Footscray win by 2 points
After eight wins in a row the Demons faced 10th placed Footscray in what seemed, on paper, like another easy victory. After all they had just toppled second placed Collingwood to go a game and percentage clear of fifth placed Fitzroy - but the Bulldogs pulled off a shock victory which ruined Melbourne's chance to go two games clear inside the four.
The locals had first use of the wind, but went into the break two points behind as they were unable to get past the aerial superiority of Denis Cordner in Melbourne's backline. Their defence had stood firm but fell victim to three hurried snaps. Melbourne conceded the first goal of the second quarter but quickly kicked two in reply and went into the half 11 points ahead.
To combat the wind a second time, coach La Fontaine switched Dullard into the ruck and Cordner to full-forward, costing his team some of their forward drive. For the second time Melbourne had trouble piercing Footscray's solid defence, and by three quarter time the lead was down to five points.
Footscray entered the last quarter having matched their opponents all day, but Len Toyne got the first goal of the last quarter to extend the margin to 11. The goal spurred the Bulldogs, and kicked two goals in a row to take the lead. Toyne kicked two more, his second to put Melbourne back in front.
With the scores locked together late in the quarter, Ken Carlon kicked a goal to give Melbourne the lead before two behinds in a row to the home side cut the margin to four. Eddie Jackson was knocked out, and trainers spent several minutes working on him. When play restarted with just time-on left, Footscray's Templeton dashed through a pack and kicked the winning the goal.
It was Melbourne's third two point loss for the year, and it left them just one win in front of Geelong, who had now taken fifth, but with an inferior percentage.
Best were Bickford, Dockett and Jackson. Craddock (stomach cramp) was replaced by Bowman in the last quarter. Jackson (broken nose and concussion) was replaced by Chadwick in the last few minutes of the game. Trainers had worked on him for several minutes trying to keep him on the ground before calling the reserve on. Don Cordner suffered a poke in the early which temporarily blinded him at the end of the game.
Footscray 13.5 d. Melbourne 11.13
Melbourne 13.8 d. Footscray 7.10
Herald gives the crowd as 12,000