Carlton win by 25 points
By virtue of their victory over the Bulldogs in round 17, the Demons were pitched into a one-on-one battle with the Blues for top spot. The added tension of 3rd place Richmond breathing down both sides neck for the double chance was an added angle to the race for the minor premiership.
Melbourne had won ten in a row, but could still miss out on the top two by virtue of their slow start to the season. They had the weight of expectation on them and in the first half it showed, with abysmal kicking for goal putting the Blues in the box seat to depose Melbourne and take the minor premiership. Carlton won the game with a brilliant burst in the third quarter, kicking 6.7 to 3.2.
Richmond were always going to beat Geelong, in their own three-way battle to avoid the wooden spoon, so it was up to the Demons to make sure they didn't drop out of the top two. Melbourne's abysmal first half kicking - including three goals from 20 scoring shots in the first half - contributed to their downfall, but after a last quarter revival where they finally got their kicking boots back on the Demons held on to 2nd place by just 0.5%.
Lock, McPherson and Wartman were best.
The two sides would be drawn together again a fortnight later for the Semi Final.
By falling under a hundred points for the first time in ten matches the Demons missed the chance to set a new league record, having equalled the previous record of nine the year before.
Melbourne 15.17 d. Carlton 14.14
The Age gives the crowd as 25,266. A played called 'Kingsbury' was in the selected side but did not play.
Blueseum match report