Melbourne win by 34 points
After six straight losses to start the year, and ten stretching back to Round 15, 1965, a match against reigning premiers Essendon didn't seem like the most obvious time for the Demons to rack up their first win of the season. The Bombers sat fourth on the ladder, and while they hadn't been up to their standard from the season before they were still a formidable lineup considered against the inexperienced Demon team.
The first quarter gave no indication of any sort of revival. Essendon led by five points at the first break, but the second term belonged to Barrie Vagg who kicked three goals to go with the two he'd already snagged in the first quarter. On the back of Vagg's dominance, beating three opponents during the term, the Demons opened up a 19 point lead at the long break.
Ken Jungwirth, promoted for his first senior game after promising form in the reserves, contributed three goals of his own and the Demons led by 20 points at the last break. Given the perceived gulf in glass between the two sides Essendon were expected to strike back in the last term but went under to a determined side trying to win back respect from the footballing world.
Best were Vagg, Mann and Johnson.
Despite racking up their first win of the year the news wasn't all good for the Demons. The injury curse they'd suffered all season reared its head again, with Brian Dixon (strained knee/pulled groin muscle), Frank Davis (swollen ankle) and Ken Emselle (shoulder)) all coming out of the match with injuries.
Emselle had been forced to take a painkilling injection at half-time to get him through the game and spent the second quarter unable to lift his arm over his head. It didn't help his condition when he was dumped roughly into the MCG fence during the last term. Ross Dillon was replaced in the selected side by Jungwirth after hurting his knee during training and Norm Smith could little afford to lose another three players just when he'd got his side back in the winning circle.
Bartlett replaced Davis (knee) in the last quarter, and Leahy (pulled thigh muscle) by Vearing in the last quarter. After both changes had been made Brian Dixon left the field with a knee injury.
Tassie Johnson was reported for striking but found not guilty.
Melbourne 14.19 d. Essendon 13.13
Goals - Quirk 5, Chapman 3, Knight 3, Smith 2, Knape 1
Best - Dowsing, Hamilton, Wynd
Melbourne 9.14 d. Essendon 7.9
Goals - Murnane 3, Johnson 2, Callery 2, Marshall 1, Mooney
Best - Murnane, Langford, Johnson