Melbourne win by 36 points
A new look Demons side saw Jim Stynes' little brother Brian and Sean Charles, who had just turned 17 a week earlier, debut for a side who hadn't won a game since Round 2, 1992. Charles was the star, bursting onto the scene with five goals on debut. The rookie had said that he was so nervous before the game that he'd slept in the office of his boarding school in order to be alone.
The changes did their job with Melbourne taking some of the heat off John Northey with their first win in eight weeks. Stynes was handed the difficult task of minding gun North full-forward John Longmire, and after a nervous start helped keep him to 'just' five goals.
North led by as much as 27 points in the second quarter before Melbourne's midfielders began to dominate the middle of the ground. Charles kicked all of his goals in the second half as North were restricted to four as a team.
The win coincidentally came in the week that sponsors Snowy Mountain Water had offered an alleged $400,000 to the players if they could make the finals.
Best were Pickering, Obst and G. Lovett. Rod Keogh was reported for striking Wayne Schwass in the stomach during the second quarter and was suspended for two matches.
North Melbourne 13.10.88 d. Melbourne 11.19.85
Goals - Sullivan 2, Mahoney 2, Beveridge 2, Kowal 1, Cuthbertson 1, Henwood 1, Williams 1, Bouw 1
Best - Kilmartin, Grinter, M.Febey