SECOND LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL.
Collingwood Beat Carlton.
NOTES BY OBSERVER.
The crowd on the M.C.G. ground on Saturday to see Collingwood and Carlton play their semi-final was slightly less than on the precious Saturday, the estimate being 44,000 people, with gate receipts amounting to £2,365. The outside ground was again packed with onlookers-there was less empty space in the club’s pavilion, where the blue hospital arm bands showed a great many injured soldiers, who, because of the greater comfort obtainable there, were given free admission to the reserves.Amongst notable visitors were His Excellency the Governor-General, who expressed his gratification at seeing so many people interested in a fine manly game. Amongst others present were Sir Baldwin Spencer, president of the league, and Mr. Justice Cussen, president of the M.C.C., while amongst those who took tea with the M.C.C. in the interval were four of these lions of old days in Messrs. H. G. Harrison, C. Forrester, J. Byrne, and R.Sillett, all captains of the red caps in days when Melbourne was a great power. The ground was in perfect condition for a fast game, though a fairly strong wind affected the flight of the ball.
Commencing with a strong wind behind them, Collingwood went quickly to the attack, and after failing in a first effort to mark, Lee got the ball in the thick of a crush, and scored first goal for his side. Afterwards, in that scrambling play which generally marks the opening stages of a great game. Carlton’s efforts were for a time most noticeable, Down, McDonald, Daykin, and McGregor, coming into prominence in turn, while Walton, of Collingwood, about the Richmond wing,was too clever for his watcher.
There was great pace in the game, though as yet no exceptional skill, and thus early some of the influences which governed the result became apparent. The Collingwood backs were a singularly even lot-a half dozen hard to brush aside-at least three of their forwards were more dangerous than any of Carlton’s sharpshooters. Carlton’s effort was to get home in the lee of the high pavilions, where the adverse wind was of little consequence, and some smart work by Chandler gave Green a hurried shot but no score. Hughes and O’Brien, in turn,towered high for distinctive marks, but Collingwood carried through. Lee went close to Carlton’s goal with a hurried shot, and getting a second chance from Hughes, conspicuous in the Magpie ruck, scored the goal.
In this quarter Tuomey, generally a slow starter, put in some very fine rushes for his side. In spite of the best efforts of Kiely and Johnson, Collingwood were again within reach, and Lee, by a flash of his finest form, scored third goal after a great high mark-an,effort loudly cheered. There was as yet no alarm- Collingwood were expected to score at that stage. But after Walton, with fine dash, had scored fourth goal, a period of missing came to them in which Wraith, Curtis, Lee, mid P. Wilson all failed, and towards the end of the quarter Lee was down in a crush, apparently injured, though he only remained for a few minutes out of it. A strong Carlton counter assault with Borromeo, Haughton and Green shining in it, led to nothing of consequence, and Haughton also failed in a shot before the bell, when the score was Collingwood 4-7, Carlton, 2 behinds. The play had been very fast, but in skill never above an average match.
On changing ends Carlton got home immediately, Fisher passed to Daykin, who, with a fine place kick, scored the goal. After Walton and Hughes had done fine things for their side, a great dash of Fisher’s was only a little short of goal. It was faster than ever-so fast that in one lightning phase, a dozen men in turn had no sooner got the ball in hand than they were pinned down like a flash, but McGregor finally corkscrewed his way out of the pack, Borromeo made a strong, determined dash on Collingwood‘s goal, but carried it a little too far, and was penalised. A fine dash by Mutch, well around the wing, was another effort warmly cheered. McDonald came in at the right moment and Down passed on to Daykin,who scored Carlton’s second goal. Another desperate attack by the Blues, with McDonald and Fisher shining, gave Daykin possession again. Distance seldom discourages him, but this time he passed the ball lo McGregor, who missed.
Collingwood, playing a lot of handball then, were always the superior side in the short game. Then Collingwood, with a sudden rally, turned the tables. A nice effort by P. Wilson landed the ball with Wraith, whose running shot scored fifth goal. A pass by Hughes gave him another chance, and sixth goal. They were winning goals at that stage. Up to half time Carlton were attacking again. Down gave Haughton a chance, but a bad kick was short. Then Down dropped one right in Collingwood‘s goal, but Saunders was in his place. Just on the end of the quarter Green, McGregor, and Fisher were the means of placing the ball with Borromeo – whose shot passed just outside the goal post. At half time Collingwood,with 6-7 to Carlton’s 2-6, seemed to have a big grip of the game.
