Round 22, 1979
Collingwood vs Melbourne
Saturday 1 September
Venue: Victoria Park
Collingwood win by 51 points
Goalkickers: Ray Biffin 5, Cameron Clayton 2, Andrew Moir 2, Steven Smith 2, Michael Byrne 1, Glenn Elliott 1, Robert Flower 1, Ken Whitfort 1
In a horror season where they had managed to be beaten badly most weeks, including a record loss but still win six games and beat finals contenders it was appropriate that the Demons ended their season by conceding more than 150 points against the old enemy.
After the first quarter the Demons didn't get close and lost their opportunity to vault South Melbourne and get out of the bottom two on the ladder but it was no wonder that the players - especially the defenders - were looking for the finish line after such a demanding season.
Ray Biffin, who had been brought out of retirement midway through the year, kicked five goals but it was his young teammates who kept the Demons in the game during the first half. They were playing like anything but a team who were desperate to advance to the off-season. Garry Baker was beating Peter Moore but when Collingwood took the lead in the second quarter the match was over and they were on their way to real September action. Ross Brewer came off the bench to kick five against his old side in the second half.
More importantly for the Pies, Geelong were in the process of beating Fitzroy at Kardinia Park and sealing a double chance for the Magpies. When the final siren went in Geelong and 3rd spot was confirmed Collingwood fans invaded the ground in celebration and it took seven minutes to clear them off - an unwanted delay for the Demons waiting to finish their year.
There wasn't a dry eye in the house after the match as Ian Ridley made an emotional tribute to Biffin, but his loss just highlight how few genuine toughmen the Demons had as they finished their first ever decade without a finals appearance.
Best were Baker, Healy and Biffin
Collingwood 25.30.180 d. Melbourne 9.9.63
Goals - Flower 4, Dellamarta 2, Dullard 1, Halsall 1, O'Donnell 1
Best - Flower, Elliott, Halsall
Melbourne 18.15.123 d. Collingwood 13.10.88
Age - 03/09/1979
Canberra Times - 02/09/1979