Melbourne win by 13 points
After a shaky end to a season where at one point they looked like going through unbeaten, the Demons travelled to Collingwood - in the hunt for second place themselves - and earned a confidence boosting victory.
The Demons were slow to start, and with a win guaranteeing the Pies of top two irrespective of Geelong's result they took a three goal lead into quarter time. The Demons struck back with five goals in the second quarter to take a four point lead into the long break.
After each side booted one goal in the third the scene was set for a grandstand finish, which the two teams duly provided. Despite losing their high marking followers through injury Collingwood attacked strongly early in the quarter, but Melbourne held them out and counter attacked with continual forward thrusts which eventually helped them kick away to a winning score.
At the end of the match umpire Alan Nash had to be escorted off the ground by police after irate Collingwood fans rushed him. He had awarded the sides 31 free kicks apiece during the match.
Best were Beckwith, Spencer and Cordner. Marquis (strained thigh muscle) was replaced by Sandral and Melville (dislocated finger) by Gleeson.
Norm Smith said "Melbourne played top class football, its best for at least six weeks, and I was extremely happy to see all sectors cooperating so smoothly at this vital stage of the season. Several of our players who had been in the doldrums came good in this match and they should give us the added zing needed for the tough games ahead."
Melbourne 18.18 d. Collingwood 10.11
Goals - Crameri 6, Unknown 12
Best - Wilson, Atkinson, Cook