Pickett bags six goals, Demons beat Power

·3-min read

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin has labelled Kysaiah Pickett a special player after the Demons speedster unleashed a six-goal masterclass in a 14-point AFL victory over Port Adelaide in Alice Springs.

The Demons were held goalless in a dour opening quarter but Pickett produced two goal-of-the-year contenders among a career-best haul to help secure the 12.11 (83) to 10.9 (69) win.

The result means Melbourne (13-4) are now a game clear inside the top two.

"He's a special player," Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said of Pickett.

"I think you can see by the crowd and what he brings to this community, and he played with that spirit in mind.

"He's worked really hard in the last six or seven weeks to get himself back into some really good form, and today it was on full display."

Port Adelaide (8-9) are a win and percentage adrift of the top-eight with five rounds remaining.

The Power take on Geelong, Collingwood, and Richmond over the next three weeks in a season-defining stretch of games.

"It makes it tough (to make finals), but there's still five games to play," stand-in Port coach Nathan Bassett said.

"If we win five games, we'll be a very good chance to be in the eight. There's still plenty to play for this season."

Demons defender Jake Lever suffered an injury scare in the opening term when he damaged his shoulder while falling in a marking contest. .

Port entered the first break with a 13-4 lead, marking the fourth time this season the Demons have been held goalless in a quarter.

Lever was able to return to action in the second term as Melbourne produced a five-goal blitz inspired by two magical goals from Pickett.

The 21-year-old scored Melbourne's first goal of the match when his fancy footwork and spin created space to nail a left-foot snap from the pocket.

His second goal was just as spectacular, with Pickett slotting a right-foot snap from the pocket while falling to the ground.

Jack Viney added to the highlights with a no-look handball over his shoulder to gift a goal to Luke Jackson from point-blank range.

The Demons looked to be in trouble when Port Adelaide opened up a 10-point lead in the third quarter, but it was Pickett who again turned the momentum back Melbourne's way.

A mid-air volley from the Demons speedster took Melbourne back to within a kick, and Melbourne were in front when Pickett kicked truly after receiving a high tackle.

A 52m goal on the run from Pickett midway through the last quarter made the game safe, and he brought up his sixth with another snap from the pocket.

Pickett finished the match with 6.1 from 14 disposals, while Christian Petracca tallied 30 disposals and 10 clearances.

Travis Boak led the way for Port Adelaide with 29 disposals, five clearances and two goals, while Connor Rozee racked up 33 touches and a goal.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley wasn't in attendance after contracting COVID-19 during the week, but he was still making important calls through the telephone.

"We had some good conversations during the game around what was happening," Bassett said.

"He was watching the game from home, from the four angles that we get."

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