Round 1, 1925
Melbourne vs St. Kilda
Saturday 2 May
Melbourne win by 47 points
Goalkickers: Stan Wittman 4, Harry Davie 2, Percy Tulloh 2, Derek Mollison 1
After ending 1924 with a surprise last round victory over minor premiers Essendon the Fuschias had been spoken about in the pre-season as a potential finalist, and did nothing to dissuade the pundits by opening their premiership campaign with an easy win over the visiting Seasiders.
Melbourne debuted three new players, and the returning Ivor Warne-Smith, but crucially two of their new players had league experience and Gerry Donnelly had come from senior football in Western Australia. St Kilda added five players, only one of whom had played at as high a level as the VFA.
Kicking with a slight breeze in the first quarter, Melbourne were wasteful and struggling to come to terms with a strong defence but restricted St Kilda to a single behind. During the quarter the first free kick was paid under the new 'out of bounds' rule which had been forced on the VFL by other states - the reaction of the crowd demonstrated that many didn't know that the law had been amended.
Despite the use of the wind in the second quarter St Kilda fell to pieces, with their system completely breaking down and players going wherever they liked instead of sticking to position. They lacked cooperation and were caught holding the ball on numerous occasions after trying to break through a pack. Melbourne added three goals, but St Kilda could have crashed to an even bigger loss if the home team had kicked straight.
After rearranging their team during half time St Kilda finally got their first goal of the day midway through the third term but saw Melbourne extend the margin even further. During the three quarter time break patrons had shown more fight than St Kilda had until that point, brawling in the crowd on the railway wing.
The visitors took some of the fighting spirit to heart, having a player reported for striking Stan Wittman, but had to console themselves by breaking even with Melbourne in the last quarter when the game was well and truly won.
Taylor was Melbourne's best in the centre, while the defence of Thomas, Chadwick, Corbett, Streeter, Coy and Collins were almost unbeatable. Wittman ended the game with a swollen ankle.
Ivor Warne-Smith returned to the club for the first time since 1919 but chipped his collarbone in the first 10 minutes. He played out the game. Warne-Smith had only been able to play at the last minute when his clearance from Tasmania arrived at 11.50am.
The victory left Melbourne on top of the ladder at the end of Round 1.
St Kilda 17.25 d. Melbourne 4.7
Argus - 04/05/1925
Sporting Globe - 06/05/1925
Football Record 1925