West Coast win by 44 points
First game and First goal
The Demons travelled the Perth and bombed out of the top three with an inept performance against the Eagles, and the loss also cost them a trip to Miami at the end of the season. The VFL had decided that the lineup for international matches would be decided at the end of Round 18 and that the top three teams would participate.
John Northey, looking back to the long dark era before his arrival, said "Some people go through their football lives without playing in a finals match; some of our guys don't realise that". He was frank in his assessment of his team's state - "At the moment we look as though the wheels have fallen off and the axle is broken".
Steve O'Dwyer and Jim Stynes were strong in the middle but let down by ineffective team mates. From a deficit of just one goal at half-time the Demons fell away with Brian Wilson (one kick in the second half) and Greg Healy (two) amongst the most disappointing. O'Dwyer also had a go at full forward, one of four men to play at spearhead during the day along with Garry Lyon, who was replaced by Earl Spalding after being beaten comfortably during the first half. David Williams also had a go but only added one goal.
The game was won in the third quarter when the Eagles kicked 5.7, and reduced the Demons to a solitary goal in time on.
Eagles coach John Todd was less than charitable in mocking his opponents, "I don't believe Melbourne are real class" he said, "They're ok playing at home on the MCG but they have some pretty ordinary players".
Best were O'Dwyer, Stynes and Johnson.
Footscray 16.15.111 d. Melbourne 5.6.36
Goals - Turner 2, T. Fidge 2, Rohde 1
Best - Rennie, Johns, Koop
Melbourne 12.10.82 d. Footscray 4.6.30
Goals - Partington 2, Power 2, Kennedy 2, Williams 1, Beveridge 1, Morey 1, Dent 1, Stoney 1, Putamorsi 1
Best - Beveridge, Kennedy, Gazeas
Newspapers show attendance as 16,188