Sydney win by 40 points
With the Swans entering the match having not won a match in 11 months (26 straight), and all previous twelve that season, a paltry crowd turned out to see them tackle a Melbourne outfit who had shaken off early season poor performance to win three of their last four - including a six goal win over eventual premiers Essendon the previous week to give themselves hope of sneaking into the finals.
Before the game Neil Balme denied his side would take Sydney lightly, saying "On form we should win but there is that danger because Sydney will win soon", and his side's cause was seemingly boosted when the Swans lost forward David Strooper. This left Richard Osborne as Sydney's focal point, and he was the match winner.
In a wild shootout Osborne kicked 10.2, while Melbourne spearhead Allen Jakovich had seven shots at goal but managed just 1.6. Just five weeks before Osborne had narrowly avoided serious injury in an on-field clash with teammate Dale Lewis in what some doctors described as a career ending injury, now he was delivering a hefty blow to the Demons. Melbourne discard Paul Bryce was also prominent in an unfamiliar ruck role.
After being 13 points in front during the first quarter Melbourne fought back to tie the scores at 34 all before the Swans took a narrow lead at half time after a quarter where the lead changed ten times.
They then blew the Demons away with a 10.4 to 0.1 third quarter to put the game beyond doubt. The point had come after Sydney had scored 58-0 for the quarter. Osborne got six of the Swans' majors.
Even a big last quarter by Melbourne which they won by four goals only dampened the carnage. "It's hard to put your finger on what went wrong in the third quarter" said Neale Balme after the game.
The Swans would go on to lose every other game that season, but would almost pull off the upset of the century when they pushed eventual Grand Finalists Carlton to one point in the last round of the year.
Ironically Neale Balme had seen it all before. As Norwood coach in 1989 his side lost to South Adelaide to end their 26 game losing streak.
Best were Viney, Tingay and M. Febey. Stephen Tingay was reported on video evidence for striking David Murphy during the last quarter but quickly cleared by the tribunal. Jakovich also jarred his heel on the hard SCG surface.
Melbourne 14.21.105 d. Sydney 6.3.39
Goals - Burgmann 3, Lamb 3, Doyle 2, Sullivan 1, Bennett 1, Norrish 1, Jeffery 1, Taylor 1, Mackay 1
Best - Cuthbertson, Hilton, Dyson