South Melbourne win by 8 points
Having battled back from the brink to turn a slim chance of making the finals into a very real one the Demons picked a bad day to turn in a poor goalkicking performance and saw their finals hopes derailed.
Melbourne had drawn to within a game and a small percentage gap of fourth placed South and a win could have put them above the Swans going into the last round but they blew it. It was small consolation that Carlton's win elsewhere meant they would still have to win both their remaining two games and hope the Blues lost both - including a match against St Kilda who had registered a single win for the year.
They had gone to the trouble of training on the Albert Road Ground because it was a similar size as the Lake Oval but despite dominating the last quarter they kicked themselves out of the match with poor shooting on goal.
Their poor performances in the first three quarters had put them in a hopeless position. South were surprising winners of the followers dual, with even the usually brilliant Denis Cordner forced to lower his colours while playing a lone hand in the middle, and their domination helped them take a lead into every break.
Melbourne had come from a one win, dead last season in 1951 to almost make the top four - and their season would set them up nicely for the future - but it could still be considered a disappointment to get so close and still throw it away.
Best were Cordner, McGivern and Wilson. Despite his three goals Clarke was wasteful with other shots when it counted. Ian McLean was hospitalised with bruised kidneys, Eddie Jackson received a season ending leg injury, Collins twisted his ankle, and McKenzie injured his groin.
South Melbourne 8.16 d. Melbourne 7.9
Melbourne 12.14 d. South Melbourne 9.4