Round 1, 1968
Melbourne vs Fitzroy
Monday 15 April
Melbourne win by 4 points
Goalkickers: Kelvin Clarke 3, Ted Lees 3, Hassa Mann 3, Stan Alves 1, Ross Dillon 1, John Townsend 1, Barrie Vagg 1, Max Walker 1
Kelvin Clarke (and first goal)
First Game as senior Coach
John Beckwith's official coaching debut started perilously against the Roys, who only avoided the wooden spoon in 1967 by percentage. Fitzroy hadn't beaten the Demons at the MCG since 1953, and early on it looked like they were about to break the hoodoo. After twenty minutes the scores were 5.1 to nothing and it looked like the Demons were about to be blown away by their unfancied opponents.
The rest of the first quarter belonged to the Demons and they kicked four goals to one from that point, led by Hassa Mann in the centre and Ross Dillon up front and managed to cut the gap to a manageable 11 points at the first change. The two sides then traded blows for the rest of the game, with neither side being able to kick away. Fitzroy were dominant around the ground but where unable to breach the backline of Roet, Johnson and Feldman regularly enough to put a winning score on the board.
The Roys had their chances again in the last term but 3.6 hurt them and Melbourne held on to win and open their season with a victory.
Best were Dillon, Roet and Williams. Kelvin Clarke was replaced by Barrie Vagg at half time. Frank Davis was an unused reserve.
Melbourne 16.18 d. Fitzroy 11.10
Goals - Parke 5, Catlin 3, Fahey 3, Dowsing 2, Rowlands 1, G. Osborne 1, K. Osborne 1
Best - Dowsing, Sullivan, Rowlands
Melbourne 15.14 d. Fitzroy 12.14
Goals - Colcott 3, Sampson 3, Callery 2, Guest 2, Hill 2, Gough 1, McKenzie 1, Wells 1
Best - Sampson, O'Farrell, McKenzie
Football Record R2 1968
Age - 16/04/1968