North Melbourne win by 30 points
It was a typical late season match between a team contending for finals, and one whose season was well over. North did just what they had to do to turn back the Demon challenge. Melbourne had 2.2 on the board before North scored, but the rest of the day was less successful, conceding the last six goals of the half to go into the long break 20 points down.
Their coach Ron Barassi said that some players approached the match as if there was "no pressure". He was right, but the well on his way to Melbourne coach was taking their challenge seriously - Malcolm Blight and Ross Glendinning both warmed the bench in the third quarter and Gary Dempsey rucked for just ten minutes of the match.
Best were Gordon, Byrne and Smith. Laurie Fowler (bruised ribs) and Jim Durnan (hamstring) were replaced in the selected side by Kelly O'Donnell and Michael Seddon. Tony Elshaug suffered a concussion and Robert Flower a twisted ankle.
Carl Ditterich described his side's disposal as "pathetic" and hinted that he might play one more game that year before giving it all away.
The match had a bizarre ending when future Demon Brian Wilson kicked for goal after the siren. The kids of Arden Street didn't wait for the ball to leave his boot before charging onto the ground. The shot fell short and deflected off the pack of ground invaders straight into the goal umpires face. He collapsed to the ground and took a minute to be revived by police before he could signal a point.
The low crowd meant that the match receipts of $6267 fell $8 short of the costs of staging the game. Instead of the two clubs chipping in half each the North ground manager paid the $8 out of his own pocket.
North Melbourne 18.14.122 d. Melbourne 13.9.87
Goals - Bunn 2, Fowler 2, McLean 2, O'Brien 2, Cooney 1, Dickson 1, Hunnibell 1, Wingate 1, Woodman 1
Best - Barnes, Dullard, Hunnibell
Reported - Des O'Dwyer for striking.
Melbourne 14.19.103 defeated North Melbourne 7.13.55
Goals - Battiston 2, Kelly 2, O'Dwyer 2, Osiurak 2, Bell 1, Corrigan 1, Ellingworth 1, McCarthy 1, Sidge 1, Sier 1
Best - Ellingworth, Boyle, Tossol