Hawthorn win by 11 points
Bill Nettlefold (also with Richmond and North Melbourne)
With the Hawks battling for top spot and Melbourne well out of finals calculations it was a much closer game at the MCG than anyone had expected. Until three quarter time it looked very much like following the script, with the Hawks leading by 43 points at the final change.
A major brawl erupted in the second quarter after Leigh Matthews knocked out Peter Giles. Ron Barassi said about Matthews "It's a shame that a champion has to resort to these tactics". No action was taken against Matthews.
Hawthorn built up a huge lead, and when Adrian Battiston goalled at the three minute mark it hardly seemed relevant. Neither did one from the recovered Giles at the nine minute mark but they were the beginnings of an avalanche which would almost deliver them a shocking victory. They hit the front by a point at the 23 minute mark of the last quarter and historians started to reach for the record books but Hawthorn steadied and two goals won them the match. Giles got three of the last quarter goals after having been knocked out earlier.
After the ill-feeling earlier in the match, Melbourne’s comeback won respect from their opponents. Some Hawthorn players hugged opponents at the final siren.
Best were Giles, Battiston and Icke. Gerard Healy (hamstring) and Johnson (bruised heel) were replaced in the selected side by Peter Tossol and Bill Nettlefold respectively. Brent Crosswell was reported for striking Michael Moncrieff and initially refused to attend the tribunal hearing, announcing that he was going to give the game away anyway. He relented, testifying that the contact came while “running full pelt” to lay a shepherd but was suspended for the last match of the year.
Melbourne were later fined $300 after an allegation that secretary Ray Manley had used abusive language towards the umpire after being handed the charge sheet relating to Crosswell's report.
Hawthorn 26.18.174 d. Melbourne 15.17.107
Goals - Clayton 4, Lawson 3, Catoggio 1, McCarthy 1, McGlashan 1, O'Dwyer 1, O'Kane 1, Sutcliffe 1, J. Tossol 1, J. DiStephano 1
Best - Clayton, Gordon, Lawson
Melbourne 25.23.173 defeated Hawthorn 14.10.94
Goals - Bergman 6, Bamblett 5, Connolly 4, Rugolo 4, McDonald 3, Hutchison 1, Judd 1, Withers 1
Best - Bamblett, Bergman, McDonald