Melbourne win by 11 points
2 - Jim Stynes
1 - Tony Campbell
Almost certain of playing in the finals the Demons made absolutely sure of it, and stayed in the race for the double chance, with a labouring win over the Swans in terrible conditions. For once it wasn't the rain which ruined the game but the surface, sandy in large areas, and a strong gusty wind.
With neither side boasting a winning forward combination the first half was played out as a dour affair with Melbourne rarely able to make it past half-forward without giving the ball up. Both teams were disciplined in defence but Sean Wight could barely get near it at full-forward.
A switch of personnel at half-time found Jim Stynes at centre-half forward, Brian Wilson at full-forward, Earl Spalding in the pocket and Wight moved out to a flank. Wilson played despite suffering a heavy knock the week before and despite kicking two goals was not his normal self.
Peter Rohde tagged Greg Williams and while Diesel got 30 possessions they were not up to his usual high standard. He lifted his game after being reported for striking Greg Healy during the third quarter.
It took Tony Campbell to go forward and kick two goals in the last term which broke the deadlock and kept the Demons in the hunt for a Qualifying Final berth. Conversely David Flintoff was having a nightmare day with the boot, racking up 0.5.
John Northey admitted it was a poor game, saying "We didn't get our act together, Sydney didn't get its act together, and there were some shocking mistakes."
Sydney Swans 19.14.128 d Melbourne 8.6.54
Goals: Chiron 2, Grehan 2, Lance 1, Lovell 1, Mahoney 1, Rennie 1.
Best: J. Viney, Lovell, Rennie
Essendon 24.14.158 d Melbourne 10.8.68
Goals: Goonewardene 3, Lamb 2, Heaver 1, Siderellis 1, Werner 1, Turner 1, Schwarz 1
Best: Keogh, Cuthbertson, Aubrey