Melbourne win by 13 points
With a preliminary final berth on offer for the winner, the match was held up for four minutes before the first bounce when the teams engaged in what would come to be called a 'melee'. Steven Stretch was knocked out in the clash.
When the game started Stephen Newport went to Peter Daicos, while Greg Healy was tagged by Tony Shaw and the Demons skipped to an early lead and had a 23 point advantage at the long break. Mick McGuane had been one of the dominant Magpies in the first half but was injured, which allowed Andy Lovell to burst into the game.
Collingwood got within a goal in the third but they could never get their noses in front, and the Demons held them off. Earl Spalding was excellent and centre half-forward, which allowed Garry Lyon to cause havoc on the flank.
With the game in the balance in the last term Newport kicked a freak goal to help sink the Pies. His speculative torpedo from the centre squad bounced through on a right angle to give his side a three goal buffer.
Brian Taylor kicked two late goals but Newport returned for the sealer - a goal from 55m. Taylor had six goals for the day on Danny Hughes, but Hughes' real value was in launching attacks out of the backline time and time again. Collingwood complained bitterly about the umpiring, but the end result was that their season was over.
Best for Melbourne were O'Dwyer, Lovett and Lovell. Referencing the previous year's finals heartbreak John Northey said "It was terrific to see the young guys show real composure. They have learnt from last year and they steadied at the crucial time". He said that they still needed a five percent improvement to win through to the Grand Final.
A month after they had been in a slump which threatened to ruin the whole season - and which had prompted a drunk supporter to invade the changerooms and deliver a spray to players and coach after a loss - Melbourne were now into the preliminary final, where Carlton awaited.