Melbourne win by 7 points
Without Ron Barassi, controversially suspended for striking a Richmond player in the Round 18 match, the Demons faced a stern challenge from an emerging St Kilda side. The two teams had been in a neck-and-neck battle for fourth place all year, and both jumped above Essendon in the last week of the season. They couldn't make it past second place Geelong and were forced into an elimination semi final instead. In front of a record Semi Final crowd, Bryan Kenneally took Barassi's familiar ruck/rover role.
After a nervous start, the Demons got the first score of the game seven minutes in with a point. Kenneally then hit the post from point blank range, and while both teams had a chance St Kilda took 12 minutes to score their first point. Only one goal was kicked by either side in the first quarter, through Barrie Vagg.
Melbourne was on top of the start of the second quarter, but unable to score. John Lord was clobbered by a big hit from a Saints player, and though his teammates exacted swift revenge by putting a pair of opponents in the hands of trainers, Lord was effectively knocked out of the game.
Two quick goals gave the Demons an advantage, and they kicked three of four for the quarter. The sides then traded goals at the start of the third, but Melbourne remained on top with superior pace and ability to spirit the ball away from packs. St Kilda had their best quarter of the game so far but still lost it by seven points.
The game seemed over but the Saints had a last gasp in them, they cut the margin to 19 after 12 minutes, adnd stormed back to seven points down late in the quarter. Missed sitters stopped them getting with a goal and Melbourne held on to win. They were left tired and sore, but had a fortnight to recover before the Preliminary Final against Hawthorn.
Best were Dixon, Lord and Adams. Len Mann replaced Vagg (bruised ribs) in the third quarter, Matthews was an unused reserve.
Before the game an 11-year-old fan was in the rooms, gathered a loose football, and was about to handball it to John Lord when Norm Smith knocked the ball out of his hands and playfully barked "You're too slow. You have to think fast, act fast,; you can't go to sleep on a football field."
Emselle 2.0, Vagg 2.2, Bourke 1.1, Johnson 1.1, Kenneally 1.2, Rattray 1.1, Dixon 0.1, Groom 0.2, Lord 0.3, Townsend 0.4
Sporting Globe - 14/09/1963
Football Record 1963 Finals