Melbourne win by 6 points
Needing a win to stay within striking distance of the top four after two consecutive losses against fellow contenders, the Redlegs ended the first half of the league season with a come from behind victory against another side who were vying for a spot in the finals. The game went from a scrambling, congested struggle into a fast open contest.
On the afternoon that Victoria was playing Western Australia in Perth the visitors made better of their side missing the interstate representatives and of a completely remodelled forward line which had been their weak link through the season. Richard Taylor was moved from his usual spot on the wing to full-forward and was a big hit with six goals.
While both sides attacked poorly the general standard of the game in the first quarter was high, with high marking, good ruck play and strong defence all features of the match. It took 17 minutes for Essendon to register the first goal, but then Melbourne scored two in a row to take the lead into quarter time.
Essendon opened the second quarter with two goals in three minutes, but Melbourne responded with three straight in the dying moments to extend their lead to seven points at half time.
The game swung towards the home side again early in the third as they kicked four goals in the first 12 minutes but Melbourne recovered well, with their forwards finally cooperating well with centre and ruck players.
In the last quarter what the game lacked in quality it made up for in determination. Melbourne hit the lead in the first few minutes, but by the 15 minute mark scores were level. Essendon got back in front with a goal before Taylor answered and Melbourne added another to win an engrossing contest.
Best were Taylor, Driver and Cassidy.
The win drew Melbourne to within half a point of fourth placed Essendon.
Essendon 16.12.108 led Melbourne 7.8.50 at three quarter time