Melbourne win by 46 points
After a winless start to their premiership defence the Demons finally found a team in a worse state thanks to the war than them, and took advantage accordingly. Bottom of the ladder Hawthorn could barely field a team due to wartime restrictions, and their speed advantage couldn't compare with Melbourne's strength in marking and the rucks.
By quarter time the margin was three goals, and the Demons were not seriously challenged again. Hawthorn won the second quarter by three points, but only because they wasted a number of gettable shots. The visitors tried to congest the play in the third, but conceded six goals to two. Melbourne rode out a period of concerted pressure at the start of the last quarter and kicked away to a much needed victory.
La Fontaine, Fanning and Mueller were best. 19th man Deayton replaced the injured Smith (groin) at half time
Essendon 14.25.109 d. Melbourne 8.9.57