Melbourne win by 17 points
With their finals hopes hanging by a thread, Melbourne welcomed top of the ladder Carlton to the MCG and delivered a stunning upset victory. It was the second time they'd beaten the Blues that season, but this one was crucial in keeping their finals hopes alive.
Melbourne had been inconsistent all season, beating top teams in spectacular fashion and struggling against or losing to the league's also rans. On a firm ground their top form returned at the right time, holding Carlton at arm's length all day - except for a brief Blues burst in the third quarter. Conditions suited them, and their pace troubled Carlton early. They kicked three goals to two in the first quarter.
They got the first goal of the second quarter to extend their lead, but Carlton kicked four goals to two for the rest of the quarter. Only the last goal of the term put Melbourne back in front.
The home side was better in the air, and quicker around the ground, but Carlton came out after half time to grab a three goal lead. They got the first two goals of the quarter within three minutes, and all Melbourne could do was respond with was five behinds in a row. It looked as if Carlton would take over, but late in the quarter the Demons had a four goal burst which put them back in front.
Melbourne kicked the first goal of the last quarter to extend their lead to 21 points, and their lead reached 31 before Carlton responded to cut the margin to four goals with 10 minutes left. One more Carlton goal made the margin more respectable but they were well beaten. An attempt to tag the dangerous Cooper with Les Jones, as Melbourne had Haydn Bunton three weeks earlier failed, and Cooper was one of his side's best players.
The result left Melbourne playing Collingwood in Round 18 needing a win to qualify for the four.
Best were Smith, Wartman and Gordon. 19th Man was Truscott who replaced Harley in the last quarter.
Carlton 20.19 d. Melbourne 13.11
Goals - Fanning 5, Unknown 8
Best - Gray, Gibb, Neenan
Blueseum match report