Victoria Park (Home)
The words Victorian-park do not quite indicate the conditions at Abbotsford when the Essendon and Collingwood teams met on Saturday. The park was largely water, some parts of it were mud, and in this it differed from no other ground on which football was played.
Collingwood and Essendon, floundered through their game. That is almost all that can be said about it, except that Collingwood were at home in a double sense, had the better of the play for at least three quarters, and won a game which would have been exciting and quite possibly different on another kind of day. The visitors had White and Sewart out of their team, and took in Bryant and O’shea.
In the opening quarter Collingwood played a strong, crashing game. They were quick to realised the hopelessness of picking up or handling the ball as they kicked. Saturday they and it is hardly necessary to say that on occasions they did not find it at all. Still, their energy was better than their luck, and six times in the quarter they got the ball post the Essendon goal, but not once through it, while on the only occasions in which Essendon really got within range. Armstrong made a sudden dash out of a crash and scored a goal thus, with the balance of play much a Collingwood‘s favour, the points were equal as they changed ends.
In the second quarter the Collingwood men were still a little better than Essendon, a result largely due to the very fine form of M’ Half in the centre of the field. He was one of the few men in the match who seemed able to use the ball skilfully. At first Busbridge was placed against him but the big Essendon man was slower, and, through his weight hampered a good dull on the soft ground. Unfortunately, before the game had been very long in progress he had the bad luck to have one of his fingers fractured and was obliged to leave the ground to have it dressed. The chances were fairly even in that quarter, each side getting four tries, but the only goal was scored by Collingwood.
The third term was distinctly in favour of Essendon, for Collingwood never scored a point. But it was the only period during the match in which the red and black, looked like winning. They went in with rare dash from the start. Busbridge had come out again with his hand bandaged up, and although so seriously hampered, he went forward and took two or three line high marks, but was not able to get anything better than behinds from his tries. Armstrong again scored for the side, and when they changed for the final it was still anybody’s game, though Essendon had a lead by 20 points to 15. The conditions of the last two quarters win completely reversed.
In the final phase it was Collingwood who did all the work, and this time they had better luck with their shooting for they put on four goals and four behinds while Essendon could only add a single point, and so were beaten by two to one. It was a fair indication of what merit there was in the play because Collingwood ruled for three quarters and Essendon only for one.
There were four man in the match who stood out from the rest of the players McHalle I have mentioned. Lee finding that he could not hold marks as a forward, and that it was a day when one man was just as likely to score as another, played all over the field, and was for part of the time back. In all positions he was a most useful man to the side.
The prominent pair in Essendon colours were Bowe (back) and Reicher (following),and of the four men named I think Reicher was the best. He did a tremendous lot of work for the side Collingwood s half-back line, made up of the three S. Scadden, Shorten, and Sadler was excellent. Gibb did well on the wing, and Heatley figured creditably in the ruck. Gilchrist, a promising colt from Mitcham, who was having his first game, satisfied them as to his ability, Wilson was always very useful about goal, and Baxter roved fairly well.
In addition to the Essendon pair named, Smith played a good defensive game, Harrison was best at kicking in, Prout was the pick of their centremen, L Armstrong maintained his reputation as one of the most useful players Essendon has had for many seasons and both Martin and Cameron were valuable to the side, Cameron especially in the first half. Considering his injuries and the bad luck which seems to follow him, Busbridge did wonderfully well. In the third quarter of the game Anderson of Essendon, has his leg injured, and was of little further use to them.
1910 ‘AT VICTORIA-PARK.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 25 July, p. 5, viewed 7 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10447102