Footscray win by 23 points
2 - Jeff Hilton
Melbourne's horror start to the year continued as they dropped to 0-4 with a loss at their adopted home ground for the day. Footscray was coming off what Tony Liberatore described as the worst loss of his 10 year career, and jumped the Demons with four goals to one in the opening term. Their defensive pressure was relentless, forcing the nominal home side into a string of mistakes. It was a far cry from the Demons' dominant performance in the 1994 finals.
It took until the third quarter, when they had trailed by as much as 40 points, to launch a belated comeback. It came from positional changes, with Garry Lyon thrown onto the ball, Jim Stynes to the ruck, Paul Prymke to centre half-forward and Darren Kowal into the middle. The plan that Neil Balme had outlined on television before the game to play David Neitz on Chris Grant at centre half-back, and Stynes at centre-half forward had failed. The changes helped reduce the margin o just under four goals but the Dogs were never in danger.
Melbourne only stayed off the bottom of the ladder by having a far superior percentage in their four losses to St Kilda and Fitzroy. Neale Balme said: "We simply weren't able to kick it where we wanted to kick it or handball it where we wanted to handball it". The livid coach complained about "pathetic mistakes", and Garry Lyon said "the difference between our best and worst is way too big".
Best were Neitz, Smith and Lyon
Footscray 20.12.132 d. Melbourne 12.9.81
Goals - Clarke 2, Gaspar 2, Yze 2, Charles 2, Sampson 1, Polley 1, Grinter 1, Butterworth 1
Best - Rohde, Grinter, Ruecroft
Age - 23/04/1995
Age - 24/04/1995
Football Record R5 1995