Melbourne win by 65 points
Statistical categories led:
Highest score in Preliminary Final
Melbourne beat Collingwood two weeks earlier, but a shock first up lost to the Bombers in the Semi Final forced them into another match against the Magpies. With a spot in the Grand Final on the line both teams were physical early on and the game threatened to erupt into violence. When the teams settled it was Collingwood who made a better start with three goals in the first three minutes, bewildering the slow starting Demons.
Three early goals saw the Pies get the jump. One of their stars was Ern McIntyre, who was assailed with a bump not long after and was barely seen again before being taken off at three quarter time. The game was stopped for several minutes in the first quarter when umpire McMurray twisted his ankle trying to avoid a collision with a Melbourne player. He recovered and remained in charge for the rest of the game.
Melbourne fought back after Collingwood's hot start, reducing the gap to eight at quarter time. Then their high marking game started to win out over the Pies' speed. By half time the Magpies were sapped of energy, and by three quarter time the Demons were nine goals in front. Four Collingwood players had been tried at full forward but all were beaten by Shane McGrath.
Jack Mueller was irresistable up front having been plucked from coaching the reserves to play, and it was his eight goals which helped deliver victory. Norm Smith was a handy foil up front for Mueller and added six of his own. A further six goals to four in the final term extended the margin even further.
Best were Mueller. Dullard and McGrath.
Alan McGowan was reported for attempting to strike Smith of Collingwood. He was suspended for two matches and missed both the Grand Final and replay. His advocate asked for it to be taken into accocunt that he was playing his third game (not counting one appearance off the bench)) but the Tribunal was unmoved.
Melbourne's score was a record for any final until that time, and the match aggregate still stands as a Preliminary Final record to this day. It is their equal 18th highest score in VFL/AFL football. Collingwood's Syd Coventry said "we left our form on the track on Thursday night".
Collingwood won the free kick count 22 to 16, but the Demons took 92 marks to 68.
B: Deans, McGrath, Rule
HB: McLean, McGowan, Collins
C: Spittle, Bickford, Dockett
HF: McKenzie, Arnold, McMahen
F: Craddock, Smith, Mueller
Foll: Cordner, Dullard, Rodda
Res: Bowman, Heywood
Emg: Jackson, F. Scanlan, O'Rourke
Mueller 8.4, Smith 6.3
Sporting Globe - 22/09/1948
Argus - 24/04/1948
Argus - 25/09/1948
Sporting Globe - 25/09/1948
Football Record Grand Final 1948
Age - 27/09/1948
Age - 27/09/1948
Argus - 27/09/1948
Argus - 29/09/1948
Sporting Globe - 29/09/1948