The opening of the third term was a period of triumph for Collingwood, and for a while they flattered their followers with prospect of a runaway game. The efforts of Clechin and Seddon led up to the seventh goal, kicked by Lee, and Wraith’s shot being short, Seddon whipped it through for eighth goal. Prince and Daykin strove to turn the tide, but Collingwood were playing fine football. Walton, Laxton, and P.Wilson in turn broke down opposition, and Lumsden kicked their ninth goal. Collingwood had then a lead of seven goals with the necessary point to spare, if by any miracle it became a close thing. Then when the game seemed lost to them, Carlton rose to the emergency in the finest possible style, and opened out a strong attack, which through faulty goalkicking alone failed to bring tangible results.
Collingwood‘s backs were tried their utmost, but shooting at short intervals Fisher, Haughton, and Down all failed to reach the right spot. McDonald and P. Wilson crossed in a rush for the ball, and the collision left Wilson with one of the bones in his forearm fractured, so that he had to he taken away for surgical aid. It was a very fine effort this of Carlton’s, and Collingwood‘s backs were put to their last ounce in energy and skill to stand it off. But when goals were of first importance to Carlton only behinds were scored, some clever play between Down, Prince, and McGregor towards the close of the quarter only adding one more to the bulk. With just a little of the forward form which distinguished them in the early weeks of the season Carlton might have made a complete recovery – their play, apart from goal-shooting-was in the first degree creditable. At three quarter time Collingwood still had a seven goal lead and the odd point to spare, the score being Collingwood 9-9, Carlton 2-8.
With fine energy and a spirit that never for an instant admitted defeat, Carlton opened out the last phase with grand determination, but for a time little luck. Haughton was the first to send the ball soaring down the wind, and Blue forwards were busy. Leehane got a chance and scored third goal, then an effort by Fisher carried across the goal front to Daykin, whose shot brought up only one of the white flags. Carlton still pressed. A great rush full of desperate determination forced the bull right to the goal line, where Furnell tipped it through. Another similar rush, and again Furnell did the needful, and the ground rang with cheers for a Carlton coming to its own again. The one quality that football crowds much admire is a team putting a determined face and a broad chest to adversity. The cheering reached its climax when Daykin, having missed one deliberate shot, got another try, and sent it through. There were only three goals between them then, with Carlton playing so fiercely that victory still seemed possible. Even Collingwood‘s complete organisation barely stood this sudden, unexpected strain. Fora time they were confused and alarmed, very anxious to get the ball on the Richmond wing.
In that crisis Tuomey aud Mutch did tine work for the Magpies, their back barrier tottering for a while gradually solidified again, and Carlton’s great rally, which, if it fell something short of deserving success, abundantly proved their pluck, failed out. There was no further anxiety for Collingwood, who held their three goals lead to the finish, the finals being:- COLLINGWOOD, 9 goals 10 behinds (64 points).CARLTON, (6 goals 10 behinds (46 points).
In strength, determination, the capacity to play strong, rushing football in a crisis, Carlton had much the better of the match from half-time onward, but by that time Collingwood‘s superior general pace, great cleverness in handball, and its superior squad of forwards had imposed a crushing handicap. It was never a really first-rate, game, though a very earnest one, with nothing in it that trespassed upon the principles of good sportsmanship. Good as Collingwood‘s forwards were, they owed most to their backs, the pick of a strong half-dozen being Mutch, Colechin, and McCarthy, Tuomey has seldom shown better form. Hughes and Walton were always a fine pair – the last named as usual cool and sure, always on the verge of defeat, yet never quite touching it. P. Wilson put in some great work until he was injured. Curtis brought off some really fine high marks and held his own against Carlton’s champion, O’Brien. Lee again distinguished himself in getting four goals and carrying his score for the season into the fifties, and amongst several other notable men Seddon was a hard and valuable worker.
Carlton had fewer men in the distinguished list, chief amongst them being McGregor, Down, and Fisher, each playing his characteristic game. About the ruck Down was a persistent little worrier. O’Brien was not nearly so successful as usual, Carlton’s defence depending mainly upon McDonald, Johnson, and Brown. Daykin was handy, but not actually conspicuous.Prince shone out on occasions, and if Haughton’s And Martin’s success was not always equal to their efforts, they were still of great service to Carlton.
1919 ‘FOOTBALL.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 29 September, p. 9, viewed 20 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4681519