Melbourne win by 3 points
For the second week in a row Melbourne's chances of slipping into the finals were almost extinguished in a close match against a non-top four contender.
In a scrambling match on a greasy surface neither side was able to build up a big lead during the day, and the Maroons only narrowly won in the final minutes. Kicking off the ground was the order of the day, and Melbourne's best period of play was in the first quarter when they opened up a lead of four goals to one before their opponents cut the margin to 15 points with a late major.
Fitzroy immediately closed the gap and overtook Melbourne in the opening minutes of the second quarter with the first four goals of the second term. The siege on the home defence wasn't lifted until La Fontaine switched from the centre into a forward pocket to kick a relieving goal.
Late in the quarter Melbourne took the ascendency but were unable to get more than a point ahead because of stern defence by their opponents.
Early in the third quarter Fitzroy lost one of their best defenders for much of the quarter with a knee injury but Melbourne were unable to take advantage while he wasn't on the ground and the sides remained a point apart at the end of the quarter.
After a period with the two teams scrambling in the quagmire in the middle of the ground Melbourne got the first goal of the last quarter through Truscott. Fitzroy returned fire, though they struggled to get past Jack Mueller in the Demon defence and the two sides traded goals until the visitors kicked a goal late in the quarter to bring the margin back to under a goal but ran out of time.
The result left them equal to Geelong and fifth placed Richmond on points, but significantly behind on percentage. With games against the top two sides in the competition to come in the last two weeks of the season their chances of making the finals looked in major jeopardy.
Best were Mueller, Fischer and Beames. Harley was 19th man.
Melbourne 10.14 d. Fitzroy 5.9
Goals - Baggot 5, Adams 2, Hulme 2, Arton 1
Best - Maher, Williams, Kinnear