Melbourne win by 7 points
The Redlegs won their second straight match to start the year, but they were assisted by the shocking kicking for goal of their opponents. Neither side put in a quality performance, with both teams struggling to come to terms with a new holding the ball rule and spending too much time attempting to bump each other off the ball.
Melbourne's wasn't much better, but three goals to one in the last quarter were enough to take the lead even when the Pivotonians stopped kicking behinds. The inaccuracy was aided by a strong breeze which didn't drop off until the last quarter.
Geelong had first use of the wind but it was so strong that even short kicks were being carried out of bounds or scored only behinds. With numerous free kicks affecting the pace of the game both teams managed a goal each in the first quarter. By half time the locals led by a point despite having kicked a goal less.
They continued their woeful conversion in the third quarter, and only opened up an eight point lead going into the last break. The wind died down in the last and the game became a much better spectacle. Melbouren goalled first but Geelong soon replied and the two sides battled until five minutes from the end where the scores were level before the game was sealed by a late Bert Chadwick mark and goal.
Melbourne's best were Deane, Warne-Smith and Dunbar. On his return to the VFL after five years it was initially feared that Warne-Smith had suffered a serious injury but X-rays revealed only a bruised muscle. He was lucky to be able to play, with his clearance only reaching Melbourne at 11.50am on game day despite it having been sent to Tasmania in February. Wittman suffered a blow to the groin, Thomas a cut, Barnes a leg strain and Hope pulled up lame.
Chadwick takes the winning mark.
Geelong 15.12.102 d. Melbourne 3.6.24