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The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

22 August 1903 | Round 16

  • Carlton
  • vs.
  • Collingwood

Princes Park (Away)

  • 5.11 (41)

    • QT 10.1

    • QT 24.6

    • QT 34.7

    • QT 45.11

  • -

  • 6.7 (43)

    • QT 13.2

    • QT 23.2

    • QT 35.7

    • QT 46.7

Match Report


The only great game on Saturday was that between Carlton and Collingwood, and it proved great in every sense the crowd, the match, the excitement, and the finish. When everything is considered there was more honour to Carlton in losing by two points than to Collingwood in winning.

With each men as Rolands, Bruce, Flynn, and Ford away any team was heavily handicapped; add the names of Leeds, Topping and Webber, and Carlton’s loss seemed past redemption. Yet they should have won, for within a few minutes of time Grace, from a fine mark, had a shot 13 yards in front of goal, and missed it.

In the first quarter, with the wind favouring Collingwood, Carlton played with a fine defensive game that only at intervals could Collingwood carry the attack home, but in these interludes of success they scored 3 goals 2 behinds to Carlton’s 1 behind, although the Blues had it several times within easy reach of their opponents’ goal.

With all the conditions against them, Carlton were playing the more meritorious game. Two of Collingwood’s three goals were snapped by Lockwood within a few minutes of the change of ends. Carlton kept up their form splendidly in the second quarter, and never let their powerful opponents score a point while putting on 4 goals 6 behinds to their own account. Up to this stage  there was nothing seen of Collingwood’s customary skill in passing the ball, and nearly all Carlton’s tries were from deliberate shots after they had worked the ball by sheerment within fair range.

In the third quarter the wind here, as on other grounds, slackened slightly, and so evenly was the form of the first quarter reproduced that Carlton again put on a behind only while Collingwood got 2 goals 5 behinds, most of them from their quick favourite snapshots. They led by the bare six points as they entered on the last term, with excitement in the crowd at fever heat. It looked any odds on Carlton, but their ardour was, chilled a bit, when Collingwood, going off with a dash, got the only goal scored at the Sydney-road end. They never again crowed the goal line, and up to the finish Carlton were batting hard for the points they wanted to win with their wildly excited friends rallying them on. This was a stirring bit of football, and when Grace got the mark mentioned there was absolute silence as he took history, and a perfect roar of disappointment when he failed.

They were then only three points behind, and the shot, if successful, would have put them the same number ahead.

Carlton’s defence was its strongest point on Saturday, and no one did so much to clear his own goal front as Ross, who played his very best game for Carlton. They had a couple of new men playing, and Lithgow, from Yarra Glen, showed very fine form indeed, while Prentice, of the Port Rovers – a metropolitan association team, gave promise of future excellence on the centre-line. There was a great deal of merit, too, in the persistent way O’Connor stuck to Pannam, the Collingwood wing man, and hampered him for at least three-parts of the game.

Snell was always very fine, and Elliott, whether placed or in the ruck, played consistently, as usual. Grace, who is nearly, if not quite, in the form which a few seasons back made him such a power in the Fitzroy team, was another man who shone in the dual capacity, and it made a lot of difference to Carlton when he was forward. Both the M’Shanes were in moderately good form, the captain shining in the desperate efforts for a winning goal towards the finish. Hogg, half-forward marked better than he kicked, although he scored two goals, and the constant Walton was again a great factor in Carlton’s defence.

Two or three of Collingwood’s cracks were not at their best. Condon seemed to get his arm hurt from a fall early in the match, and Monahan, though he did valiant work when Carlton were pressing so hard in the last quarter, was, until then, under his avenge form. M’Cormack, in the centre, just about saved his side from disaster, and Drohan was win in rattling form on one wing, but considering that accidents had deprived Carlton of the whole of their ordinary centre line, it was not strange that Collingwood should excel there. The four others in black, and white who had most influence on the game were Incoll, Peers Angus – who was about the most useful man in the ruck and Tulloch, who was playing in every part of the field, with his usual skill.

1903 ‘FOOTBALL.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 24 August, p. 9, viewed 31 July, 2015,

Team Stats

  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • HO Hit Outs
  • FF Frees For
  • FA Frees Against
  • T Tackles
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