Melbourne win by 61 points
The 1957 Demons hadn't been as dominant as they had in previous years, losing five times throughout the year. However in an even season it was still good enough for the minor premiership, and even though Essendon beat them by 16 points in the Semi Final, they thrashed finals debutantes Hawthorn by 68 points in the Preliminary Final to earn a second crack at the Bombers.
Melbourne went in with the same lineup as for the preliminary, but with John Beckwith (groin) and Frank Adams (knee/leg) both under injury clouds. Captain Beckwith was given a secret training run on the Thursday night before being picked, and Adams had to kick on his wrong side all night due to the pain his right foot was causing him. After a Saturday morning fitness test both were eventually passed fit and played, but Beckwith remained unsure if he could play and almost pulled out before being convinced to play by club doctor Don Duffy.
They had been accused of over-confidence in their first meeting with Essendon, but any hint of cockiness this time around had been replaced with steely determination. Ron Barassi booted the opening goal after 16 seconds and by the end of the first quarter they had put on six goals. At half-time the margin was 35 points and the match was all but done. A Norm Smith plan to have his forwards draw Essendon players in then handball over the top to a team mate saw six goals for the day come through players running into an open goal.
Despite their injury problems and the loss of Keith Carroll with a thigh injury during the second quarter - the damage had already been done. The Bombers broke even in the third term but stopped cold in the last and suffered a 61 point loss.
Essendon's rucks had been one of their strengths throughout the year but they were stopped by Bob Johnson and Dick Fenton-Smith, who picked a great time to play his best game for the club so far. Another Bomber advantage from the Semi Final that failed to translate to the big game was their dominant half-forward flankers. Essendon were poor, never attempted to impose physicality on the Demons and limped to a disappointing loss.
The Demons won the mark count 65-58 but lost the free kicks 26-12.
For the second time in the club's history Melbourne had won three flags in a row, the first club ever to achieve the feat twice.
Best were Barassi, Robert Johnson and Fenton-Smith. Carroll (thigh) was replaced by Thorogood in the second quarter and Adams (leg) by Brenchley in the last.
B: John Beckwith (c), Peter Marquis, Dick Fenton-Smith
HB: Don Williams, John Lord, Keith Carroll
C: Ian McLean, Laurie Mithen, Brian Dixon
HF: Geoff Tunbridge, Trevor Johnson, Geoff Case
F: Ron Barassi, Athol Webb, Ian Ridley
R: Bob Johnson, Colin Wilson, Frank Adams
S: Ian Thorogood, Peter Brenchley
Coach: Norm Smith
"Beckwith and Adams are Demon worries" - The Age 21/09/1957
Football Record Grand Final 1957
"Doctor had to talk John Beckwith into playing" - The Age 23/09/1957
"Brilliant team work behind Demons' win" - The Age 23/09/1957