Melbourne win by 9 points
After seven Grand Finals in a row Hawthorn were finally stopped in their tracks by the Demons. Stretch and O'Dwyer returned after injury for a rematch of the Round 22 clash that saw Melbourne open up a 39 point lead before winning by two goals. 17,000 more fans showed up the finals game and the result was the same, without Melbourne setting up such a sizeable lead.
Despite their win Melbourne went in underdogs, but for the second week in a row Tony Campbell blanketed Jason Dunstall and the Demons managed to ride out Bennett being well held in the first half to only be seven points down.
The first goal took 14 minutes, and the sides engaged in a tight defensive battle. Hawthorn led at half-time but they could have had a far greater margin if they'd kicked straight. It took until the 18 minute mark of the third term for Melbourne to hit the lead for the first time, when an errant Chris Langford kick-in landed in the arms of Ricky Jackson who converted. Two minutes later Darren Bennett goalled from a free kick and with two goals in time-on the Demons went into the last change with a four goal lead.
The Hawks charged in the final term, and got to nine points behind as time-on was starting but their tilt was snuffed out when Greg Healy took a courageous mark running with the flight of the ball.
Melbourne would unexpectedly be given an extra week's rest after Collingwood and West Coast drew their semi final.