Melbourne win by 8 points
The Demons had gone unbeaten for the first three weeks of the season, but had beaten two lesser sides in the last fortnight so were expected to have a tougher time against the team they put out in the 1957 Preliminary Final.
They returned to the team that had won them the final - with Peter Marquis and Frank Adams free of injury for the first time all year - but as expected they got a tough time from the Hawks, who kicked four goals in a row in the second quarter to take the lead. In the third quarter Hawthorn looked like running away with the game but Melbourne kicked three in a row. Despite the comeback, the Hawks had been the better side all day despite trailing by a goal at the last change. They also had the advantage of the breeze in the last quarter.
Melbourne, though, dug in and defended their six point lead. Dick Fenton-Smith, playing his first game for the season, was dominant in the ruck during the last term and went Hawthorn finished with six straight points they kicked themselves out of any chance of victory.
Best for Melbourne were Beckwith, Tunbridge and Mithen.
A Melbourne official later told The Age that his side had five injured players but none of them would come from the ground so the 19th and 20th men could be used. John Beckwith lost vision in one eye due to a bad gash, Ron Barassi was sick from a cold, Peter Marquis had an infected toe, Brian Dixon a knee injury and Ian Ridley had also suffered a kick to the back of his knee.
The win pushed Melbourne to the top of the ladder.
Hawthorn 11.14.80 d. Melbourne 9.5.59
Goals - Wilkinson 6, Brenchley 2, R. Evans 1
Best - Rowarth, Wilkinson and Mithen
Melbourne 6.13 d. Hawthorn 5.12
Goals - O'Toole 2, Avery 1, Rolfe 1, Anderson 1, Butler 1
Best - Evans, O'Toole, Butler