Footscray win by 1 point
Inefficient kicking came back to haunt the Demons for the third time in a month as they racked up 1.10 in the first quarter. It gave them the lead, but by half-time the Bulldogs were 21 points in front. Throughout the day they squandered a number of easy chances, which had been a feature of their performances over the previous few weeks.
Although Melbourne's Cordner and Johnson won the ruck duals their rovers failed to take appropriate advantage, and the superior pace displayed by the Demons in the first meeting between the two sides in 1955 was absent. Their forward play was also haphazard, contrasted with Footscray's attacking tactics which fed Jack Collins 7.1 for the day.
There was controversy during the third quarter when field umpire Robinson refused to allow Melbourne trainer Hughie McPherson to attend to an injured player during the third quarter. McPherson and Norm Smith were known to stretch the role of trainer into that of a modern day runner. The Demons lodged a complaint with the VFL and the league eventually allowed each team to field an official runner.
Scores were level twice, and the lead changed three times in the last 15 minutes. After resting ruckman Bob Johnson kicked three last quarter goals to give his side a five point lead late in the game, Bulldog Alan Trusler kicked a goal in the dying minutes to give Footscray the win and hand the Demons their third loss in four games. The loss seriously dented confidence in Melbourne as premiership contenders.
Best were McGivern, Marquis and McMahen. Webster was replaced by Adams after suffering a bruised shin.
Melbourne 16.14 d. Footscray 12.13
Goals - Unknown
Best - Baumgartner, McKenzie, Mountain
Footscray 10.6 d. Melbourne 6.10
One point games