Hawthorn win by 18 points
They were spared some pain at the selection table thanks to John Lord and Brian Leahy recovering from injuries suffered the previous week, and opted for a conservative approach to team selection other than the surprise move of Alan Rowarth to the centre of the ground.
The returning Terry Gleeson replaced Barassi and the other two interstate representatives Frank Adams and Brian Dixon were replaced by Ray Dawson - freed from playing up forward - and Brian Kenneally respectively. Debutante Herbie Matthews was named as a reserve.
The changes didn't save them though, and after a draw against Fitzroy Melbourne stumbled again and saw their lead in the race for a double chance sliced to just a game and percentage over Geelong. Hawthorn were the better side from the first bounce, and unlike previous weeks Melbourne was unable to launch a comeback in the final term.
Hawthorn kicked three goals in the first seven minutes, and only tireless work by John Lord stopped the margin from blowing out by half time. Norm Smith recast his team, switching his full-forward with his centre half-forward and putting Geoff Tunbridge onto the ball as a rover but nothing he could do would quell the home side.
Best were Lord, Rowarth and Mann. Gleeson and Dawson were replaced by J. Leahy and Matthews in the last quarter.
Melbourne 6.12 d. Hawthorn 4.4
Goals - Bourke 3, Thorpe 2, Unknown 1
Best - Leslie, Bourke, Roet
Under 19's (played 22 July)
Melbourne 15.24 d. Hawthorn 8.12
Goals - Emselle 4, O'Brien 4, Corrigan 3, T. Johnson 1, Russell 1, O'Neill 1, Hancy 1
Best - Hill, Corrigan, B. Johnston
"Hurt Demons likely to be ready" - The Age 12/07/1961
"Melbourne's surprise puts Rowarth in the centre" - The Age 15/07/1961
"Melbourne matched at own game" - The Age 17/07/1961
Football Record R14 1961