Semi Final 3, 1897
Essendon vs Melbourne
Saturday 4 September
Venue: Lake Oval
Essendon win by 6 points
Statistical categories led:
Lowest aggregate score in a game (22 points)
Lowest score against Essendon and at the Lake Oval
The lowest scoring finals game in history had no shortage of drama. With Essendon playing to win the premiership the game was played in a cross wind which hurt the quality of the match.
The handball happy Redlegs failed to kick a goal, but they hit the post three times. Essendon too were disappointed when they had a goal disallowed on half-time because the bell had already rung but they played better football with more accurate kicking.
The only goal of the game when Forbes of Essendon took a shot from a short distance in front and somehow managed to miss everything. With most players already having returned to the centre assuming Forbes would kick the goal, the ball fell to Croft who booted what would ultimately be the winner.
Essendon's victory allowed them to win the premiership outright. Geelong's victory over Collingwood at East Melbourne meant that if the Fuschias got up Geelong would have earned a "Grand Final" match against the Red and Black.
Best were Strahan and Herring.
Argus - 06/09/1897