Melbourne win by 12 points
Despite being forced to alter their team drastically due to five injuries Melbourne took small revenge for their Grand Final defeat in September 1954.
The Demons were forced to try the lightly built Geoff Case at full-forward, and play Ken Christie at centre half-back. Christie played a good game in defence and Case had plenty of opportunities up front but spoiled his day by kicking poorly for goal.
A big crowd showed up for the early match of the year, and despite an inaccurate first half where they had seven more scoring shots for just 4.11 - including two 'posters' in the opening minutes - the Demons pulled away in the third quarter. Footscray attempted to put them off with 'vigour' but found their opponents were ready to match them bump for bump.
They were wayward again in the last with 0.9 in the last term, but increased their lead by restricting the Bulldogs to 1.2 - and their lowest score against the Dees since 1935. The margin could have been even more if Melbourne hadn't kicked 0.9 in the last quarter, many of which should have been goals. Geoff Case was the chief offender with 1.7.
Much of Melbourne's success was down to holding dangerous Bulldogs spearhead Jack Collins to two goals. He had booted seven in the previous year's Grand Final and eight each in the opening two rounds of the season. Peter Marquis held Collins well, but success was also down to the half-back line winning easily and cutting off his supply. It was the first time Melbourne had won their first three games of the season since 1937.
Melbourne 9.16 d. Footscray 7.14
Goals - Unknown
Best - Gleen, Hamilton, Ridley
Footscray 10.11 d. Melbourne 8.5