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The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

11 July 1903 | Round 11

  • Collingwood
  • vs.
  • Fitzroy

Victoria Park (Home)

  • 8.8 (56)

    • QT 11.5

    • QT 24.6

    • QT 37.8

    • QT 48.8

  • -

  • 5.6 (36)

    • QT 12.2

    • QT 23.2

    • QT 34.3

    • QT 45.6

Match Report


Over 15,000 people saw the match between Collingwood and Fitzroy on Saturday at Victoria-park, and it proved to be a game worth seeing. The home team lost the services of their rover, Peers, who, like several other players, was down with a cold, and Fred Leach has given up the game Condon, too, is greatly troubled with a cold, and, though he played, was quite unfit to do himself justice Fitzroy bad their best team out, and they set to work on the policy which has served them so well in their recent games with Collingwood, vis, to break up the system of clever passing, and they did it most effectually.

This should have been sufficient to win the match, but Collingwood, beaten at their own game, adopted that of Fitzroy, and beat them in that hard driving, rushing play, where Brosnan and his men were thought to be supreme. This tactical surprise was the feature of the match.

At the beginning of the first quarter Fitzroy had the best of it, and missed several good chances of scoring. At that stage indeed the odds were all against Collingwood, and when Kiernan and Wilkinson scored for Fitzroy one would not have given much for the other side’s chance. They brightened up a bit towards the end of the quarter, which closed however, considerably in favour of Fitzroy.

The notable thing in the second quarter was the excellence of the goal-kicking, 4 goals being scored to one behind Fitzroy looked like carrying on their lead, as they get a goal early, but Collingwood bagged the next three, one of them being from a magnificent shot by Rowell at about 60 yards. At half-time they were leading, and kept the advantage to the finish. It was their line play in the second and third quarters that won Collingwood the match.

Fitzroy have a reputation as great finishers, and they maintained it in this game, but their superiority was never sufficient marked to wipe off the lead that Collingwood had gained, and the litter left off good winners in a pluckily played game.

In the last quarter especially the winners were indebted to no man more than the consistent Monahan, who, by his superb marking, did much to land his team victorious always good at the finish he was splendid. For years he has been one of the stats in a fine team, and during all that time I have never heard a whisper against him – a most enviable position for any footballer to occupy. In a game where a man’s temper is often sorely tried, one feels that he cannot say too much in praise of such a footballer. Rowell was another man who give valuable aid in putting his side on top, but towards the finish he was rather badly injured, and had to be helped off the ground Clarke of Fitzroy, went straight into him, and could baldly be blamed for rough play since, as the lighter man, he took all the risks. After the collision Clarke was not of much use to his side, and Rowell still less. Before this, however, Rowell had got three goals, two of them from fine long shots, and this in spite of the fact that Fitzroy had apparently told off one of their smartest men in Beecham to watch him. It was not a good move, however, for he failed to stop Howell – whom it was believed a little special energy would always break up and Becham’s side lost the good service he invariably gives them when left to play his own game. Greene, who was played in place of Peers, filled the gap with immense credit, getting a couple of goals and being always a useful man to the side.

The Collingwood centre line, made up of Pannam, M’Cormack, and Drohan, was first rate. M’Cormack has been playing occasionally with a junior team, but in this match he showed something of his last season’s form. Rush, Fell, and Dummett were all good in defence, while Tulloch, Lockwood, Angus, and Incoll were also first rate.

Fitzroy had bad luck in that Wilkinson, who began well was knocked out early in the game. Walker played first rate football for them in the earlier stages, and Trotter was smart all through. Kiernan, too, did some excellent work, but in passing to his own men was less clever than usual. Right through the match J. Sharp was prominent, and Barker played his usual honest untiring game. In the emergency they might have made better use of Jenkins, further out but he was always good in front of goal, and Millis, M’Sperrin, and Nai-smith were a useful trio. Gibson umpired the match in first-rate style.

1903 ‘FOOTBALL.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 13 July, 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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