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Melbourne's late charge sinks Port in AFL thriller

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin is lauding the character of his club to emerge gritty seven-point winners over Port Adelaide after another week of controversy.

The Demons, a club centrally linked to the AFL's drugs furore, produced a last-gasp surge in their 15.6 (96) to 13.11 (89) triumph at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Goodwin and Melbourne were named in federal parliament on Tuesday night amid allegations of drug use, with MP Andrew Wilkie's speech triggering hot debate about the AFL's illicit drugs policy.

"That has been going on for three or four years," Goodwin said.

"One thing I know about this group is they are determined to play great footy.

"We are just galvanised. We get to work, we work hard and we put on a really high performance.

"So I am proud of the group, the way they are going about their business."

Goodwin, who has denied any wrongdoing, said the drugs issue had not taken a personal toll.

"I focus on being a good father, good person. And that's all I do," he said.

In a Saturday night thriller, Melbourne's Ben Brown booted three goals including the go-ahead major in the last quarter as the visitors - who trailed by four points at three-quarter time - booted five goals to three in a frantic finale.

The Demons (three wins, one loss) celebrated ex-captain Jack Viney's 200th game in a fluctuating fixture - the margin never exceeded 18 points.

Melbourne's largely unheralded duo Alex Neal-Bullen (two goals, 24  disposals) and Trent Rivers (27 possessions) were superb.

And their decorated trio of Max Gawn (50 hitouts, 20 disposals), Christian Petracca (23 touches) and Clayton Oliver (25) were all influential, while Bailey Fritsch and Tom Sparrow kicked two goals each.

Port were well served by veteran Travis Boak (24 disposals), Ollie Wines (25), Zak Butters (25) and skipper Connor Rozee (26, one goal).

Jake Lever
Jake Lever of the Demons marks in front of Port's Willie Rioli at the Adelaide Oval. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Darcy Byrne-Jones, Willie Rioli and Jeremy Finlayson scored two majors each in a game described as having finals-like intensity by coach Ken Hinkley.

"Melbourne were well and truly good enough to convert their opportunities," Hinkley said.

"We did a lot of things right and we didn't win the game - they (Melbourne) were able to execute when the moments got big."

Port led by five points at quarter-time and scores were locked 7.3 apiece at halftime.

Port made a move with goals from ruck recruit Ivan Soldo and Todd Marshall, in his 100th game, creating a 15-point buffer  28 minutes into the third term.

But the plucky Demons responded with late long goals from Brown and Gawn, after the siren at three-quarter time, to reduce their deficit to four points.

Melbourne kicked the initial three goals of the final term to creep 14 points ahead before Port's Finlayson and Rozee converted to again tie the scores.

Brown then booted his third major with seven minutes remaining and Fritsch coolly iced the win with a set-shot from a tight angle almost five minutes later.