Footscray win by 7 points
First game and first goal
Peter Keenan (also with North Melbourne and Essendon)
With the Bulldogs coming off a humiliating 143 point loss to the Hawks the week before coach Royce Hart had been under all sorts of pressure during the week, and it seemed touch and go as to whether he'd keep his job or not. Hart survived, and after a rollercoaster ride through four tough quarters of football it was a first game fairytale which finally sank the Demons and bought the coach a little bit more time.
Early on it looked like the only tale would be how much the Bulldogs would win by. They blitzed the MCG in the first quarter and had racked up 4.5 (and four complete misses) before the Demons had even managed a shot on goal.
Just two weeks after jubilant scenes greeted their win over St Kilda, fans greeted the first half performance with a chorus of boos as players left the ground. More than nine goals behind it looked like a massacre was on the cards, but a six goal to four third term steadied the ship somewhat. "Crackers" Keenan was strong in his 200th game, and along with Brent Crosswell he helped drag Melbourne back into the match.
Still, nine minutes into the last term the Demons were still seven goals behind even after Robbie Flower - who had pushed forward in the second half - goalled. Flower's goal opened the floodgates and the Demons piled on eight goals in twenty minutes and looked as if they were going to commit one of the biggest robberies in league history. Enter Gary Walpole - the first gamer from the bush snapped truly on his left and the Bulldogs were home. He played just 11 games more in his career.
Best were Flower, Keenan and Healy.
Footscray 22.24.156 d. Melbourne 14.16.100
Goals - P. Tossol 4, Fidge 3, Barham 1, Catoggio 1, Clayton 1, Ford 1, Hutchison 1, McKenzie 1, O'Dwyer 1
Best - Hutchison, Boland, Ford
Melbourne 17.20.122 d. Footscray 10.12.72
Goals - Fidge 3, Rugolo 3, Bergman 2, Fisher 2, Howard 2, Reynolds 1, Connolly 1, Green 1, McDonald 1
Reported - DiStefano for striking