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Kysaiah Pickett faces scrutiny after Melbourne’s Gather Round win over Adelaide

Ben Brown helps Melbourne extend its winning streak to four matches as it downed Adelaide on Thursday night.

Ben Brown helps Melbourne extend its winning streak to four matches as it downed Adelaide on Thursday night. Photo: Getty

Melbourne livewire Kysaiah Pickett again faces scrutiny for high contact with an opponent after the Demons extended their winning streak to four matches with a 15-point victory over Adelaide.

Christian Petracca was outstanding and Bayley Fritsch kicked three goals in the Demons’ 10.18 (78) to 8.15 (63) triumph in the Gather Round opener at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

It left the Crows’ season teetering on the brink with four straight losses before a testing interstate trip to take on Carlton next week.

Petracca finished with 29 disposals, eight clearances and a goal, while midfield mates Tom Sparrow (20 touches, five clearances), Jack Viney (19, three) and Clayton Oliver (16, six) all had influence at different stages.

But the Demons have some cause for concern after Pickett left the ground in an attempt to smother Jake Soligo’s handpass before tucking his arm in and collecting his opponent high.

The contact did not cause major damage to Soligo, who was one of Adelaide’s best players on the night.

Pickett, who kicked two goals from 11 disposals, was twice suspended for high bumps on opponents last year.

Back after just one week out with fractured ribs, key defender Steven May grimaced in pain after an early bump but did well to hold Crows spearhead Taylor Walker to one goal.

Adelaide’s Matt Crouch (29 disposals, five clearances), Mitch Hinge (24, four) and Soligo (27, seven) fought hard in a losing battle while Darcy Fogarty kicked two goals.

The Crows started brightly, dominating the clearance and territory battles in the first term, but their wastefulness in front of goal meant their lead was just five points at quarter-time.

Five consecutive Demons behinds tied the scores before Sparrow’s brilliant smother gave Petracca the chance to snap truly and break the goal drought.

In a tight affair, neither side managed consecutive goals until Kade Chandler, Pickett and Jacob van Rooyen struck in time-on of the second term to give Melbourne a 17-point half-time buffer.

It swelled to 33 points on the back of three goals from Fritsch in the third quarter, including one from a 50m penalty when opponent Patrick Parnell knocked the ball from his hands after a mark on the wing.

Adelaide challenged in the final term and got within 13 points at one stage but had left themselves with too much work to do.

The result completed a successful trip to South Australia for Melbourne, which beat Port Adelaide at the same venue five days earlier.

-AAP

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