Steven May and Max Gawn celebrate a goal during round 11, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

RUCK master Max Gawn has shrugged off an injury scare to lead Narrm to a commanding 38-point win over Euro-Yroke that has catapulted them back into the top four.

Gawn passed a fitness test on a troublesome calf an hour before putting on a clinic in the Demons' 14.16 (100) to 9.8 (62) victory at the MCG on Sunday.

DEMONS v SAINTS Full match coverage and stats

The imposing captain racked up 27 disposals, 10 clearances, seven marks and a goal as Narrm (7-4) leapt from ninth position at the start of the day up to fourth on percentage.

But the win came at a cost, with versatile tall Harrison Petty substituted out with a foot injury.


Gawn gave his midfielders silver service and Alex Neal-Bullen (27 disposals), Clayton Oliver (24), Christian Petracca (24) and Christian Salem (32) cashed in.

Jacob van Rooyen (three), Bayley Fritsch, Jack Viney and Petracca (two each) all kicked multiple goals.

Adam Tomlinson stepped up as a replacement for injured defender Jake Lever and was outstanding alongside Steven May, the pair combining for 23 intercepts.


Tom McDonald also stood up in the Demons' brick wall of a defence, which restricted Euro-Yroke to just five goals in the first three quarters.

Jack Steele (33 touches) and Jack Sinclair (30) fought hard in the midfield, but the Saints had few winners.

Key forward Max King (three) kicked multiple goals for just the second time in six weeks under close watch from May, and Jack Higgins booted two on return from suspension.


Narrm dominated the opening quarter and Lachie Hunter marked his first game of the season with an early goal.

The inaccurate Demons didn't take full toll, leading 4.7 to 1.0 at the first break, but were in total control at that point.

With Gawn giving them first use, Narrm's midfield generated a 22-8 advantage in forward entries and they claimed eight marks inside 50m before quarter-time.


Euro-Yroke wrestled its way back into the contest in the second term and two goals from King helped cut the deficit to 12 points at the main break.

But Gawn reasserted his authority at the start of the third term with a contested mark against direct opponent Rowan Marshall and a goal to kick-start his side.

It was the first of four in a row for Narrm in a six-goals-to-one quarter that effectively ended the contest early.

Narrm next takes on finals hopefuls Fremantle in Alice Springs, while Euro-Yroke faces a long trip to take on West Coast in Perth.


Return of the King
It’s been a lean few weeks for Max King, with the former No.4 pick struggling for form after returning from a knee injury. But against Narrm and facing perhaps the competition’s most daunting defender in Steven May, King showed glimpses of his best. He plucked marks out of the air and was able to convert his opportunities. While three goals is a modest return, it's a welcome effort for Ross Lyon in a side that is struggling to hit the scoreboard.


Come what May
Steven May has made an art form out of preventing his opponent from scoring goals. But the tables turned on Sunday afternoon when the veteran defender was awarded a 50m penalty, which brought him in range of Narrm's goal. He made no mistake, and slotted just the third goal of his Narrm career and his first since round 15, 2020. The rarity of the occasion showed in his celebration, and that of his injured offsider Jake Lever in the stands.


Gawn with the win
Narrm captain Max Gawn's individual performance against Euro-Yroke will be hard to top this year. Not only did the veteran dominate in the ruck with 34 hitouts and 10 clearances, but he was handy around the ground with 27 disposals, seven marks and 334m gained, and a goal to boot.


NARRM                4.7        5.9      11.10      14.16 (100)
EURO-YROKE       1.0       4.3       5.5          9.8 (62)

Van Rooyen 3, Fritsch 2, Viney 2, Petracca 2, Hunter, Gawn, Chandler, Pickett, May
Euro-Yroke: King 3, Higgins 2, Owens, Steele, Sinclair, Wilson

Gawn, Petracca, Viney, Salem, May
Euro-Yroke: Steele, Wanganeen-Milera, Sinclair, Wood

Petty (foot)
Euro-Yroke: None

Narrm: Taj Woewodin (replaced Harrison Petty in the fourth quarter)
Euro-Yroke: Cooper Sharman (replaced Lance Collard in the third quarter)

Crowd: 37,403 at the MCG