Melbourne win by 5 points
The Demons got their season off to a winning but unconvincing start with victory over North.
The Kangaroos seemed all but home having played over the top of the Demons all day, but with a lead of just 16 points at the last chance they'd failed to take advantage of their total supremacy to rack up a winning score. North had been courageous all day, typified by Ian Thompson who was ironed out by a shirtfront from Tassie Johnson in the third quarter and despite not moving for two minutes returned just a few minutes later to snap a goal.
Johnson was switched onto brilliant North forward Bernie McCarthy in the last quarter, and Bernie Massey came off the reserves bench to fill the gap left by Johnson. It was a masterstroke as North added just two more points to their total for the rest of the day.
Best were T. Johnson, Williams and Mann. Dixon (bruised thigh) was replaced by Murnane in the first quarter. Stone (strained shoulder ligaments) was replaced by Massey in the lat quarter. Don Williams also bruised a thigh.
Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Don Meredith was at the game as a special guest of Melbourne.
North Melbourne 10.18 d. Melbourne 8.16
Goals - G. Osborne 2, Smith 2, K. Osborne 1, Parke 1, Knape 1, Hollioake 1
Best - Bowden, Langford, Parke
North Melbourne 16.14 d. Melbourne 8.12
Goals - Stanton 2, Calleja 2, Clarke 1, Watts 1, Aubrey 1, Shepherd 1
Best - Hooper, Clarke, Sinclair