Melbourne win by 6 points
With two rounds to go Melbourne were equal on points with Collingwood and Geelong in the race to a top two finish and double chance. They had a vastly superior percentage to Geelong, but that would be no help if they didn't finish at least equal on points with them.
Hawthorn were still a long shot to slip into fourth place, but a loss would conclusively see them knocked out of the running. When they went into quarter time 32 points down it seemed that was almost certain, and by three quarter time they'd only taken a point off the margin. The lead was well deserved, the Demons had played fast, open football all day.
With their season on the line the Hawks then fired, putting on a spirited last quarter comeback which got them to just one straight kick behind - but time ran out. The Demons had slowed to a walk in the second half, failing to extend their margin with the wind in the third term and it almost cost them dearly. Hawthorn had opportunities to win in the dying minutes but marks on the last line of defence by Cordner and McMahen kept them out.
Elsewhere Collingwood were thrashed by Essendon, leaving them a game behind the top two going into the last round and confirming that the Demons could not be knocked out of the top two on the final Saturday of the season.
Best were Denis Cordner, Barassi and McKenzie. Christie suffered an ankle injury and was replaced by Wilson at three quarter time. Dixon also suffered a bruised elbow. Bull was 20th man.
Melbourne 16.18 d. Hawthorn 12.10
Goals - Clarke 5, Unknown 11
Best - Gleeson., Johnson, Baumgartner