Saturday 12 June
Venue: Hotham Cricket Ground
Goalkickers: Lyons 1, Dodds 1
Melbourne win by 1 goal
After four losses and a draw to open the season, Melbourne finally broke through for a win thanks to a good second half and poor conversion by their opponents.
A large crowd turned up to see the Reds take on one of the sides who they had been most competitive with during a string of disappointing seasons, but at half time it looked like the home team were more likely to break through. They had five scoring shots but failed to register a major, but Melbourne didn't score at all.
Melbourne were fielding a weak side without several of their best players, and their defense was under siege early - with Franks and his fellow defenders forced to battle to keep Hotham out. Melbourne never took the ball past the centre of the ground in the first quarter but they stopped Hotham from taking advantage of their superiority by restricting them to a pair of minors.
Hotham attacked again to open the second quarter, but once again the defence held firm even if the forwards were unused. Towards the end of the first half the visitors picked up their play, and when the third quarter started they rushed forward and took advantage of a defensive blunder to register their first major. The home side botched a golden opportunity to equalise shortly afterwards due to selfish play, remaining goalless going into the last quarter.
Rain began to fall during the fourth term, and Melbourne started to kick the ball along the ground rather than pick it up - and the tactic allowed them to kick the second goal of the game through Dodds.
Hotham worked hard from there to stave off defeat and battled back to register their first goal from a scrimmage. They might have gotten another shortly afterwards but blew their chance of an equaliser and Melbourne were home for the first time all year.
Best were Murphy, Carroll and Mouritz.
Baird, Bailey, Buscombe, Carroll, Coulson, Dickeson, Franks, Johnson, Johnson, Lyons, Murphy, Millard, Mouritz, Morgan, McCrindle, Morrison, O'Bern, Robinson, Spooner, Tuckfield.
Some sources have Hotham on 1.12