GEELONG'S season has come to an end after falling to Melbourne by 83-points in the first preliminary final at Optus Stadium on Friday night.

The Demons were red-hot right from the first bounce at Optus Stadium, opening up a 29-point lead at half-time before cruising to a 19.11 (125) to 6.6 (42) victory.

Most of the damage was done in the third term, the Dees pouring in eight goals to none as Christian Petracca (32 disposals and a goal), Clayton Oliver (27) and Jack Viney (34) dominated in the middle.

Gawn was the main beneficiary, booting four goals in the 'premiership quarter' to lead his side to a match-winning 78-point lead at the final change. He finished with 33 hitouts, 19 disposals and six marks.

The Demons will attempt to break a 57-year premiership drought against either Port Adelaide or the Western Bulldogs, who meet in the other preliminary final on Saturday night.

It will be Melbourne's first Grand Final appearance since 2000.

Meanwhile, the Cats will be licking their wounds again having won just one preliminary final (last year's win over Brisbane) in their past six attempts.

While Geelong's bold recruiting of experienced players has been critical to their sustained period of success, the veteran Cats could not match the speed and power of their younger opponents. 

Champion midfielder Patrick Dangerfield never gave up and led the Cats with 29 disposals and a game-high 10 clearances, while wingman Isaac Smith (26) and captain Joel Selwood (24 and eight clearances) battled hard.  

MELBOURNE       5.3   9.6   17.8   19.11 (125)
GEELONG               1.0   5.1   5.2   6.6 (42) 

Melbourne: Gawn 5, Pickett 3, Spargo 2, Brown 2, Fritsch 2, Petracca, Pickett, Harmes, Neal-Bullen, McDonald 
Geelong: Cameron 2, Hawkins, Stanley, Miers, Smith 

Melbourne: Gawn, Petracca, Oliver, Viney, Salem, Pickett, Brown 
Geelong: Dangerfield, Smith, Selwood 

Melbourne: May (hamstring)
Geelong: Rohan (hamstring)

Melbourne: James Jordon (replaced Steven May)
Geelong: Shaun Higgins (replaced Gary Rohan)

Crowd: 58,599 at Optus Stadium