South Melbourne win by 21 points
After a promising, but ultimately fruitless 1935 campaign the Demons were handed a tough task against the previous year's minor premier who had suffered a shock defeat in the first week of the finals.
In beautiful sunshine they didn't get the points, but Melbourne won plenty of friends by pushing the Swans for three quarters before falling away. They kept themselves in the game until the last quarter with accurate kicking, while South were wasteful. The high scoring match contributed to a record opening day set of scores for a VFL season.
South were the better side, and their pace and accurate passing by hand and foot got them over the line eventually. They battered Melbourne's defence all day but were kept out as best possible for most of the day. The visitors rarely got the ball forward but when they did they often scored - and in the second quarter managed six straight to cut the margin to four points. It took until the last few minutes of the second term for the more fancied Swans to grab the lead back, and Melbourne might have had more goals if their forward line had been better organised.
Melbourne took the lead in the third quarter with more determined football before South counter-attacked against them in the last term to take the lead. Two goals down with 10 minutes to play Melbourne had a chance but cost themselves another goal with lack of understanding amongst the forwards. South went on to steady and win comfortably.
Best were Long, Gibb and Ogden.
Melbourne 18.9.117 d. South Melbourne 11.11.77