Melbourne win by 9 points
Refreshed by the interstate carnival break and a good first up win against Geelong on the resumption of play the Demons were hardly impressive in dispatching North, but as the season came to an end the most important thing was to rack up wins and defend top spot on the ladder.
North were challenging for a spot in the finals, and they played like a top four team throughout the day. They led by seven points at the first break, and continued to have most of the play but Melbourne recovered to take a two point lead into the break.
The Demons looked second best for most of the second half, and North took an eight point lead into the last quarter. Melbourne had been denied a goal to Ron Barassi when it was deemed the ball had hit him above the knee. He remonstrated angrily but the decision stood.
North could have been further in front if they hadn't missed several easy shots on goal. The margin stretched to three goals in the third before the Demons hit back, and they overran North in the last quarter to seal their spot in the four.
It took until the second half for Brian Dixon, Laurie Mithen and Ian McLean to come into the game, and even makeshift centre half-forward Bob Turner contributed during the comeback despite not kicking a goal. Two late goals to Athol Webb won the game, before Neil Crompton added one for insurance at the end before North got a late goal to bring the margin back under 10 points.
Best were Barassi, Carroll and Williams. Lord (pinched knee cartilege) was replaced by Jones in the third quarter and Adams (pulled thigh) by Crompton in the last quarter. Turner (bruised hip), Ridley (bruised arm), Case (bruised foot) and Marquis (bruised hip) also suffered injuries during the match. Lord was carried off on a stretcher, but after the game the club said that was only because it was the fastest way to get him off the ground and he played the following week.
Adams 1.0, Barassi 2.4, Case 1.0, Crompton 1.0, Dixon 1.0, T. Johnson 0.1, McLean 0.2, Tunbridge 1.1, Webb 3.0
North Melbourne 9.9 d. Melbourne 7.11
Goals - Kerr 2, Brenchley 2, Pinfold 2, Gleeson 1
Best - Kerr, Pinfold, McKenzie
Melbourne 10.11 d. North Melbourne 6.9
Goals - Anderson 4, Butler 2, Rolfe 1, McIvor 1, Breen 1, Campbell 1