Round 7, 1940
North Melbourne vs Melbourne
Saturday 8 June
Venue: Arden Street
Melbourne win by 57 points
Goalkickers: Norm Smith 4, Percy Beames 2, Alby Rodda 2, Ron Baggott 1, Ron Barassi 1, Jack O'Keefe 1, Ray Wartman 1
Statistical categories led:
Most behinds in a match
Largest gap between behinds and goals in a match
After suffering a shock loss to Hawthorn on the narrow Glenferrie Oval a week before the Demons regrouped with a blistering attacking performance on the wider expanses of Arden Street and ran away to a comfortable victory which pushed them back to the top of the ladder on percentage. They were dominant and had 46 scoring shots, but the rain and a fierce high wind affected their accuracy. The win still pushed Melbourne back into first place on percentage.
The score represented the most behinds ever kicked in a league match to that point, and remains the third highest in VFL/AFL history. It is still Melbourne's record behinds score, and the gap between Melbourne's 34 behinds and North's one is the largest of all time. Norm Smith was chief offender in front of goal, kicking 4.11.
The match was played in rain and with a strong cross wind that concentrated play along one wing. North got a lucky first goal when Frank Roberts thought the ball was going on only for an opponent to nip in and steal the ball, and in response Melbourne put on five behinds before Beames snapped his side's first goal. Two quick goals opened an 18 point lead for the Demons before North got their second late.
The poor kicking continued in the second quarter, where Melbourne were playing the much better football but wasting chances. Smith got his side's fourth, but from eight other shots at the start of the quarter they only managed six behinds. Another Smith goal at the end of the quarter retained an eight point lead for his side.
Dominant ruck play gifted Melbourne four quick goals at the start of the third quarter before North could reply, and they put on 5.8 to 2.0 to all but kill the game off at the last change. Nine more behinds followed to open the last quarter before Alby Rodda kicked their 11th to ironic cheers from the small crowd.
Despite the amount of scoring chances that their side had it was defender Lock and Richie Emselle who were their sides best. Gibb and Baggott were the key players in the forward line, alongside the inaccurate Smith. Dowsing replaced Rodda (knee) in the last quarter.
Melbourne 24.23 d. North Melbourne 5.7
Goals - Hall 9, Fanning 5, Unknown 10
Sporting Globe - 08/06/1940
Argus - 10/06/1940
Football Record R8 1940