Essendon win by 3 points
Melbourne had sealed their top two finish and the double chance with tough victories over North Melbourne and Hawthorn in successive weeks, but they found a third thriller in a row against the desperate Bombers was a step too far.
Melbourne led at every change, but playing for a spot in the four the Bombers reeled them in during the last quarter, using their superior strength to gain a crucial win.
After 10 minutes of the last quarter the Demons were still three goals in front, but then Essendon mounted their comeback and snatched a one point lead with 10 minutes more to play. From there they only allowed one more Demon attack. Even Ron Barassi made a gaffe, trying to play on after marking 50m out and losing the ball. It was the fourth time he'd attempted the move during the game and none were successful.
During the game Robert B Johnson had kicked a goal which had struck an audience member. He ran to the fence and apologies, only to receive an "unladylike insult" for his troubles.
Best were Williams, Laidlaw and Fenton-Smith. Marquis (cramp) was replaced by Rowarth in the last quarter.
Despite the loss the Demons only required one win from their last two games to clinch top spot on the ladder.
Melbourne 9.10 d. Essendon 4.18
Goals - Wilkinson 4, Brenchley 2, Crompton 1, Pinfold 1, Kerr 1
Best - Gleeson, Massey, Thorogood
Essendon 4.13 d. Melbourne 4.6
Goals - Rolfe 1, O'Toole 1, Campbell 1, Butler 1
Best - Butler, Campbell, Gainger