Melbourne win by 40 points
Having all but confirmed their place in the finals with a thrilling win over Geelong a week before the Demons absolutely sealed it by beating the Bulldogs, also playing for the chance to win a spot in the four.
Despite Footscray kicking the first goal of the day 10 seconds into the match it remained tight through the first two terms. Scores were level at quarter time, and after both sides goalled at the start of the second quarter, Melbourne had the advantage by 12 points at the long break. The margin was out to 17 before the Bulldogs kicked a late goal to stay in touch.
The Demon defence, which had been criticised in recent weeks, put the clamps on their opponents and gave the rest of the side the chance to run away with a big victory during the third term. After Footscray had brought the margin back to seven points they were stopped in their tracks, with Melbourne kicked three goals in five minutes at the other end. It was a welcome change from the numerous misses of their inaccurate forwards throughout the day, with the score getting to 5.13 before Tunbridge goalled.
By the last quarter the Dogs were demoralised and the margin would have been even greater if the home side had kicked straight. Melbourne were dominant with more powerful players, a more aggressive forward line and a close-knit defence. They also shut Footscray captain coach Ted Whitten out of the game, kicking 3.7 to 2.1 to run out comfortable winners.
The win meant that the last round match was virtually meaningless as the Demons were six points behind first placed Hawthorn and a game and 30% in front of Geelong in third.
It was Melbourne's seventh win out of their last eight against the Bulldogs. Roet, Lord and Barassi were best. Nilsson was replaced by Milner at three-quarter time and Barassi (sore leg) by Massey in the last quarter. In his brief time on the ground, Bernie Massey was reported for striking and outed for two weeks.
Lord 3.2, R. Johnson 2.4, Rowarth 2.4, Barassi 1.0, H. Mann 1.3, Nilsson 1.0, Tunbridge 1.3, Dawson 0.1, Laidlaw 0.2, Milner 0.1, Rushed 0.2
The Sun times the first goal at 23 seconds and Sporting Globe says five seconds.
Footscray 16.15 d. Melbourne 13.4
Goals - Breen 3, Ireland 3, Matthews 3, Baker 1, Anderson 1, Lethlean 1, Petty 1
Best - Ingwersen, Ireland, Mooney