Hawthorn win by 67 points
Last MFC Game
The chances of another wooden spoon had eased in recent weeks after the Saints failed to take advantage of their shock round 13 victory over the Demons. They were still on one win and despite being thumped from pillar to post by most of the competition Melbourne were still three wins and a handful of percentage points in front of them.
A trip to Waverley to play the top of the table Hawks wasn't going to help, but at least they could be almost sure that the Saints would be losing elsewhere as well. Despite Hawthorn's lofty position on the ladder a crowd of barely more than 10,000 turned up to watch them win on a wet surface with barely a whimper from the opposition.
Throwing two first gamers into the mix, the Demons were four goals down at quarter time and the game was over. Under regular circumstances teams could easily recover such a deficit, but when it came to the second last side playing the top side it was nearly impossible. After being 10 goals behind at half time, the inexperienced Melbourne side (fielding nine players with under 20 games experience), kept the margin respectable but they were in a different class to the 1985 Grand Final losers.
Hawthorn had it so easy they were able to use defender Rod Lester-Smith at half forward instead of Dermott Brereton and watch him kick six goals. They became handball happy in the third quarter, allowing Melbourne numerous opportunities on goal that they blew with poor conversion. After the game John Northey bemoaned his side's lack of goalkickers, but said he was pleased with the performance of his younger players.
Best were Lyon, Healy and Stretch. Cordner and Wight both suffered corked legs.
Hawthorn 16.18.114 d. Melbourne 9.20.74
Goals - Battiston 2, Rugolo 2, Giles 1, Williams 1, Bourke 1, Fidge 1, Stoney 1
Best - Williams, White, Eishold
Reports - Daryl Bourke (striking)
Hawthorn 11.10.76 d. Melbourne 8.9.57
Goals - Roe 4, Hewitson 1, Hannant 1, McCarty 1, Normington 1
Best - Hannant, Martello, Smith