South Melbourne win by 7 points
Claude Bryan (17th game)
With two weeks to go until finals South Melbourne needed to beat Melbourne and win their last two games, while hoping Melbourne also lost their final game before a last round bye to effect a large change in the percentage of the two sides to try and get into the finals. They got the desired result to keep the battle alive but their slim margin of victory all but ensured they wouldn't be able to snatch fourth place no matter what happened.
Melbourne had a run of losing the toss, so when McKenzie surprisingly won his players that had already lined up to kick against the breeze had to change ends.
In a soft ground the two teams were locked together most of the day, with the margins of two and one to South at the first two breaks before the game was level at three-quarter time.Scores had been level eight times during the match.
For the first 15 minutes of the last quarter Melbourne had the upper hand and would have put the result beyond doubt if their forwards had finished better. Then Len Incigneri, playing in what would be his last game of VFL football, sparked a crowd riot after being reported for striking South Melbourne's Payne behind the play.
On a day where it was reported that 115 free kicks (59-56 to South) were paid and players on both sides had been felled in behind the play incidents, the fans had had enough and approximately 2000 of them stormed the field for a melee.
With police unable to control the situation, one fan attempted to attack Alf George and was given a bloodied nose for his trouble - causing sections of the mob to turn on George. Jack Baquie, who wasn't playing, tried to involve himself and was knocked out by a soldier. Incigneri was forced to leave the field to avoid the prospect of violence, was suspended for eight matches and never played for Melbourne again.
Anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes were wasted, and despite the melee Incigneri was the only player who was reported. Melbourne were in front at the disturbance, but with one less player they quickly ceded the lead.
The game itself was overshadowed by the unsavoury incident at the end, but it was an exciting one that saw South close the gap on the four with a win. The result left them needing the Reds to lose their last game for them to win both remaining matches to sneak into the four after starting as one of the favourites for the premiership.
Allan, McKenzie and Lilley were best.
The Incigneri incident was later captured in a poem:
"It was a glorious football game,
With "biff" and "scrap" galore;
Just as a battlefield the same,
The turf was dyed with gore.
A gent named Incigneri
Went looking round for "Payne,"
In manner free and cheery
He stoushed and not in vain.
Then o'er the fence with a rattle,
The South supporters flew,
In haste to join the battle,
To do, or not to do.
The fray waxed hot and merry,
It was a glorious sight;
A useful training, very,
For that grimmer, distant fight"