East Melb Cricket Ground (Away)
FOR THE FINALS.
THE UNIVERSITY FAIL.
NOTES BY OBSERVER.
With a perfect afternoon, a ground in nice condition, and an exciting issue, many people looked forward pleasurably to the game between Collingwood and the University, on the East Melbourne Cricket-ground, on Saturday.
Collingwood had a strong side, but, in the absence of Gray, West, and Ratz – the two former through illness – the University gave a trial to the two St. Xavier boys, O’Brien and Morrissey, and look in their old player C. Forgarty.
In the beginning of the game Collingwood had the advantage of a direct wind, just strong enough to be of some little help. They played quick, clever football, and, generally, had the better of the University, but for some time their shooting for goal was either faulty or attended by singularly bad luck. Collingwood, playing a very strong centre-line, repeatedly stopped the University at that point; but a rush by the University, however, meant success. Kneen got a mark at doubtful range, and was short in his try, but Hartkopf, with one of his lofty marks, got it right in front, and scored.
It only roused Collingwood to finer exertions. In an instant they were attacking, and the smart play of Gibb landed the ball right in goal, where Gilchrist kicked it through off the ground. Yet another slashing attack by Collingwood closed curiously, for from the mischances of a strenuous rush no fewer the file Collingwood men found themselves behind the University hacks, and Baxter easily scored the goal. But for the stalwart defence of E. Cordner and Elliott the University would have had lots of trouble. It was through a dash, starting with Cordner and earned on by Hurrey and Forgarty, that young Morrissey got possession in front of Collingwood’s goal, and with a fine place shot put the ball through Collingwood, apart from the slight advantage of the wind, were playing in best form-their quick passing, always used to advantage great resource in difficulties, and all round pace being admired. Lee had the next chance for them, and hit a goal post. This happened to them twice in the term.
In the last few minutes University were playing strongly and only Rowell’s coolness in the Collingwood goal prevented them scoring. Nine tries to two was abetter indication of Collingwood’s superiority than their seven points’ lead at the finish of the term.
The University opened the second quarter with a rare burst of success, and for a little while they seemed to be just running away with the match. Hartkopf got it down to O’ Brien, who was slung, and from his free-kick he just got the distance with nice place shot. Then Hurray passed it to Tymms, who kicked the fourth goal, while the fifth was also scored by Tymms froma free-kick, for which Ryan had a word of warning. Shorten was shadowing Hartkopf closely, but in some instances where the mark was spoiled a free-kick followed. It was from another of the high marks, after Kerr had played to him that Hartkopf scored sixth goal, and the University cheers were loud and long, for then side had put up six successive goals without a break in the points.
After that Collingwood rallied in the gamest possible way, and there was some hard battling, in which Baxter, Gilchrist (who missed an easy chance), Angus, and Lee figured-the last-named goal third goal for his side. The fourth was scored by Strahan. Following upon one of Oliver’s meteoric dashes.
After a University interlude, during which O’Brien hit one of Collingwood’s goal posts with a shot, Collingwood were going great guns again. Vernon and Baxter helped Strahan to another shot – a poor one. Twice Collingwood seemed on the point of scoring, for they were only a few yards from goal, and two hurried shots were stopped within feet of the kickers’ boots before Gilchrist whipped it through off the ground.
Collingwood’s luck had turned just then, for their fifth goal was a rather lucky effort, and it pull them in front by a point at half-time. They had every right to a lead on form, and nothing could be much better than their recovery after what seemed a paralysing burst of success by their opponents.
In the early part of the third quarter the University’s defence was again its salvation for in spite of fine efforts by McHaile, Oliver, and Ryan in turn, they could not get fairly within range. Then two of the University homes missed the ball, and Strahan, getting the benefit of their mistakes, scored sixth goal. The University should have made, a more effective reply. Hartkopf, Morrissey, and Fogarty all put in some dashing play for them and Kerr had an easy shot right in front, but kicked badly. Cordner, with his resolute play helped to keep the Collingwood men at a distance for a while; then Gibb, who was playing in fine style, dashed down by the pavilion wing and got a shot which just squeezed inside the post. Collingwood were 14 points ahead at the last change, but with the wind holding the University had still a strong position.
The finish was wonderfully keen and hard but Collingwood were almost always the cleverer team, and their passing was marked by the soundest judgment. Nonetheless, the game got very interesting. All through the third quarter Lee and Short on had been rather palpably hustling Hartkopf, and some of the University men resenting it the feeling grew rather bitter for a moment and Lees discomfiture, in one or two instances, was marked by ironical cheers. The umpire spoke to the players about it, and matters improved afterwards, though a dead set against Hartkopf was obvious right through the match. Collingwood had no personal feeling in the matter. They had marked Hartkopf as dangerous, and kept on marking him.
In the game he received many hard bumps, and in one of these the end of his collarbone was broken. One of his high marks placed the ball with Kerr, and the battle became exciting when he kicked the eight goals. Some bad shooting followed. Ryan missed an easy one for Collingwood and Kerr got very close with a try for the University,which for a second or two was hailed as a goal. A shot by Fogarty failed, however, to get even a behind. The pace had been severe all through, and, to my mind, the Collingwood men were bearing the strain best. Ryan missed another easy scoring chance, but the fine play of Gibb and Vernon in turn gave Baxter a chance to screw his way in characteristic fashion out of a crush, and kick ninth goal, whereat the Magpies flocking down at the railway end “carolled blythe as lark at morn.” Almost before the applause had died out on one side it was renewed on the other, for Kneen got a free kick within range, and scored the University’s ninth goal.
Collingwood were generally on top in a hard struggle, and finished with wonderful vim. They were continually breaking in on the right wing, and the University defenders were under a strain. The last incident of the match was in some measure a personal recovery, for Lee, who in one way or another, but chiefs through his own faults, was having a bad time. He got the ball over near the Jobmont wing, seemed likely to lose it on three separate occasions, but each time recovering finished up the game by scoring Collingwood’s tenth goal. There was pace and brightness in then play, coupled with cleverness that must have impressed everybody who saw the match. On Saturday’s form they have a most important share in this year’s premiership, and the word thence on will be “Watch Collingwood!”
The winners had few weak units in their eighteen, but the centre line was, I think their stronghold. Gibb and Oliver were just as fast as they were clever, and did some really fine things in the match. Though McHaile was not quite up to his best form, he was weak only by comparison with his flankers. Baxter was quite up to older samples, and though Ryan did a lot of work for the side, if was not any the more valuable because of its roughness. Vernon was doing well all through, particularly in the closing phases; and Rowell’s coolness was always a factor in defence Gilchrist is brushing up into a highly capable player.
In the University ranks no two did finer or fairer work than Cordner and Elliott. They almost monopolised the defence, and neither of them knows what flinching means. Their centre line has rarely had so little to say in a match Martin being, perhaps, its best unit. In the ruck Brake was notably off, but Kerr player very fine football, and Tymms and Greenham were useful everywhere, though Tymms was for a time disabled. Both the St. Xaxier colts show promise, but are a bit too young yet for a shrewd Collingwood company. O’Brien was unfortunate in that he received a knock on the head, and for a while was oblivious to his surroundings. In fact, when he left the ground he did not know he had been playing football. I admired Noseda’s umpiring. Giving in the couple of slips or oversights which every umpire is certain to make in an exciting and fast game, it seemed to me that he handled the much with undoubted judgment.
1910 ‘FOR THE FINALS.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 29 August, p. 6, viewed 7 August, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10456228