Grand Final Replay, 1948
Melbourne vs Essendon
Saturday 9 October
Melbourne win by 39 points
Goalkickers: Jack Mueller 6, Lance Arnold 2, Alby Rodda 2, Adrian Dullard 1, Noel McMahen 1, Norm Smith 1
Last MFC Game
Last Game as Coach
With their coach's retirement delayed a week by a Grand Final draw, the Demons needed to be better than they had in the first game. Essendon's poor kicking had let Melbourne off the hook a week earlier and after three tough games in a row the Bombers went in favourites. Alby Rodda was a doubtful starter after taking a heavy blow to the chest in the first game that left him with a suspected broken rib.
Essendon's preparation hadn't been without drama, they had shown up to Windy Hill for training only to find out that the cricketers had already taken over. Ferried to Arden Street in a fleet of taxis it was no way start another Grand Final week.
This time Melbourne were taking no chances on a thrilling finish and with a slippery ball thanks to light rain which had fallen in the hour before the first bounce they blew their opposition away in the first quarter. Every key Bombers man was silenced and by the first change the match was all but over with a lead of almost six goals.
Essendon's forwards were forced to play with panic while they were put under intense physical pressure. Dick Reynolds was forced to move into the ruck to spark his side, but Col McLean looked after him and the rest of the match was a procession.
Jack Mueller, who had been lured out of retirement before the finals, booted another six goals to take his tally to 20 for the series. He and Norm Smith formed a deadly forward combination, and even though Smith only got one goal he responsible for several others. Essendon won the second quarter but they'd left themselves too much work to do.
Despite the lead Norm Smith had to be dragged away from the umpire at half time after conceding a late free kick. He responded in the best way when after Essendon had sliced the margin to 16 he set up an Alby Rodda steadier. The third quarter then became a defensive struggle and each side managed just one more goal to leave the Demons 30 points in front at the last change. They held on to win comfortably, extending their lead by a further nine points before the final siren.
Smith, Mueller and Bickford were Melbourne's best.
Jubilant supporters donated 200 pounds to the team for their victory, including 20 from former winger Ray Wartman.
B: Billy Deans, Shane McGrath, Stan Rule
HB: Col McLean, Denis Cordner, Geoff Collins
C: Max Spittle, George Bickford, Len Dockett
HF: Robert McKenzie, Lance Arnold, Noel McMahen
F: Jack Mueller, Norm Smith, Eddie Craddock
R: Don Cordner (c), Adrian Dullard, ((Alby Rodda)
S: Gordon Bowman, Eddie Jackson
Coach: Frank "Checker" Hughes
Argus - 04/10/1958
Football Record 1948 Grand Final Replay
Sporting Globe - 06/10/1948
Argus - 06/10/1948
Age - 08/10/1948
Argus - 08/10/1948
Sporting Globe - 09/10/1948
Argus - 09/10/1948
Age - 09/10/1948
Age - 12/10/1948
Argus - 11/10/1948