Melbourne win by 97 points
Peter Moore (also with Collingwood)
After their terrible start, the Demons ended the first set of home and away games just one game outside the four. Their fifth successive victory was the best of the lot, the club’s biggest victory since 1972. Sydney was one of the four sides a game in front of the Demons but had a terrible record at the MCG, never having won there since relocating to New South Wales.
On this occasion the Swans visited Victoria as the marginally better side but were destroyed. Melbourne’s 97 point win was so comprehensive that Sydney coach Ricky Quade lamented: “nearly everyone in the club let us down today. I hope they feel ashamed”. He only lasted one more game before being replaced.
Quade’s side was dominated from first bounce to last. Melbourne’s defence had regularly been their Achilles, but on this occasion, they were sublime. The visitors were kept to one goal in each of the first three quarters, and two in the last. Attacks were regularly being turned into scores at the other end, and after a seven goal second quarter the margin was out to 56 points.
The 21 goals were spread amongst 11 players, with four from the experienced Kelvin Templeton, and four from young Dale Dickson, who came off the bench after half time to join the party. Rain only slowed one side down, with a further 10 goals to three after the break.
Barassi rated it as the best game of his time coaching the club, but still rated the win over Carlton in 1983 as their finest victory. Their fifth win in a row set up a clash of the form teams with top of the table Hawthorn in Round 13.
Melbourne 17.12.114 d. Sydney 16.12.108
Goals - Reynolds 5, Battiston 2, Howard 2, Tanner 2, Ellingworth 1, Hutchinson 1, Kol 1, Wright 1, McDonald 1, Fisher 1
Best - Tanner, Fisher, Hutchison
Melbourne 13.15.93 d. Sydney 8.7.55
Goals - Lawrence 5, Paul McCarty 4, Sparks 2, Chant 1, Lyon 1
Best - Ward, Bourne, Paul McCarty