Essendon win by 21 points
With two of the league's also rans taking part in a late season practice match it was surprising that 23,000 fans paid for the privilege to see it. When Demon Carl Ditterich was announced as a late withdrawal with 'knee soreness' there must have been a few fans wondering if it was too late to get their money back.
Kelly O'Donnell kicked the first two goals of the match and was everywhere in the first quarter. Simon Madden booted three at the other end.
The Demons surrendered their lead in the second quarter but stayed within touch of the Bombers at half time. Robert Flower briefly bobbed up for a pair of goals before going back to being well held by Shane Heard.
The Age described the match as "an unexpectedly competent example of the fast, flowing style which incenses old timers who years for the high marks and long kicks of yore".
The Bombers did enough to win, extending their lead by just one point in the last quarter. Essendon finished one place higher on the ladder with four more wins for the season.
Ditterich, who had already announced his retirement, smiled and said he hoped for a final fling against the Pies in Round 22. He had been selected to play but was a late withdrawal due to his knee and was replaced by Garry Baker.
Essendon 22.23.155 d. Melbourne 12.11.83
Goals - Gaunt 3, Walters 2, Buntz 1, Cooney 1, Ellingworth 1, McLean 1, Maynard 1, O'Brien 1, Woodman 1
Best - Ellingworth, Maynard, McKaige
Reported - Chris Woodman for striking
Essendon 16.9.105 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83
Goals - O'Dwyer 3, Fannings 2, Battiston 1, Bell 1, Corrigan 1, Foran 1, Higgins 1, Loncanro 1, McKissick 1
Best - Higgins, McKissick, Locanro
Clayton may have had a knee injury