St. Kilda win by 46 points
In a rare scenario where they played their Round 17 match a week before Round 16, a Demon loss to perenial wooden spooners St Kilda nearly mortally wound their chances of a finals appearance. With a tough draw over the last five weeks of the year the much improved Saints made it almost impossible for the Demons to make it.
Melbourne jumped better, seven scoring shots to two gave them a comfortable lead. St Kilda were being forced into panic handball and were being handily beaten all over the ground.
The Saints eventually ground their way back into the contest with tough, uncompromising football and a five goal to one second quarter gave them a comfortable lead at the long break. Tony Lockett was well on his way to nine goals, but at the other end the Demons were constantly torching good chances. They had just one less scoring chance for the match but lost by more than seven goals and it looked as if the season was well and truly over.
Best were O'Dwyer, Grinter and Healy
Melbourne 20.5.125 d. St Kilda 10.12.72
Goals - Spalding 4, S. Febey 4, Eishold 3, Battiston 2, G. Lovett 2, Evans 2, Stynes 1, Jackson 1, Normington 1
Best - S. Febey, Chiron, Jackson
St Kilda 10.11.71 d. Melbourne 7.11.53
Goals - Unknown
Best - Unknown
"Ice cool Saints douse fire in Demons' belly" - The Age 20/07/1987