Essendon win by 9 points
On a day when a freak fog played havoc with league games the Demons jumped to a lead early in what was billed as the "match of the year", but Essendon's small men and ability to feed their star full forward John Coleman helped them over the line. Coleman kicked 7.4 of his team's total of 10.12, and no Melbourne defender could hold him, but they did hold his teammates. If only the forwards had matched their performance.
Melbourne dominated the ruck but failed to capitalise on their early dominance, kicking six behinds in a row during the first term. They lacked organisation in front of goal, in stark contrast to Essendon's dominance through Coleman. The first two times the Bombers crossed centre they goalled, before Melbourne revived and Dockett's second goal had them in front. From 10 more scoring shots the margin was only 11 points, and the start of the second term Melbourne attacked again but were held out. The play swept to the other end where Coleman kicked his third.
The Dees were winning the majority of possession, but their wild kicking and poor organisation was negating the advantage. One Essendon curbed their ruck play and got the smalls into the game they became the better side, leading at the half and three-quarter time breaks. The game was well won before Melbourne kicked the last two goals to make the margin more respectable.
The season's biggest crowd saw Essendon consolidate their position on the top of the ladder, and while Melbourne were still in the mix for the top two there was scant chance of them beating the Bombers to the top of the ladder.
Best were Woods, Bickford and Rodda. McGowan replaced Arnold (injured) and Carlon replaced Dockett (injured leg) in the last quarter.
Essendon 12.16 d. Melbourne 8.6
Goalkickers - Wheatley 2, Love 2, Woods 1, Smythe 1, Mueller 1, O'Keefe 1
Best - Rollason, Mueller.
Essendon 15.14 d. Melbourne 6.9