Geelong win by 9 points
As the news broke that Ron Barassi was almost certain to coach the Demons in 1981, and shortly before Carl Ditterich announced that he was going to step aside to clear a path for Barassi the Demons put in a fighting performance in going down to the more fancied Cats.
Garry Baker goalled twice in the first three minutes on route to five for the day but the Demons could never pull ahead far enough to be comfortable, Geelong would always strike back. Even when the Cats jumped out to a 33 point late in the third quarter they conceded four quick goals to make the game more interesting going into the last quarter.
Five minutes into the last quarter Robert Flower kicked a goal to put his side in front, but Geelong soon regained the lead and made victory safe with a disputed mark.
Ditterich stepped out of media duties after the game, leaving Chairman of Selectors Hassa Mann to blame the loss on "a lot of very costly, elementary mistakes" before defending Ditterich as the coach.
Geelong 33.22.220 d. Melbourne 10.10.70
Goals - Hunnibell 2, Woodman 2, Bickford 1, Bunn 1, Hamilton 1, Kelly 1, O'Donnell 1, Whitfort 1
Best - Maynard, Czarnecki, Hunnibell
Melbourne 24.13.157 d. Geelong 12.18.90
Goals - Bell 5, Deakin 3, McCarthy 3, Battiston 2, Corrigan 2, O'Dwyer 2, O'Brien 2, Richards 2, Tossol 2, Sier 1
Best - Corrigan, Battiston, Bell