Melbourne win by 3 points
The two teams clashed for the right to meet Collingwood in the Grand Final. Melbourne had already beaten the Pies a week earlier, but the finals system in use during 1926 allowed Collingwood to play off for the flag despite their loss.
The importance of the match, and a strong wind, conspired to ruin it as a spectacle. Both sides spent much of the match, especially the first half, fumbling around with barely any bursts of quality football. Essendon kicked 1.6 in the first quarter, while Melbourne's 1.1 was affected by a number of kicks out on the full. In the second quarter Melbourne had all the play but Duff and Johnson were wayward up front.
As the players walked off the ground at half-time, Bob Corbett was attacked from behind by Bomber Charlie May and suffered a broken jaw. Not allowed a replacement, the Fuschias soldiered on with 17 men, but with skipper Bert Chadwick distributing the load evenly amongst his remaining players the opposition couldn't take full advantage.
Despite being a player short Melbourne extended their lead to nine points at the last change. With Essendon pushing hard in the last quarter they set out to defend, and with the Same Olds threatening in the final few minutes Corbett heroically returned to the field - dazed and bandaged - to inspire his side to victory. His assailant was later suspended for eight matches, and while the police failed to press charges it was reported that civil proceedings would be instituted.
Melbourne's score was their lowest of the season, and the lowest score to win a final since 1915.
Players complained about the slipperiness of the ball, a claim refused by ball-maker JS Sherrin who claimed players had contributed by putting coconut oil on their arms.
Best were Streeter, Abernethy and Tymms.