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Demon delight as Blues sink to a new low

Highlights: Carlton v Melbourne The Blues and Demons clash in round 4
James Frawley of the Demons marks during the 2014 AFL round 04 match between the Carlton Blues and the Melbourne Demons at the MCG, Melbourne on April 12, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
James Frawley led from the front as the Demons recorded a massive upset
CARLTON is a club in crisis after its worst start to a season in 25 years, losing to Melbourne by 23 points at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.

On a glorious day for the Demons, who won their first match since round 14 last season, the Blues plunged to new depths and remain winless after four games for the first time since 1989.

Five talking points: Melbourne v Carlton

Mick Malthouse's men trailed from early in the second quarter and couldn't muster the effort or spirit to match the desperate Demons, who won 12.9 (81) to 7.16 (58).      

The Melbourne faithful celebrated with vigour on the final siren while Carlton supporters headed to the players' race to vent their frustration.  

The Blues kicked 0.5 at the start of the fourth quarter before Melbourne converted its first shot on goal for the term, with Jack Watts putting his team 22 points ahead.

From there they held on for an extraordinary win, with heroes all over the ground.

Co-captain Nathan Jones (28 possessions), young midfielder Jack Viney (20 and four clearances) and James Frawley, who played forward and kicked two goals were all outstanding. 

Carlton was examined forensically after its humiliating loss to Essendon in round three and there will be no respite in the week that follows.  

It was the first time a Malthouse coached team had started the season 0-4 in 29 season, while Melbourne coach Paul Roos celebrated his first win with the Demons. 

"I thank the fans for keeping on turning up and I thank the fans that have sent me support and emails," Roos said after the match. 
 
"It's great to get some reward for effort. Today was obviously a step in the right direction.
 
"It's absolutely super-important to get a win … (and) to see the players in the rooms and the fans who have stuck by the club for so long."

Carlton captain Marc Murphy was dominated by Nathan Jones, finishing with just 18 possessions, while Michael Jamison lowered his colours against Frawley, who finished with 24 possessions and 14 marks.  

There were few winners for the Blues, with high-profile recruit Dale Thomas playing through a shoulder injury and young midfielder Troy Menzel substituted early with a corked calf. 

Malthouse said he moved his captain Murphy into the forward line in an attempt to take Jones out of the game.
 
Jones, however, still won 11 possessions in the second half to finish best afield.
 
"'Murph' was beaten on the day but it certainly wasn't lack of effort," Malthouse said.
 
"We had to sacrifice him forward to take Jones, who probably best on ground at that stage … out of the game.
 
"He's not a decoy, he was there to kick goals – we couldn't kick goals and he's a recognised goalkicker.
 
"We get Jones out of it and we put Murphy at the feet of (Lachie) Henderson and (Levi) Casboult."

The Demons kicked five unanswered goals either side of quarter-time to open up a 17-point lead in their best period of play for the season.

The run rattled the Blues, who were undermanned as Thomas had his shoulder problem examined and Menzel donned the red vest.

The Demons attacked the ball harder, used it better and kicked long to Frawley, who was relishing his new forward role.

The former defender entered half time with 12 possessions, seven marks and 2.1 to his name, playing in a tall forward line alongside returning goalkicker Chris Dawes and Jack Watts. 

At the other end of the ground, Demon Tom McDonald had held Henderson to just one goal as the Blues struggled to find key targets.

In the VFL, dropped forward Jarrad Waite was impressing and could have made a significant difference for the losers.



Dean Kent, Daniel Cross, Bernie Vince and Jordie McKenzie celebrate a famous win for the Demons. Picture: AFL Media

CARLTON          3.4   5.9   6.11   7.16 (58)
 
MELBOURNE    3.2   6.7   10.8   12.9 (81)
 
GOALS
Carlton: Ellard 2, Yarran 2, Murphy, Casboult, Henderson,
Melbourne: Frawley 2, Dawes 2, Bail 2, Watts 2, N. Jones, Dunn, Kennedy-Harris, Pedersen
 
BEST
Carlton: Simpson, Curnow, Yarran
Melbourne: Jones, Frawley, Viney, McDonald, Dawes, Grimes, Spencer
 
INJURIES
Carlton: Menzel (left thigh), Thomas (left shoulder), Jamison (shoulder)
Melbourne: Terlich (hamstring)
 
SUBSTITUTES
Carlton: Nick Graham replaced Troy Menzel at quarter-time.
Melbourne: Michael Evans replaced Dean Terlich in the third quarter.
 
Reports: Robbie Warnock (Carlton) reported for striking Jake Spencer (Melbourne) in the third quarter.
 
Umpires: Dalgleish, Mitchell, Mollison
 
Official crowd: 37,323 at the MCG.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs