Melbourne win by 43 points
With their lead at the top of the table cut to one win and a Round 18 clash with fellow finalists Collingwood, the Demons needed to steady their season but were pushed by North until the last quarter.
Starting the last term two goals in front the Demons then kicked 4.8 to a solitary point but it wasn't as comfortable as victory as they might have liked on the road to the finals. The game had turned in their favour after North ruckman Brian Martyn retired from the game due to injury at three quarter time. Until then he had fought a tough battle with Bob Johnson in the middle all the day. It was later revealed he had suspected appendicitis and had refused to go off the ground at half time.
Defeat left North half a game adrift at the bottom of the ladder with a game to go, and ensured Melbourne would win the minor premiership regardless of the result of their clash with the second placed Magpies.
Best were Webb, Spencer and Ridley. Peter Marquis and Geoff McGivern were both late withdrawals with the flu - they were replaced by Sandral and Adams. Mithen (cramp) was replaced by Gleeson during the game, and Williams (leg) by Lane.
Norm Smith said "For a change, our attack won the game. Our defence, solid all the year, did not play to its usual standard. I think our experience and steadiness in the later stages allow us to get on top."
Melbourne 16.15 d. North Melbourne 3.10