Melbourne win by 52 points
Geoff Case (23rd game)
Needing a win to absolutely seal their spot in the top four the Demons had little trouble with lowly South, running away to a four goal lead at quarter time and never looking back. The margin was as much as 32 points before South regained some ground late. Noel Clarke had a slow start, losing the first six marking duals with his opponent, before bouncing back to kick 5.8.
South improved their play in the second quarter but they couldn't find a way past Melbourne's strong defence. When they got within range of goal they missed changes and only managed one for the quarter while the Demons strengthened their position with three. The margin was 38 at half time and Melbourne were on their way to the finals after winning just three games in 1953.
The Demons got the first goal of the third quarter, but when South responded it brought on their best period of play for the afternoon. They managed to break even at two goals each for the quarter but Melbourne were wasteful with their kicking for goal - 2.7 in total.
They put the game beyond doubt early in the last quarter. South fought out their last game of the season strongly but were totally outclassed.
Best were Melville, Cordner and R. Lane. Christie replaced Cordner (knee) in the last quarter. Brian Dixon replaced McLean in the last quarter. McMahen injured his thigh.
Melbourne 17.18 d. South Melbourne 5.6