Round 15, 1956
Fitzroy vs Melbourne
Saturday 28 July
Venue: Brunswick Street
Melbourne win by 28 points
Goalkickers: Stuart Spencer 3, Terry Gleeson 2, Ian Ridley 2, Ron Barassi 1, Brian Dixon 1, Noel McMahen 1, Laurie Mithen 1
A week after suffering their first loss for the season, and for almost a year, the Demons bounced back in the second half at Brunswick Street to avoid a second defeat in a row. Norm Smith described his side's first half performance as "rock bottom for the season". His side had run into each other, missed kicks and strayed from position. They were lucky that the locals had fired everywhere but in front of goal.
Fitzroy's committee had attempted to have the game moved to the MCG due to the poor condition of their oval, but the VFL's match arrangements committee rejected the request after an inspection of Brunswick Street. Despite the improved condition on the turf from their previous match Fitzroy still had to train in the parkland outside the ground during the week, sharing space with a junior side.
The Maroons rose above their midweek issues and started with a barrage of rugged, powerful football that opened up a lead by three goals just before half time. It appeared that an upset was on the cards, but Melbourne reversed their fortunes after the long break. Their opponents tired and with Noel McMahen moved into the centre and rovers Spencer and Ridley dominant they took control of the match and went on to win comfortably. A 5.5 to 1.3 burst in the third quarter put them firmly back on top.
Best were McLean, McMahen and Beckwith. Bob Johnson was replaced in the selected side by Terry Gleeson due to an ankle injury. Melville (knee) was replaced by Carroll at half time and McGivern (ankle) by Webb in the last quarter.
Norm Smith said "After a poor beginning, in which our players struggled to accustom themselves to the new forward setup, Melbourne gradually improved. Early, Fitzroy appeared to have the drop us us, and if they kicked accurately would have been almost unbeatable. But the second half was more like our real form."
Melbourne 19.15 d. Fitzroy 11.8
Goals - Unknown
Best - Jones, Dunkerley, Atkinson
Fitzroy 11.17 d. Melbourne 4.9
Age - 25/07/1956
Age - 30/07/1956
Argus - 30/07/1956
Football Record R16 1956