East Melb Cricket Ground (Away)
ANOTHER UNINTERESTING GAME
Although East Melbourne ground is from its position fairly well sheltered, the wind took control of the game there also, and the match with Collingwood was another disappointment. There were 18,000 people at the match, amongst them the Prime Minister and the Minister of Customs. The East Melbourne club wished to honour their guests, who deprecated anything of the kind. Mr. Fisher is evidently fond of the Australian game, and rarely misses a good match.
The only changes in the teams were O’Donghue out of Collingwood, while Essendon of course lost the injured Busbrigde for a time and left out Martin and Tether, taking in Griffiths, Harrison, and McLeod. Among their followers there was a strong impression that a mistake was made in not playing Martin. Described in the term commonly used around the ground at the finish, it was “a rotten game,” yet so fast and hard that both sides had all the exercise they wanted by the time it was half over. Neither showed much judgment in picking the best flank for an approach when they had the advantage of the wind. Had Essendon played anything like the strong rushing passing game they did against South Melbourne they would have obtained better results. When against the wind they seemed to be quite content if they could keep their opponents from scoring goals, but Collingwood were getting behind all the time and the single points were so many that they almost won the game in the end. Looking at the opportunities, it will be realised at once that it was Collingwood’s bad kicking, for unlucky kicking, that lost them the match.
It was a considerable time before any goals were scored. Essendon getting 3 behinds from deliberate and possible tries, before Griffith with a long and careless-looking drop kick, sent it soaring through and won first goal for the side – the first he has kicked for eight years. Dykin, with a running shot, got their second and just before the end of the quarter a free-kick to Wilson, close in, gave Collingwood an easy goal. They might have had another from a similar free- kick to Vernon, but he missed and on changing ends Essendon had a slight lead.
Considering that in the second quarter Collingwood had to play up hill and against the wind, they did very well but it remained a scrambling combat always congesting along the boundaries and with the ball a good deal out of play. The football is best described as rough and ready.
With the wind Collingwood got four behinds right away, and then Essendon scored a goal, their only point for the quarter. Just towards the finish. Lee scored Collingwood’s second goal and Baxter, with a beautiful place kick a long way out got the third, so that Collingwood were leading by two points at half-time. It was noticeable at that stage that McLeod and Dykin of Essendon were rather overmastering Collingwood’s second ruck and each side played a couple of rovers right through which helped to increase the mix up.
On commencing the third quarter L. Arm-strong quickly got the fourth goal for Essendon, and Heatley gave Wilson an opportunity for Collingwood, but from a poor running shot the ball struck the best of the post. L. Armstrong got Essendon’s fifth goal and Collingwood seemed to be missing opportunities through Lee s fault. As a fact one of his arms was so badly wrenched that it was difficult for him to hold the ball and this accounted for his failures. Towards the end of the quarter there was some splendid marking by Bowe and Shorten on the opposing sides.
Commencing the last quarter Essendon had only 10 points to the good and the worst of the conditions. Collingwood commenced with a couple of behinds, Lee having a shot in easy range. Some beautiful football, which commenced with Cameron and finished with A. Armstrong, brought Essendon’s sixth goal, again their only scoring shot for the quarter. The ball was generally in front of Essendon’s posts and they concentrated all their powers in getting it away to the windy wing. Collingwood had opportunities but kicked eight behinds and three of their shots, under average conditions might have been goals. Just at the finish Le, with a left-foot snap, got their fourth goal.
In this closing stage Collingwood’s hand work superior to Essendon’s and they helped one another with more method so that, all things considered, they were a bit unfortunate in losing the match by two points. After the match Baxter, who had played very hard, collapsed through exhaustion and was some time recovering. But there seemed to be nothing organically wrong.
Cameron again played fine football for Essendon, whether roving or defending, and was undoubtedly the pick of the side, Belcher, getting accustomed to the duties of captain is rapidly recovering his old form and was very prominent on Saturday. Ogden did really good work on the wings, and had the better of Gibbs in their hand to hand fights. Bowe was perhaps Essendon’s best defender – his chief assistant Monteith. L. Armstrong (roving and half-forward) Dykin (in the ruck) and Shea (forward) were all playing good football in a generally poor game.
Collingwood’s pick was their hardest worker, Ryan who has the strength which tells in these close, battling games. Angus was another of their stars. McHaile, about the centre always played well. Sadler was very clean and smart on one wing, while in other parts of the field Shorten, Oliver Wilson, Vernon, Heatley, and Hughes did excellent service.
1910 ‘ANOTHER UNINTERESTING GAME.’, The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 30 May, p. 5, viewed 7 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10860127