Essendon win by 3 points
Melbourne had sealed their top two finish and the double chance with tough victories over North Melbourne and Hawthorn in successive weeks, but they found a third thriller in a row against the desperate Bombers was a step too far.
Melbourne led at every change, but playing for a spot in the four the Bombers reeled them in during the last quarter, using their superior strength to gain a crucial win.
The visitors got the first goal of the last quarter through Robert Johnson, and 10 minutes in were still three goals in front, but then Essendon mounted their comeback and snatched a one point lead with a further 10 minutes to play. From there they only allowed one more Demon attack. Even Ron Barassi made a gaffe, trying to play on after marking 50m out and losing the ball. It was the fourth time he'd attempted the move during the game and none were successful.
The Bombers flashed home to take the lead, and while a Barassi goal gave the Demons some hope of snatching the win back but they ran out of time.
During the game Robert B Johnson had kicked a goal which had struck an audience member. He ran to the fence and apologies, only to receive an "unladylike insult" for his troubles.
Best were Williams, Laidlaw and Fenton-Smith. Marquis (cramp) was replaced by Rowarth in the last quarter. Jones was an unused reserve.
Despite the loss the Demons only required one win from their last two games to clinch top spot on the ladder.
Marquis is also shown as injuring his calf (Sun 11/08/1958)
Melbourne 9.10 d. Essendon 4.18
Goals - Wilkinson 4, Brenchley 2, Crompton 1, Pinfold 1, Kerr 1
Best - Gleeson, Massey, Thorogood
Essendon 4.13 d. Melbourne 4.6
Goals - Rolfe 1, O'Toole 1, Campbell 1, Butler 1
Best - Butler, Campbell, Gainger