Snapshot of Hawks v Demons AFL semi-final

Michael Ramsey

SNAPSHOT OF THE HAWTHORN-MELBOURNE AFL SEMI-FINAL.

* Result: Melbourne 16.8 (104) def Hawthorn 10.11 (71) at MCG.

* The lowdown: The Demons were challenged throughout in a hotly contested battle but proved too good, with Jack Viney inspirational in midfield. The Hawks will again be left to rue a wayward performance in front of goal as the likes of Jack Gunston (3.5) failed to make the most of their chances.

* Key moment: Melbourne suddenly looked shaky when Hawthorn booted the first three goals of the fourth quarter to get within two straight kicks. Enter Jake Melksham, who responded with a sizzling goal from outside the 50m arc to stop the Hawks' run. The veteran forward snared two majors and a goal assist in an inspired final term.

* Key quote: "We had our chances throughout the course of the night and we wasted chances in crucial patches. We just lacked the polish and composure." - Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson on his side's inability to convert in front of goal.

* Key stats: The Hawks won the inside-50 count 17 to seven in the second quarter but squandered their opportunities, kicking 0.6 compared with Melbourne's 3.1. It followed a similarly wasteful performance in front of goal during their qualifying-final loss to Richmond.

* Tribunal watch: Plenty of niggle but nothing that should have the Demons worried. Tough backman Neville Jetta's first-quarter hit on Tom Mitchell left the Hawks star in a world of pain but was perfectly legal.

* Injuries: Tom Mitchell (Hawks, shoulder), Blake Hardwick (Hawks, quad).

* What's next? Melbourne are just one win away from their first grand final since 2000. They will take on West Coast in next Saturday afternoon's preliminary final at Optus Stadium, where they downed the Eagles in round 22 to secure a top-eight finish. Hawthorn's season is over after being knocked out in straight sets for the second time in three years.