Essendon win by 43 points
A surprise run at the finals had seen Melbourne win six games in a row, and they were boosted in their quest for a seventh by the absence of Essendon spearhead Paul Salmon. A seventh win was not to be, after holding a slim quarter time lead the dangerous Gerard Healy was beaten comfortably by Mark Thompson, and the Bombers brought the Demon juggernaut back to earth.
With his side rapidly sliding towards their first loss in two months Ron Barassi charged onto the ground at half-time to deliver a spray to his troops. Shane Zantuck was singled out for special attention, leading to a slanging match between the two. Greg Healy was forced to put Zantuck in a headlock to get him away from the shambolic 3/4 time huddle. Barassi and Zantuck were reported to have made up over a drink at the Village Green Hotel in Waverley that night.
Not surprisingly the side failed to find spark in the last term and crashed to their 10th consecutive loss against the Bombers. They kicked just 3.11 in the last three quarters.
The master coach had his own critics though. Mike Coward in the Age noted that David Cordner had been bizarrely moved to full-forward from centre half-forward at half time despite playing a dominant first two quarters in his original position. Steven Icke was moved into the forward line as well and failed to fire.
Best were Steven Smith, Chris Connolly and Steven Icke. Connolly was reported for striking Paul Van Der Haar during the final quarter but was cleared. Richards suffered a cut head, Johnson a strained thigh and Reynolds an injured groin.
Melbourne 19.17.131 d. Essendon 14.8.92
Goals - McDonald 4, Battiston 3, Howard 3, Conger 2, Hughes 2, Hutchinson 2, Cowling 1, Fisher 1, Hutchison 1
Best - Allday, Boland, Battiston
Melbourne 22.13.149 defeated Essendon 9.6.60
Goals - Paul McCarty 6, Marra 3, Louttit 2, Lane 2, Nichols 2, Lawrence 2, Peter McCarty 1, Lyon 1, Cheung 1, Bourke 1, Duerkop 1
Best - Paul McCarty, Bourke, Peter McCarty