Melbourne win by 46 points
A then all-time record home and away crowd poured into the MCG and saw a cracking match that ebbed and flowed for three quarters before Melbourne stormed to victory with a ten minute burst in the final term and assured themselves of a double chance with three matches to play.
They went in without captain John Beckwith, ready to resume after three weeks out with a broken hand but not risked by selectors, worried about him missing the finals if he broke his hand again. They also trialed high marking John Lord at centre half-back, replacing Denis Jones. They aimed to increase their pace, adding Frank Adams and playing Trevor Johnson in Lord's usual position in defence. Lord had a bad start to the day, while kicking a football in the warm-up he brought down a framed picture of the 1956-1958 premiership sides.
With a semi-final atmosphere in front of the big crowd Collingwood held their own throughout the first half. The first quarter was a nervy one and neither side had a goal until the Pies slammed on three in quick succession from the 28 minute mark to take a comfortable lead into the break. Until then they'd wasted a strong breeze. Melbourne's attempt to increase their pace was countered by the Pies, who matched them in the speed department.
The Demons had the wind in the second term, but it took them five minutes to get the opening goal through Geoff Tunbridge. Collingwood retained a seven point lead at the break.
The visitors then tired in the third quarter, and once their brave defence couldn't hold out any longer the Demons unleashed their withering burst. Melbourne had been lucky to be just seven points down at the break considering Geoff Tunbridge and Ian Ridley had been their only clear winners.
It had long been suspected that the Magpies were more suited to wet conditions while Melbourne were better on firm ground. The wet weather specialists had destroyed their opposition earlier in the year, restricting Melbourne to just two goals but back in good conditions the Demons romped home. They hit the lead through Tunbridge at the 24 minute mark of the third quarter, before another goal to Nilsson extended the gap to 10 at the last change. They then made sure of victory by kicking 5.3 to nothing in the first nine minutes of the last quarter to win comfortably and stamp themselves as premiership favourites.
Tunbridge, Ridley and Barassi were best. Nilsson and Case were replaced by Crompton and B. Leahy respectively during the last quarter.
Sporting Globe shows the goalkickers as Ridley 5, Tunbridge 3, Johnson 3, Adams 1, Nilsson 1, Dixon 1, Barassi 1, Laidlaw 1
Collingwood 12.14 d. Melbourne 11.15
Goals - Sheppard 3, Turner 2, R. Rolfe 2, Milner 2, Rowarth 1, Bourke 1
Best - Massey, Bourke, Leslie
Collingwood 15.25 d. Melbourne 6.10
Goals - Anderson 4, Leahy 1, Ingwersen 1
Best - Leahy, Wicks, Innes