Barry Hodges (7th game)
Desperate for a win to sure up their position in the top four before a series of tough away matches against premiership contenders, the Demons suffered a blow at the selection table with Stan Alves and Gordon Lawrie out through injury. Denis Clark and Graham Osborne were the replacements.
A tiny crowd watched the match in difficult, muddy conditions and North did their best work in the third when they kicked 4.5 to no score. The Demons had improved out of sight in round 17 against the Pies, but in the treacherous conditions at North their handball skills and teamwork went missing.
A last quarter revival led by Callery and Tilbrook helped the Demons score more than they had in the first three terms, and it was Callery's goal that levelled the score late in the day.
Chaos reigned at the final siren when one scoreboard at Arden Street showed the Demons a point ahead, and the main board showing the match drawn. Two points weren't enough to keep the Dees in the finals race so Ian Ridley and his players were hoping desperately that the goal umpires cards would agree that they had won. They hadn't and Melbourne's season was all but over, six points shy of fourth placed Richmond with four games to play.
Best were Wells, Biffin and Bourke. McSpeerin replaced Burgmann in the third quarter and Walker replaced Keenan in the last quarter.
The tiny crowd of 6522 meant both teams lost money on the day.
Melbourne 11.15 d. North Melbourne 10.8
Goals - Colcott 3, Ritterman 3, Dillon 2, Weekes 2, Taylor 1
Best - Ritterman, Dillon, Thomas
Melbourne 9.8 d. North Melbourne 4.4
Goals - Tesoriero 3, Anderson 2, Hamblin 2, O'Kane 1, Woods 1
Best - Woods, Aubrey, Anderson