Saturday September 23 - Picnic Reserve, Madeline Street Carlton
Melbourne 2 (half time 1-2)
Melbourne win by 1 goal
The two sides had played three times already during the year for one win each and a draw, so the match was a premiership decider. Additionally the proceeds from the gate were donated to the Melbourne Hospital, but the admission price kept the crowd down for such an important game.
Melbourne won the toss and kicked with a breeze but Carlton had the first shot on goal in the first minute of the game. They trapped the ball in their forward line for the first few minutes and had several attacks, before finally scoring the first goal of the game after 15 minutes from a loose ball soccered through off the ground.
Going behind spurred Melbourne to attack, but they were kept out by Carlton's defence until a controversial equaliser. Baker goalled for Melbourne when he pushed his opponent in the back to take a mark and kicked the ball through the goal before the umpire had time to pay a free. Carlton players surrounded the umpire who became distressed and left the field. The match did not continue until another umpire was found - Melbourne's James Bride.
Not long after Utar Nicholas kicked the second goal to give his side a 2-1 lead at the break.
Carlton had a golden chance early in the second half, when defender Williams first marked the ball in front of goal then attempted to play on and was caught by his opponents. A quick kick at goal dribbled wide and left Melbourne a goal in front. They started to tire while kicking against the wind, but thought they'd scored a goal on the counter-attack through McDonald but it was disallowed by the umpire.
The Blues could have equalised but another attack was touched on the line. As the end of the game came and play started to turn rough they had several more chances but couldn't break through. Melbourne held on to win.
Carlton protested that the match should have been a draw but because the original umpire never reversed his decision the result stood and the Reds took the premiership.
Australasian - 30/09/1876