Fitzroy win by 11 points
The resurgent Demons were charging towards confirming a spot in the finals when they came up against second last Fitzroy at Brunswick Street. They had just snuck into the four courtesy of a big win over Hawthorn the previous week but never played well at Brunswick Street and suffered a defeat which dropped them to seventh on the ladder.
In wet conditions the only Demon department which won on the day was their defence, but with their aerial superiority cancelled out and Fitzroy's smaller players all kicking goals they could only hold back the tide so long. An ill-advised attempt to adopt negative physical tactics towards the heavier Roys players was a failure. Melbourne wasted chances early, opening the game with two behinds and in slippery conditions only managed a single goal for the first quarter to go in two behind.
Fitzroy started the last quarter 11 points in front and the Demons were against wasteful with two points before the Lions kicked a relieving goal. They took the margin out to 18 points before the visitors got a late consolation. In the last 10 minutes full forward Clarke and centre half-forward McGivern swapped places. Late in the game Stuart Spencer had a shot on goal that was going through when a free kick was paid against Bob Johnson. It would have cut the gap to five points and given them some chances, but the free sealed victory for Fitzroy.
Losing meant that the Demons had to win all their remaining matches to qualify for the finals, starting with the side that had just leapt over them and into fourth - Richmond - the following Saturday.
There was controversy during the game when a trainer ran on the field to blatantly tell Clarke and McGiven to switch positions, against league rules. When he ran on a second time the field and goal umpires confronted him and he left the field.
Best were Beckwith, Marquis and Williams. Lane replaced Adams (thigh) at three quarter time. Christie replaced Barassi (bruised toe) in the last quarter.
Melbourne 19.10 d. Fitzroy 1.7
Goals - Albiston 6, Unknown 13
Best - Albiston, Laidlaw, Ridley
Melbourne 10.10 d. Fitzroy 8.3
Age - 07/08/1954
Sporting Globe -07/08/1954
Argus - 09/08/1954
Age - 09/08/1954
Herald - 09/08/1954
Argus - 09/08/1954
Argus - 11/08/1954
Sporting Globe - 11/08/1954
Age - 13/08/1954
Football Record R16 1954