Despite a narrow loss against the resurgent Magpies a week earlier, Melbourne were still favoured to finish top of the ladder but were given a shock by the Maroons who held them to a draw.
Fitzroy tried to gain a tactical advantage by not naming their 20 players in position on Thursday night, instead leaving the final lineup to be announced on the morning of the game. It seemed to work at first as they took a lead into quarter time, but at several points throughout the day Melbourne looked set to put their power game into play and take over.
The Maroons never gave up, and the game finished with a hectic last quarter that saw the ball swing from one end to the other. Fitzroy took an early lead, but when Bob Johnson kicked his 5th goal late in the last term it looked like the Demons were home.
Fitzroy then struck back with two quick goals to level the score. With seconds remaining they had another shot at goal, but just when it seemed it was going to go through for any kind of score to put them in front the ball took an off-break and hit the behind post.
Best were McLean, Bob Johnson and Barassi. Case (cramp) was replaced by Crompton in the last quarter.
Despite dropping two points the Demons remained top, with an improved position, thanks to Carlton suffering defeat. Len Smith and the Lions ended up missing the finals by half a game.
Fitzroy 12.8 d. Melbourne 10.8
Goals - Brenchley 4, Milner 2, Bourke 1, Pinfold 1, Mann 1, Nilsson 1
Best - B. Leahy, Lord, Pinfold
Melbourne 10.11 d. Fitzroy 3.7
Goals - J. Leahy 4, Jeffrey 3, Clarke 1, Anderson 1, Bosch 1
Best - Baker, Clarke, J. Leahy