Round 17, 1915
Essendon vs Melbourne
Saturday 14 August
Venue: East Melbourne
Attendance: Unknown

Match Statistics

Essendon win by 19 points

Goalkickers: Harry Brereton 3, Bill Allen 1, Jack Baquie 1, Jack Huntington 1, Jack McKenzie 1

First Game
Martin McQuade

Last Game
Ed Buckley
Hugh Purse

After waiting so long to play in the finals again a dramatic late season slump and a loss to South Melbourne a week earlier saw Melbourne teetering on the edge of missing out altogether. If South Melbourne could win their last two games they could vault over the Reds who had the bye in the final round.

Despite several changes, including the reintroduction of Hugh Purse for his first game of the year due to a player shortage, Melbourne should still have been the better side. It wasn't their strongest team but against one of the worst teams in the competition they should have been too good if they had any ideas of playing in the finals. With Essendon putting out a stronger side than in recent weeks there were rumours that a prominent South fan had offered them a large sum of money if they won.

Melbourne started with the breeze, scored the opening goal through a free kick and led at quarter time but was wasted much of the quarter struggling to score. When they had their chance to use the wind the second period was all Essendon. Only a late Baquie goal kept the margin under 20 points. At half time Melbourne players showed their displeasure at what they believed was a Doubleday goal called as a point, and an Essendon goal they believed had missed. The Reds then regained the lead in the third thanks largely to the performance of Huntington and faulty kicking by Essendon's forwards.

Kicking into the wind in the last quarter Melbourne were also stopped in their tracks by cold rain. They failed to score a point, conceding 3.5 to drop the four points and lose control of their destiny. Kicking with a strong breeze Essendon romped to victory, helping them leapfrog Geelong and avoid the wooden spoon.

Huntington was Melbourne's best, setting up Brereton for his three goals, along with Doubleday and Lilley. Alf George suffered a knee injury in the second quarter.

Elsewhere South won easily to have their fate in their own hands going into the last round, but they lost to Collingwood the next week and Melbourne qualified for the finals in their place.

Scoreless fourth quarters

Herald - 14/08/1915
Argus - 16/08/1915
Age 18/08/1915
Punch - 19/08/1915
Sporting Judge - 21/08/1915
Football Record 1915