Melbourne win by 12 points
First Game as Coach
In the pre-season Carl Ditterich had announced that his new side would make the finals in 1979. It was a bold claim for a team that won the wooden spoon in 1978, but for four quarters at the MCG it looked like they might just make it after all.
The members gave the team a standing ovation at the end of the game, and for now nobody seemed too concerned that Footscray were one of the five sides the Demon had beaten in '78.
There were still questions over the Melbourne lineup, and the defence still looked brittle in the first half. Kelvin Templeton kicked 5.4 against his future employers, but was quietened in the second half when Ditterich moved Steven Smith moved onto him.
26 minutes into the second quarter the Demons led by 34 points but the Dogs gradually fought back over the next two quarters.
Ditterich himself played a quality first game back at the Demons, but he was overshadowed by the man he tipped to win the Brownlow, Robert Flower. Both his goals were kicked after mazy runs through the Bulldog defence.
The paper thin backline would prove to be the Demons undoing multiple times throughout the season, but on this Saturday it held firm long enough to deliver the four points.
Flower, Ditterich and Smith were best. Garry Baker suffered a knee injury when he was kicked during the match and missed six matches.
Footscray 18.19.127 d. Melbourne 18.17.125
Goals - Woodman 5, Code 2, Hunnibell 2, Walters 1, Gordon 1, Maynard 1, Begg 1, Wallace 1, McKeon 1, Johnston 1, Whitfort 1, Norsworthy 1
Best - Maynard, Gordon, Hunnibell
Reports - Walters (spitting in face of umpire)
Footscray 12.13.85 defeated Melbourne 8.4.62
Goals - Denko 3, Dickson 2, Bull 1, Juliffe 1, Stromjlani 1
Best - Parrish, Bardoel, Boyle
Age - 09/04/1979
Football Record R2 1979