Victoria Park (Home)
A LOST SYSTEM.
There were about 15,000 people at Victoria-park on Saturday to set the game between Carlton and Collingwood, and, considering the heavy rain of the previous, night, which left some of the grounds a bad state, the park was in first-rate condition for football with a slight diagonal wind favouring the river goal.
Carlton had the use of it to begin with, but were a long time before they could make any impression. But from the start they had that method which at one time you could always depend on finding in a Collingwood team, but which on Saturday was lamentably wanting. They set up a very sound defence, however, with Ryan, who was not then in the ruck, doing fine work in front of goal. From the outset the pace was fast, and the game exceptionally keen. In fact the keenness was so great that the players, dashing into the thick of it without any thought of consequences, were tumbling over each other all day.
Collingwood were always looking for that system which Carlton had, and only found it for a brief space in the third quarter. In the early stages Lang and Wells both missed possible chances for Carlton, and Lee spoiled the first of many, chance which from his boot went astonishingly wrong. From the good play of Gibb, Baxter had a hurried snapshot which just missed Carlton’s goal, and both Shorten and Hackett stopped dangerous rushes before Gardiner, with one of those magnificent shots which he frequently accomplishes, got fit first goal for Carlton. Within a few minutes he had a second shot at shorter range, and again scored. At the end of the quarter Carlton led by 16 points.
Immediately on starting the second quarter Fraser snapped third goal for Carlton, the immediate result of a bad mistake by Daykin. Collingwood were blundering badly, playing just as fast and just as strongly as Carlton, but invariably trying to pass too many men. In a desperately fought game Collingwood missed another easy chance right in front, and once the pack was so keen that Marchbank (of Carlton) had to hit behind in order to save his goal.
It was a long time before Collingwood scored, and then Baxter by his determined play gave Lee a chance to mark and score his first and only goal. Immediately afterward Elliott, with a fine kick, hit the goal post. Gardiner had better luck, for one of his shots just cleared a struggling mass of players in front of Collingwood’s goal. At half-time Carlton’s lead had increased to 23 points.
At the beginning of the third quarter, another bungle by Collingwood gave Lang an easy shot, but he too, hit the goal-post. Immediately afterwards Barmingham passed the ball to the front, Lang marked cleverly and scored fifth goal. Just about this stage Collingwood picked up wonderfully. They began to see their men on the wings played out to them with their accuracy which was once their strength and at the end of a wing rush. Jones missed a comfortable chance. A much more difficult one came to Heatly soon afterwards, and he scored second go for them, but missed a much easier shot in less than a minute afterward. Gibb also had a hurried scoring chance, but he did nothing with it. At that stage Collingwood were at their best, but their forward play was always weak. Gibb gave Lee another chance, the mark was a good one, but the kick all wrong. Collingwood were at least making a game finish of it, but one could see plainly enough that they had no chance of overtaking Carlton. Their early mistakes had left them too far behind.
The home team commenced the third quarter with a further bungle. Three men went up for a mark in goal, and spoiled each other. Carlton, on the other hand, always knew what they were doing, and their precision in passing was exceptionally sound. One of those long drop-kicks by Marchbank landed the ball to Lang, who although he had been hampered by a crippled leg for the greater part of the game, scored Carlton’s sixth goal, and that was practically the end of it, though the pace never slackened right up to the finish.
I have not for years seen a match in which there was so much legitimate energy such keenness and dash without anything approaching roughness. Clarke, who umpired well in country matches for some time had his merits brought under the notice of the league a few weeks ago, and since then he has umpired several league games with exceptional good judgment. On Saturday he was in opinion faultless. The saw everything vital and in one or two instances, in which the crowd did not agree with him, they were, in my opinion,wrong.
The winning side, unlike the losers, were singularly even in merit, so that I find it hard to make a choice. Perhaps Marchbank did slightly better work than anybody else, his marking and kicking being particularly fine. On the centre line there was some keen fighting, and of Carlton’s trio M’Gregor was best, with Bruce doing much in the early stages, but finding fewer opportunities later on. Gotz and Ford were, perhaps the pick of a reliable lot of back men, and Elliott and Wells did a lot of hard, useful work.
Four Collingwood men-Ryan, Vernon, McHaile, and Shorten stood out from the rest. Ryan made no mistakes, and though McHaile made several in the early stages he played fine football afterwards, though his kicking was not so good as usual.Shorten was something of a contradiction. He did some of the best things of the match, and some of the worst. With all the qualities and especially determination-of the never- say- die sort, he at present lacks judgment, and possessing that would be a great player. Vernon played splendidly. He too, is a rare plugger, never knows when he is beaten, and makes few mistakes. Next after this great four I liked the play of Snadden, Baxter, Gibb, and O’Donoghue.
1910 ‘FOOTBALL. EXCITING FINISHES.’, The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 4 July, p. 5, viewed 7 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10441801