Carlton win by 11 points
Last Game as Coach
Last MFC Game
Despite losing the last three matches of the season the Redlegs snuck into their first finals series since 1902 when South Melbourne lost to Collingwood in their final match of the year. It didn't bode well for their clash against a side who had won four and a half more games than them during the home and away season, but Melbourne put a surprisingly strong fight on their home ground.
Cold, wintry weather contributed to a disappointing finals crowd boosted only by a large number of soldiers being present, but the rain held off through the day. A curtain-raiser between junior teams also contributed to the ground being soft by the time the main event began.
Melbourne's poor form in recent weeks was far below Carlton's, and as such the Blues were expected to win easily. In the end Melbourne matched up well against their much more fancied opponents despite having Alf George barely able to play after half time due to a knee injury and only succumbed to the heavily favoured Blues in the last few minutes. Had their controversially suspended spearhead Roy Park been in the side it might have been different.
Carlton had already beaten Melbourne twice for the season but in the finals they were made to work harder than they had in either of the previous matches. The Reds kicked with the wind in the first quarter and with their rucks dominant Carlton went behind. Huntington kicked the first goal from a free kick and they had two more for the quarter, opening up a handly lead before Carlton kicked two goals to close the quarter.
After conceding the first goal of the second quarter the Blues struck back with their turn using the breeze in the second but Melbourne defender strongly the margin was never more than a few points all day on a pitch that had been chopped up by the curtain raiser. The margin was four points in Carlton's favour at the long break courtesy of a lucky goal from a mark paid after Melbourne players had touched the ball then another late in the quarter that put them in front for the first time all day.
Melbourne pressed hard in the third until Alf George hurt his knee in what would be his last game. Carlton got two goals in a row to give themselves a break but they were still being thwarted by the Redlegs' defence. In a brilliant burst they kicked four goals to breathe life back into the contest and grabbed a nine point lead, but a late Carlton goal dragged the margin back under six points.
With the wind in their favour in the last quarter and the Fuschias tiring it looked like Carlton would run over the top. When they kicked the first two goals of the quarter it ended the match but Melbourne made it more respectable with a late run. It was too late and two of the last three goals were the final act of the club for more than three years. Melbourne went into recess before the next season and would not play another game until Round 1, 1919.
Allan, Hassett and George was best on ground for the Redlegs against the eventual premiers. Carlton won the free kick count 36-29.
Football Record and newspapers of the day says crowd was 14,413. Football Record, Sporting Judge, The Winner and Punch also say Bryan missed the game because he was in Sydney but league records show him playing.
Blueseum match report