Victoria Park (Home)
A REMARKABLE MATCH.
NOTES BY “OBSERVER.”
A splendid crowd assembled at Victoria-park to see Carlton and Collingwood play the return match. There must have been quite 15,000, for Carlton made its first big step upward by beating Collingwood on the opening day of the season.
And the game on Saturday was in every way worthy the best traditions of football. It was a magnificent match, and the only regret heard at the finish was that we had not given them such a game in Sydney. It would have taken people by storm. Short of heroics, one cannot say too match for it. It was close almost to the bell, all the best points in the game were perfectly illustrated, and the dash, the meteoric changes, the perfection of the general play, and to crown all, some sensational goal-kicking, fairly carried the people off their feet. And the only point of difference between the two teams was that Collingwood played with slightly the better system, exchanging their half-distance kicks with a certainty that won general admiration.
So strenuously and evenly was it fought up to the last stage that well on in the last quarter Carlton was only a point behind at it other stages they had been ahead. Anyone at all acquainted with the teams and the game knows how they would finish under such conditions. But, just when it seemed that a point either way would win it, Collingwood came out with some dazzling football, put on three goals in rapid succession, and drove their friends almost frantic with delight. Though Carlton put on another goal before the finish, it was too late to retrieve the position, and everyone left the second satisfied with having seen the game of the season.
The beaten team deserved to be as warmly congratulated as the winners, for at the very out-set it looked for a few minutes as though it would be a run-away match. Collingwood got three goals with a run in the first few minutes, and the style in which Carlton rose to such a facer was one of the finest things in the match.
At half-time they were only two points behind, and thence goal answered goal with inspiring succession. To and to the perfection of the game, D’Helin umpired it perfectly, and has rarely, if ever, been seen to such advantage.
The only absentee who was not efficiently replaced was Bruce, from the Carlton side, and Flynn was almost useless to them, through injuries. On the Collingwood side the usual three Condon, Pannam, and F. Leach-stood out above, the rest and to name them in that order was to indicate their respective merits, with barely room for separating them. Their football was not only fine but exceedingly fair, and they have only to keep on in that vein to win universal respect, Drohan finished far better than he began, and for once in a way Monahan had to rank behind Rush and Fell in their defence work. Rowell was, as usual, quick, cool, and well served by his side, and Lockwood very deadly in his shooting, for he scored five goals. Peers, Incoll, and Tulloch were always in evidence.
For Carlton, no one, perhaps, played a better game than Rolands, who led Drohan a merry dance in the earlier stages, and if he failed at all it was in trying to run too far. Ford, in the centre, too, was in his very best form, and, Elliott always conspicuous, whether in the ruck, forward, or defending his goal, a duty in which he was always finely seconded by Walton, who’s long, low, neat, skimming kicks covered a lot of ground. Ross was another man who shone there. H. M’Shane has rarely played a better game forward than on this occasion, and J, M’Shane who was rather under has form was still most effective about Collingwood’s post, where he scored three goals.
1903 ‘FOOTBALL.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 15 June, p. 7, viewed 31 July, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9804148