Hopes, dreams turn pear-shaped for Oliver and Melbourne

August 30, 2017

Mooroopna prodigy Clayton Oliver in action for Melbourne.

There is a heartbreak, then there is Melbourne.

Everything needed to go against the Demons at the weekend in the last round of AFL to miss out on the finals and it did.

After looking assured of playing finals in his second year at the elite level, Mooroopna prodigy Clayton Oliver’s season ended in pain.

Oliver was Melbourne’s best player in the disappointing 16-point loss to Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday.

A win would have secured the Demons their spot in the top-eight, but the pressure got to them and the Magpies took full advantage.

West Coast leapfrogged Melbourne into eighth spot after beating Adelaide on Sunday, consigning the Demons to heartbreak hotel.

Oliver picked up a game-high 30 possessions against the Magpies, continuing a season where he is likely to be named Melbourne’s best-and-fairest winner.

But his heroics were not recognised by the All-Australian selection committee, with Oliver missing out on the 40-man squad, released yesterday.

Meanwhile, Benalla product Harry Morrison had a terrific debut for Hawthorn on Friday night against Western Bulldogs in Hawks legend Luke Hodge’s final game.

Morrison, the cousin of Benalla gun Tom Rockliff, looked impressive as he gathered 21 possessions in Hawthorn’s nine-point victory.

He played 16 games in the VFL for Box Hill this year before earning a call-up to the senior team.

Rockliff’s weekend was nowhere near as good, with his Brisbane side picking up the wooden spoon as North Melbourne belted the Lions by 61 points.

The loser of the game at the Gabba was going to finish last and Brisbane was smashed after being 16 points up at quarter-time.

Rockliff kicked two goals in the first quarter, but was kept quiet after that.

Along with captain Dayne Beams, Rockliff will go in for shoulder surgery this week after battling injury in the second half of the season.

Kialla’s Alex Keath looks set to make a fairytale finals debut when his Adelaide team plays Greater Western Sydney in a qualifying final.

Keath played in the Crows’ 29-point loss to West Coast on Sunday and will look to nail down his spot for the minor premier going into September after making his debut last month.

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