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The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

25 July 1903 | Round 13

  • Collingwood
  • vs.
  • Geelong

Victoria Park (Home)

  • 6.15 (51)

    • QT 12.3

    • QT 24.7

    • QT 34.13

    • QT 46.15

  • -

  • 5.7 (37)

    • QT 11.2

    • QT 24.3

    • QT 35.5

    • QT 45.7

Match Report


Although the scores appear to show Collingwood comfortable winners against Geelong, it was only in the last few minutes that they reached the safety limit, and the match was full of exciting phases; first one and then the other leading. In the third quarter, especially, when the pendulum swung from one to the other, the game was wildly exciting, and full of the best kind of football.

Rowell was away from Collingwood, owing to the death of his father, and Stoddart was the only Geelong absentee. Geelong were the quicker side in getting to business at the start, but as soon as Collingwood settled down they were well matched in two different kinds of football, the Geelong play being the more dashing, their dropkicking superb, and their open play most attractive.

Collingwood were the steadier side, deliberate and accurate in their exchanges, and it was always manifest that they knew more of the tricks of the game than their rivals; and I use the word tricks not as implying anything unbearable. Another points made very clear thus early in the game was, that the Collingwood forwards were a bit too clever for the Geelong backs, while their centre line was a source of constant trouble to the visiting side. In a free and fast game, Collingwood led by a little at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter Geelong made a determined effort to break up Collingwood’s system, but the home side survived the shock, and Geelong’s, efforts did not present them shining. In the open play, their drop kicking especially being a treat to watch. Right through they had a trifle the best of it, and at half-time Collingwood were leading by two points only.

In the third quarter, Young went forward against Monahan, whose high marking, as usual, was playing the mischief with the opposing forwards. There were not many opportunities of witnessing a duel between the two, in which the crowd would have taken delight, but in these few the advantage was with the Collingwood man. The third was a most exciting quarter, and after some splendid football, Geelong got a lead of two points for the first time. Both were going their hardest, and a couple of behinds made Collingwood even again.

A splendid rush by Geelong gate them a point to the good, and the excitement was intense for at the pace someone had to crack up. At the last change Colling-wood led by two points only. Commencing the quarter Geelong again went in with fine dash, but they seemed to hang on the ball a bit when in possession, while Collingwood always passed it on smartly. It was well towards the finish when a fine bit of play by Drohan ended with a goal and this was the turning-point, for Peers got another goal within a few minutes, and made it safe for his side, but at the finish everyone came away content with having witnessed a fine game thought on the merits Collingwood should have had at least a couple more goals.

There was no doubt whatever as to the choice of the best man in the match, for Drohan, of Collingwood, quite surpassed himself. He was supposed to be placed, but as at one moment he was scoring a goal for his side, and in the next relieving his own goal from a dangerous attack, it was clear that he exercised a wide discretion.

That however, is one of the peculiarities of Collingwood’s play. They move with the changing fortunes of the match, and do things that with inferior men or a side badly organised, would be fatal. Condon, who is in better health, was playing finely as usual, and Monahan beyond compare in his special place back. Their centre line was very fine, for though Pannam was not quite up to his best, M’Cormack in the centre was playing beautifully. Their ruck work was well done, Argus, A. Leach, and Peers all shining in it; while Dummett and Fell back, and Greene forward, were of great assistance.

Of Geelong’s centre line Holligan was the best. Coles was first-rate, whether placed or following; and M’Kenzie in the same interchange of positions was seen to much advantage. Eason was a smart forward; and the best pair of backs were M’Kinlay and Quinton. Young played his usual fine game, but appeared to tire towards the finish. In addition to Rankin’s fine play as rover, his drop-kicking was one of the best things in the match. Bennion was another good man in the ruck work.

If Geelong can play their fine open game in Sydney next Saturday, and Carlton illustrate their close, quick exchanges the onlookers will have a first-rate exhibition of the two phases of Victorian football. The match was umpired in excellent style by Devine.

1903 ‘FOOTBALL.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 27 July, p. 6, 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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