The VFL introduced a round robin system for the top four teams at the end of the season - very similar to that used in 1897.

It proved unpopular with supporters, who stayed away in droves, and it was never repeated.

The system was set up so that the minor premier Essendon was still able to claim the flag despite losing its final game to Richmond.

Had the Bombers finished second, they would have the right to challenge the top team in the Grand Final, but this wasn’t needed.

George Shorten was equal runner-up in the inaugural Brownlow Medal.

Game 1: Essendon 8.10 (58) def Fitzroy 2.16 (18)
Attendance: 44,522 at the MCG

Game 2: Essendon 10.12 (72) def South Melbourne 4.15 (39)
Attendance: 35,407 at the MCG

Game 3: Richmond 9.13 (67) def Essendon 6.11 (47)
Attendance: 15,503 at Princes Park


F. Baring, S. Barker, N. Beckton, C. Donaldson, C. Farrell, T. Fitzmaurice, J. Garden, H. Gregory, C. Hardy, H. Hunter, T. Jenkins, R. Laing, F. Maher, C. May, J. McCarthy, G. Rawle, G. Shorten, G. Stockdale, J. Sullivan, R. Watt.

Coach: S. Barker


Best and fairest: Tom Fitzmaurice

Leading goalkicker: Tom Jenkins (50)