Melbourne win by 3 points
Despite Melbourne having won seven of their first eight, the Saints entered the match as the popular pick amongst journalists, but it didn't go their way. Percy Beames, writing in The Age said that "St. Kilda has definate advantages over the Demons" in height, weight and physical strength.
Only two of the eight Age tipsers picked the Demons but by 5pm six of the experts had been proven wrong and it seemed that there was no way the Demons could fail to end their six season finals drought.
The day was a double success for Ian Ridley, with his horse Royal Playboy - owned with committeeman Reg Geary - saluting by four lengths at Ballarat, but his football side found it much harder to get over the line against the determined visitors.
In a low scoring match the two sides traded blows across the first three quarters which left the Saints just seven points in front at the last break. The Demons had been forced to strike back once already during the day, kicking 4.3 to nothing in the second half of the second quarter to steal a lead at the long break.
Melbourne appeared to lose concentration in the third quarter, and with St Kilda dominant in the ruck they kicked five goals to nothing during to make their position even more commanding, but two late goals by Paul Callery were invaluable in getting his side back into the match.
The Demons hit the lead five minutes into the last term and for the rest of the day not a single goal was scored, and St Kilda's three behind to one advantage failed to get them over the line.
The win kept Melbourne in second place in front of glamour clashes with Richmond (fourth) and Hawthorn (top) which would decide their season.
Best were Sullivan, Molloy and Biffin. McKenzie suffered an ankle injury, Alves a cut forehead and Biffin a bruised arm.
Melbourne 16.14 d. St Kilda 9.14
Goals - Carr 5, Theodore 3, Honey 2, McDonald 2, Colcott 1, Cook 1, McSpeerin 1, Cumming 1
Best - Theodore, McDonald, Collins
Melbourne 10.8 d. St Kilda 4.7
Goals - Dilnot 2, Smith 2, Kerley 1, McQueen 1, Moore 1, O'Kane 1, Tesoriero 1, Williamson 1
Best - O'Kane, Kerley, Harrold
"Saints' big men too strong" - The Age 29/05/1971
"Coach Ian Ridley lands a double - now he's chasing an MCG treble" - The Age 31/05/1971
Football Record R10 1971