South Melbourne win by 56 points
The vastly improved Redlegs had fought their way to sixth on the ladder, but faced a significant challenge in bridging the gap to fourth placed South. They stuck with the Swans until half-time, but with Bob Pratt on the way to nine goals South booted seven goals to two in the third term to open up an unbeatable gap.
South was 14 points in front at quarter time, and though Melbourne got close in the second quarter they couldn't sustain the pressure. The game was played on turf that was very heavy after rain, affecting the footing and marking for players of both sides. Given the conditions, the visitors' short passing was risky but paid off. They had the first two goals, and ended with six of the 10 in the opening quarter.
Melbourne came out of the blocks quickly in the second term, with quick goals to Margitich and Beames drawing them within a point. This prompted South to kick two quick replies but they couldn't shake the Demons, who added three to level the scores. For the second time the visitors rallied, kicking 4.2 to a point for the rest of the quarter.
South made sure of the win after half time, with a quick three goals to Bob Pratt. Melbourne was resolute but two defensive errors led to further goals.Even after La Fontaine got two in a row, South cancelled them out almost immediately and led by 56 points at the last change. The last quarter was played out at a slow pace, with the result decided and the heavy ground having sapped the legs of both sides. The quality was further affected when the match - which had started late - ended in semi-darkness.
La Fontaine and Niven were best. Despite the heavy defeat it was Melbourne's best performance against South in seven years.
The loss left Melbourne three games out of the top four.
South Melbourne 16.14 d. Melbourne 11.20
Record shows a crowd of 24,000.