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Dees book prelim final spot in coming-of-age victory

HOW TO LISTEN ONLINE 

PRE- AND POST-MATCH: 3AW app or website

MATCH STREAM: AFL app or website

TONIGHT’S LINE-UP from 6PM: Dwayne Russell, Bruce Eva, Matthew Lloyd, Tony Shaw, Mick Warner and Tiff Cherry

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FULL TIME

Melbourne have stormed into a preliminary final, resisting a late Hawks burst to win by 33 points

Hawthorn threatened through the second quarter but failed to capitalise and Melbourne weathered the storm to through to week three of the finals.

Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca all played key roles over the course of the night, while Jake Melksham shut down Tom Mitchell to perfection.

“All your weaknesses are exposed during finals time and Hawthorn’s were tonight,” Lloyd said post-game.

Click PLAY to hear our full time wrap

Click PLAY to hear Max Gawn’s chat with us in the rooms

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HALF TIME

Melbourne lead an inaccurate Hawthorn by 13 points in an arm-wrestle at the MCG.

Tom Mitchell has shaken off an early injury to have 12 touches, while Ricky Henderson and Liam Shiels have a joint game-high 14 touches.

Tom McDonald is the only multiple goalkicker so far, bagging two majors.

Tony Shaw said there was “no doubt” the Hawks have dominated the game despite trialing at half time.

“Both sides were pretty ordinary going inside 50,” Shawry said.

“A few of Hawthorn’s defenders lost the plot in that second quarter.

“The Hawks have got to find a goal kicker.”

Click PLAY to listen to Matthew Lloyd and Tony Shaw’s analysis of the first half

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THE BUILD-UP

Another weekend and a packed Friday night crowd await Melbourne and Hawthorn as they look to book their spot in a preliminary final against West Coast in Perth next Saturday.

Demons fans won’t want to look back at the side’s only clash this year where in round 4, Hawthorn kicked 16 of the last 17 goals to win by 67 points.

If Melbourne are victorious tonight, they’ll win consecutive finals games for the first time since 2000 – where they made the grand final – while Hawthorn will be keen to prove the doubters wrong and enter tonight’s semi final as outsiders.

The Hawks dropped a selection bombshell on Thursday night, ruling out star midfielder Jaeger O’Meara (knee) while Ben Stratton won’t play either after sustaining a hamstring injury last weekend.

Tonight’s clash pits two teams against each other who nearly merged in 1996 and that’s sure to provide another unique backdrop ahead of the game starting.

Conditions could not be better at the MCG so make sure you follow all the finals action with Dwayne Russell, Bruce Eva and the rest of the No. 1 commentary team in the game on 3AW Football.

BELOW: Follow live commentary highlights throughout the weekend.

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