Melbourne win by 63 points
First game and First goal
Having seen his side blow six points in winnable games against Fitzroy and North Melbourne, as well as lose to fellow top four contenders Collingwood coach Ian Ridley was in a less than confident mood when asked whether the Demons could still make the finals. "I certainly haven't give up hope", he said "but let's face it, there's a spider's web stretched between us and the four and it's stretched pretty tight".
He conceded that it would take his side to win the last four games and results to go their way for the Dees to snap their finals drought. Privately he was feeling less conciliatory to his side, refusing to coach them during the week because he was so unhappy with their performance in drawing against lowly North Melbourne a week earlier.
Despite that performance Melbourne still went in as favourite against Geelong. Regular rover John Townsend was dropped with Lloyd Burgmann, Barry Hodges and George Lakes. Stan Alves, Ross Dillon and Shane McSpeerin were recalled along with Henry Ritterman to make his debut.
After three-quarters of uninspiring football Ian Ridley gave his side an earful at the last break and spectators on the northern side of the ground were so impressed that they gave him a standing ovation.
The players must have been listening too, because they delivered a blistering last quarter to keep their slim finals hopes alive. Conditions were deplorable, and midway through the last quarter they got even worse, but it didn't stop the Demons from adding eight goals to one and keeping their barely flickering hopes of a top four finish alive.
Doug Wade had kicked nine goals against the Magpies in Round 18, but Ray Biffin blanketed him and restricted the dangerous Cat to two goals. It wasn't all success for Biffin, he was also reported for striking and later suspended for four matches.
Best were Wells, Callery and Parke. McSpeerin and Clark (knee) were replaced by Collins and Jones in the last quarter.
Melbourne 13.24 d. Geelong 9.12
Goals - Carr 7, Burgmann 2, Dilnot 2, Honey 2
Best - Carr, Burgmann, Walker
Melbourne 15.15 d. Geelong 7.2