MELBOURNE has broken a 10-year drought at Simonds Stadium with a stunning 24-point win over Geelong on Sunday.
The win spoiled Cat Corey Enright's 300th game as inspired performances from Max Gawn, Bernie Vince and Nathan Jones spurred the Demons to a remarkable 18.5 (113) to 13.11 (89) victory.
Melbourne had not beaten Geelong at Simonds Stadium since round 20, 2005 and suffered a crushing 186-point loss there in 2011 that still haunts Melbourne fans.
Gawn was simply outstanding in the ruck (44 hit-outs), in the absence of injured Cat Rhys Stanley, playing the best game of his 29-game career, as he gave Vince and Jones first use of the ball around the stoppages.
But it was the 23-year-old's mobility and height around the ground that was most impressive, racking up a career-high six contested marks.
Melbourne defied the script from the outset, leading at every change and booting five goals to the Cats' two in the final quarter to close out the contest and seal what was quite clearly the best win under coach Paul Roos.
"I thought we were on pretty early, which was important, and we were able to sustain that for the whole game which is something we've struggled to do against certainly the better teams," Roos said.
"For us to come down here is a fantastic win."
Led by Vince (38 disposals and 11 clearances) and Jones (35 and seven), the Demons were hungrier around the contest, smashing the Cats 160 to 131 in the contested possession count and clearances (53-40).
Cats coach Chris Scott said the Demons' work around the ball was the defining factor in his side's disappointing result.
"There were a lot of parts of the game but if you wanted to summarise it really quickly, they dominated around the ball and at the contest and were much better than us," Scott said after the match.
"They took their opportunities but we did let in some easy goals that, given the way we've played most of the time this year, were a bit uncharacteristic."
Small forward Jeff Garlett bagged four goals and second-gamer Alex Neal-Bullen three as the Demons kicked more than 100 points for the third time this season, even without star forward Jesse Hogan (hamstring tightness) in attack.
The Demons' defensive structures also held up well as they continually denied Geelong the use of the corridor, preventing the Cats from kickstarting their running game.
Geelong was sloppy, timid and turnover-prone.
With Jack Viney doing a number on Joel Selwood, holding the Cats skipper to seven disposals to half-time and 16 for the match, the Cats lacked their main man who typically lights the fire in the engine room.
Save for Steven Motlop (27 disposals and two goals) and Cameron Guthrie (21 touches and six tackles) Geelong found the going tough and looked well down on the side that defeated Port Adelaide by 23 points nine days ago.
Blowing a golden opportunity to push into the top eight, the Cats now slip to 6-6 and remain in 10th position heading into their bye round.
Notwithstanding the bitter end to Enright's 300th game, he was paid the respect he deserves, receiving a rousing reception from the Kardinia Park faithful as he was chaired off by premiership teammates Andrew Mackie and Tom Lonergan through a guard of honour of Cats and Demons players.
Geelong now finds itself back in the pack fighting for a top-eight spot and will travel to Adelaide for the second time in three games to take on the Crows in round 14.
The Demons have a tough assignment against the in-form West Coast at TIO Stadium in Darwin after their week's rest but will now approach the break in a buoyant mood.
GEELONG 3.1 6.4 11.5 13.11 (89)
MELBOURNE 5.2 7.3 13.4 18.5 (113)
Geelong: Hawkins 2, Johnson 2, Lang 2, Motlop 2, Kersten 2, Guthrie, Walker, Selwood
Melbourne: Garlett 4, Neal-Bullen 3, Howe 2, Matt Jones 2, Vince 2, Tyson, Gawn, Spencer, Nathan Jones, Stretch
Geelong: Guthrie, Motlop, Lang
Melbourne: Vince, Brayshaw, Jones, Gawn, Dunn, Viney, Garlett
Geelong: Murdoch (hamstring)
Geelong: Michael Luxford replaced Jordan Murdoch in the third quarter
Melbourne: Aidan Riley replaced Jimmy Toumpas at three quarter time
Umpires: Chris Donlon, Troy Pannell, Andrew Stephens
Official crowd: 28,007 at Simonds Stadium