South Melbourne win by 8 points
Appropriately, the first match after the death of Norm Smith the previous Sunday was between Melbourne and South. The Swans were second last but in better form, having just climbed off the bottom of the ladder for the first time all year. Under Smith’s successor Graeme John they’d snapped a 25 game losing streak a month earlier and won three games in four.
Having avoided disgrace against the top three teams in the league in recent weeks Melbourne should still have won, but by the time the small crowd shuffled out of Waverley, Melbourne’s season was dead and Ian Ridley’s coaching career was in almost as much trouble.
The Demons were poor all day. They didn’t kick a goal in the first quarter and trailed at every change. The margin was as much as 25 points at three quarter time before Melbourne launched a belated comeback. They held South to one goal on the last and kicked three quick goals at the start of the quarter through Callery, Wells and Tilbrook, to get back in the game but fell eight points short
Best were Alves, Tilbrook and Wells. McSpeerin (cut lip) was replaced by Williamson and three-quarter time and Clark (bruised thigh) by Cumming in the last quarter.
Melbourne 11.11 d. South Melbourne 10.10
Goals - Mills 3, Ritterman 2, Dullard 1, Giampaolo 1, Macdonald 1, Molloy 1, Payne 1, Tesoriero 1
Best - Ritterman, Delmenico, Morgan
Melbourne 18.11 d. South Melbourne 11.9
Goals - Rees 6, Ellingworth 3, Arundale 2, McMullin 2, Moore 2, Baker 1, Maxey 1, Moorhouse 1
Best - Moore, Power, Lierich