Melbourne win by 24 points
It took until the last quarter for the Demons to shake their visitors off, but eventually an eight goal to three last quarter helped them break the shackles and win their second match of the year.
In a high quality, fast match the first seven goals were scored in the 13 minutes without a miss. The Demons held the lead narrowly at the first two changes before surrendering it at the last break.
A spiteful, all-in brawl involving nearly every player on the ground broke out during the third quarter. The action started when Peter Keenan was elbowed in the face in the back pocket. While he was waiting for the doctor to check him over Bombers captain-coach Des Tuddenham started his own fight with Tony Sullivan.
Within ten seconds almost every other player on the field then contrived to involve themselves in another brawl downfield. At one point a boundary umpire became buried under four players while trying to separate the melee. Ex-policeman Greg Parke assisted the overwhelmed umpires in trying to calm the situation.
Despite several spectators and journalists seeing haymakers thrown, and reporter describing one of the Melbourne players as having thrown the best punch he'd ever seen nobody was reported. The VFL umpires board later rebuked all the officials on the day for not having found anybody to book.
When the heat died down in the last quarter the Demons stole back the lead, lost it again and then regained to run out winners.
Best were Clennett, Bourke and Alves. Collins (strained shoulder) was replaced by Ritterman during the last quarter. Peter Keenan finished the match with a broken nose, Shane McSpeerin a bruised calf and Max Walker a bruised shoulder. Graham Osborne was an unused reserve.
Melbourne 13.18 d. Essendon 9.6
Goals - Carr 6, Dilnot 3, Queay 2, Cumming 1, Morgan 1
Best - Carr, Dilnot, Feldmann
Essendon 18.19 d. Melbourne 11.10
Goals - G. Macdonald 5, Rowlands 2, Curry 1, McGuinness 1, Peters 1, Slade 1
Best - McGuinness, Giampaolo, G. Macdonald