Essendon win by 14 points
With his side's finals hopes destroyed and a string of losses on the board the strain started to show on Ian Ridley when he suggested post-match that he'd thump the next journalist to doubt the performance of his players.
He'd been moved to make the threat after a sports writer asked him after the match whether he should have been happy with the performances of his senior players.
With two rookies playing their first game his side had run the Bombers close but so much had depended on Carl Ditterich who played a masterful game in the ruck.
The Bombers were well clear in the last quarter when Alan Noonan, who had seven goals on the board, left the field with a dislocated shoulder and the Demons pounced. Ditterich and Stan Alves led the fightback against 17 men but it was too little, too late.
The two goals kicked by Tony Dullard in the last quarter came with his first two kicks after coming off the bench.
Best were Ditterich, Ritterman and Flower. Swan was replaced by Dullard during the last quarter. Shane Fitzsimmons was an unused reserve.
Essendon 21.10 d. Melbourne 7.10
Goals - Giampaolo 4, Payne 2, Peters 1
Best - Giampaolo, Delmenico, Chamberlain
Essendon 21.22 d. Melbourne 9.11