Saturday May 18 - East Melbourne
Essendon 1.2, 1.4, 2.6, 3.6
Melbourne 1.3, 3.5, 4.8, 5.10
Melbourne win by 2 goals
Goalkickers - Girdlestone 1, McGinis 1, McCarthy 1, Moodie 1, Wilson 1
Essendon had been the dominant side of the last few years, but with a much weakened side in 1895 Melbourne started favourites courtesy of their win against the third placed team of the previous season South Melbourne a week earlier.
Melbourne did exactly what the bookies suggested they would, but struggled to kick straight. McGinis had one goal from seven shots and all of Sholl, Moodie, Girdlestone, Christy and Wilson missed gettable shots.
Considering the stature of the two clubs, the best two in the land in 1894, it was a poor game. The Reds had the best of the centre, but it was a scrappy game and both sides lacked structure, and at one point 24 men were in the same scrimmage. Captains had no control over their team other than putting them in place at the start then letting them do whatever they liked.
One of the few highlights of the second quarter was the high-marking and solid defensive play by the Melbourne defenders, but the eventual win was helped by Essendon hitting the post three times.
Best were Fry, O'Dwyer and Fox.
Moore suffered a knee injury and had to play forward and Wardill was ill at half time. At one point he was incapable of scoring a goal when 25 yards out and free in front of his own goal. The Reds got their revenge by knocking three Essendon players out at various times with rough play.
B: Massey, Sutton, O'Halloran
HB: O'Dwyer, Fox (c), Moore
C: Lewis, Wardill, O'Dea
HF: Sholl, Wilson, O'Loughlin
F: Girdlestone, McCarthy, Bedford
Foll: McGuinness, Christy, Moodie, Fry
Argus estimates a crowd of 12,000, Australasian 14,000.