Melbourne win by 52 points
Melbourne had lost two of their first three games in 1948 and gone on to win the premiership, so after two defeats to open the new season they still had hope of recovering in 1949 if they beat the Tricolours.
Footscray had former Demons Frank and Bill Scanlan but were missing their captain Arthur Olliver, and Melbourne took advantage. With the wind the home side were dominant in the first quarter but only managed one goal from nine scoring shots. Footscray's first score was a goal when they were 1.8 down, and helped them get out of the first term as best possible with eight less scoring shots.
The Demons shuffled positions at quarter time, and with Lance Arnold changing with Denis Cordner to go to full forward he immediately kicked a goal into the breeze. His side went on to kick four to two while at a disadvantage, then five more to nil in the third quarter to blow the game wide open. Arnold was the driving force behind Melbourne's win with seven goals in his new position.
The game was won at three quarter time with a 54 point lead, and with the Demons beginning to show fatigue they lost two points off their lead before the end of the game.
Best were Arnold, Rodda and McLean. Stone had originally been named as 20th man but was promoted to the starting side as a late replacement for McGrath (injured back). Roscoe replaced Rodda and Woods replaced Craddock in the last quarter.
Footscray 12.16 d. Melbourne 7.17
Footscray d. Melbourne