games in 2009 for draft concessions.
The Demons showed little evidence on Sunday they had improved from their four-win season of 2009.
Gold Coast (1-17) suffered injury dramas in the first half with Dion Prestia subbed out because of hamstring problems and ruckman Zac Smith limping off with an ankle complaint.
Melbourne's Cale Morton, who was struggling to keep up with Ablett, was subbed off with a shoulder injury.
Both sides kicked four goals in the second term as the Demons took a 38-point margin into halftime, despite the midfield dominance of Gold Coast's Ablett and Bennell.
Melbourne outscored the Suns three goals to one in the third term but Gold Coast kept fighting with a four-goal final quarter to Melbourne's three.