Hawthorn win by 7 points
Mike Collins (2nd game)
Appearing in the finals for the first time since 1957 the Hawks were now looming as flag favourites but first had to get through the great Demons side.
Playing for the chance to go straight to the Grand Final, Melbourne swung a selection shock by picking Mike Collins in the side despite him only having played one quarter of league football. Bruce Leslie was also selected on a wing in his third game - it would be his first as a winger.
Despite their experimentation the Demons looked the goods early. Three goals in front at the first break it seemed as if they were about to spring an upset against the minor premiers. With 4.2 on the board before Hawthorn kicked a goal it looked like an easy day at the office.
Over the next three quarters, though, the Hawks superior fitness and a fiery enthusiasm wore Melbourne down. The game turned when Laurie Mithen was felled 70 yards behind the play during the second quarter. Melbourne players lost focus on the game and started to focus more on revenge than football, and the Hawks responded all over the ground.
Throughout the last quarter no more than seven points separated the sides, and that was in the final seconds when Hawthorn kicked the sealing goal. For the last few minutes, with the margin a single point, the ball had bounced from one end to the other. Hawthorn desperate to kill the game off, Melbourne to win. In the dying minutes the ball sat in front of the Demons goal, but instead of rushing through a behind to level the scores they tried to convert the opportunity into a goal. They failed and the Hawks stayed alive.
Best for Melbourne were Roet, Barassi and Mithen. Reserves were Turner and Carroll.
The Hawks 11th straight victory, and fourth in a row against Melbourne, put them into their first Grand Final, and force the Demons into a Preliminary Final date with Footscray.
Age - 09/09/1961
Age - 12/09/1961