Melbourne is through to the grand final following an emphatic 83-point triumph over Geelong, edging a step closer to ending its 57-year premiership drought.
Demons captain Max Gawn kicked five goals in the 19.11 (125) to 6.6 (42) preliminary-final win in front of 58,599 spectators at Perth Stadium.
In just six minutes of actual playing time during the third quarter of Friday night's match, Gawn kicked four of his goals to help turn a 29-point half-time lead into a convincing 70-point margin.
The Demons slammed through eight goals to nil during a third-quarter romp, and the final result means they are now just one win away from snaring their first flag since 1964.
Melbourne will meet either Port Adelaide or the Western Bulldogs in the grand final in Perth on September 25.
But the win over Geelong might come at a cost, with star defender Steven May suffering an injury scare to his right hamstring in the opening term.
Although May was able to play on until being subbed out in the third quarter once the result was settled, he looked restricted at times and is set to undergo scans to determine the extent of the injury.
Gawn finished with a career-best haul on goal from 19 disposals in a best-afield display, while Christian Petracca (32 disposals, eight clearances) and Jack Viney (34 disposals, nine clearances) were also influential.
Cats star Patrick Dangerfield (29 disposals, 10 clearances) did his best, but Geelong was outgunned from the outset.
The result could mark the beginning of a belated freefall for the Cats, who have missed the finals just twice since 2004, and have reached the preliminary final stage in five of the past six years.
The Cats fielded 11 players who were 30 years or over, and they face a fight to keep their premiership window open in 2022 and beyond.
The nature in which they were dismantled by the Demons is cause for concern, with the Cats made to look old and slow throughout the match.
Melbourne led by 27 points at quarter-time, with Geelong's structure crumbling under the Demons' quick-fire run and spread.
Alarm bells were ringing for Geelong when the scoreline read 60-19 late in the second term.
Goals to Tom Hawkins and Isaac Smith to finish the half closed the margin to 29 points, but the third quarter belong to Gawn, as the All-Australian ruckman produced a series of stunning highlights.
Gawn's first goal of the quarter was something to behold, with the ruckman doing his best impression of a midfielder by receiving a handball from Petracca after a centre bounce before nailing a 52-metre goal on the run.
Getty Images: Will Russell)
His third goal of the quarter was a show of strength, with Gawn outmuscling Mark Blicavs in the ruck before snapping truly from a tight angle.
And he set the crowd alight a short time later when he took a strong contested mark to boot his fourth goal for the term.
The Demons kicked 8.2 to 0.1 for the quarter, with Geelong players left stunned.
Chants of "Gawny, Gawny" erupted around the stadium as Gawn lined up for what would have been goal number six in the final term, but the 50-metre set shot sailed out on the full.
Posted 10 Sep 2021 10 Sep 2021 Fri 10 Sep 2021 at 9:14am, updated 10 Sep 2021 10 Sep 2021 Fri 10 Sep 2021 at 1:24pm