St. Kilda win by 11 points
For the first time since their glory era started there was talk of crisis at the Demons. A third straight loss meant they were on the verge of dropping out of the final four late in the season.
They had been battered around the packs in the last two defeats, and there was some hope that both Frank Adams and Ian Ridley would return to bolster their roving stocks but neither could play and St Kilda won a scrambling but exciting game.
The Saints showed superior pace in their victory, but 2.7 by the Demons in the second quarter while their opponents lapsed didn't help. They spurned a number of chances due to hurried kicking and poor forward play not befitting a premiership contender. Their centre line was well on top for most of the day but the forwards couldn't capitalise.
Down by 15 points at the last break the coach swung Geoff Tunbridge and Hassa Mann onto the ball in an effort to lift his rovers but it didn't have any impact around the packs - and while the Demons finally found some accuracy when kicking for goal in the last quarter it was too late.
Norm Smith said "The players tried their hardest. They came off the ground exhausted, but still we lost. The men off the field must now find the answers to remedy this flat spot"
Best were Dixon, Kenneally and Tunbridge. Milner (gashed forehead) was replaced by Leslie during the third quarter and Gleeson by Turner during the last quarter.
They stayed second when Geelong at Essendon, but with a match against the Cats the next week they couldn't afford to fail again.
St Kilda 8.9 d. Melbourne 8.7
Goals - Thorpe 2, Ireland 2, Breen 1, Carroll 1, Petty 1, Ridley 1
Best - Jones, Roet, Dawson
Melbourne 11.16 d. St Kilda 9.5
Goals - Corrigan 3, Emselle 2, Hancy 2, T. Johnston 1, O'Brien 1, McCubbery 1, Meldrum 1
Best - Hill, Kirby, Russell
"Ridley to return, Adams has chance" - The Age 02/08/1961
"Purpose, system won for Saints" - The Age 07/08/1961
"Demons place in final four in Jeopardy" - The Age 08/08/1961
Football Record R16 1961