Fitzroy win by 3 points
In their first clash of the year Melbourne wore black armbands as a tribute to fallen servicemen, including Keith Truscott, Harold Ball, Ron Barassi and Noel Ellis. Players then stood for the Last Post and a two minutes' silence for all lost league players.
Fitzroy kicked the first two goals, before Melbourne stuck back with two of their own. From there Fitzroy were the quicker side, but had no answer for Melbourne's talls and went into quarter time behind. The Demons retained their lead at the half, with Fitzroy failing to take advantage of their chances.
In the third quarter the game become a congested slog, and by three quarter time the margin was back to seven points. Having led at every change, the Demons looked home with 10 minutes to go before Fitzroy mounted a last minute comeback to win. In their first games of the year neither side was convincing with their teamwork throughout the day, before the Roys added vital goals in the last quarter due to systematic play by their forwards.
At the other end Fitzroy's defenders turned back numerous Melbourne attacks and converted potential scores into chances for forwards.
Jack Mueller Dullard and Smith were best. Mueller was reported for abusive language and suspended for four matches. The 19th man was Ferguson.
Sporting Globe attendance given as 8000.