Victoria Park (Home)
FINE GAME AT COLLINGWOOD.
when Collingwood and St. Kilda met at Victoria Park on Saturday some 12,000 people were wrought up to the highest pitch of excitement by a match full of pace, keenness, and sensation, for the verdict might have been reversed in the last kick of the day. In losses through illness or accident St. Kilda seemed to be most heavily handicapped, as three of their regular ruck were away. But there was no indication of anything wanting in the style of game they played. It was fast from the start, and though Collingwood had the wind in the opening quarter they found themselves in arrears by a few points at the end of it. St. Kilda had 2-2 to Collingwood’s 1-4. Right through that quarter it was fast, open, exceptionally keen, as good football on both sides as one would wish to see, with St Kilda, if anything, playing the better game.
For three quarters they fairly beat Collingwood in the short game, their plan being to work it out from the centre to the wings. So badly was Collingwood beaten in a phase of football at which they usually excel that after the third quarter they gave it up, and played the strong open game with considerably more effect.
It was in the second quarter that St. Kilda, then helped by the wind, showed their complete mastery over Collingwood, for they scored 2-9 in that term to Collingwood’s 1 behind. If anything could have lost them the game it was the persistent missing of their forwards. No one could have done better work than Boyd in getting the ball, and he would have been a very bad kick indeed who made worse use of it.
At half-time St. Kilda had 4-11 to Collingwood’s 1-5. Neither side were at their best forward. Curtis, upon who Collingwood depended, was missing many chances. At about half-way through the second term a smart shower made the ground and ball greasy, and for a while play fell away in skill, though the game continued to be tremendously fast and fierce. At one time it looked as if the latitude in holding given the players by W. Nasmith, who went out as an emergency umpire, might lead to trouble.
When the third quarter ended with St. Kilda 5-13 to Collingwood 1-9, there seemed to be no hope whatever of Collingwood making up their leeway. Just at the opening of the last term indeed, St. Kilda seemed to be sufficiently sure of themselves to attempt at one stage to play exhibition football, but that did not last long. The missing continued so far into the last quarter that it looked as if the game might have a tame ending, and its pace certainly lessened. Collingwood had been trying to brace up their forward lines with unusual changes, though St. Kilda still trusted largely to Boyd, and Boyd continued to miss.
A sudden and sensational change came about with the re-arrangement of Collingwood’s ruck. Hughes and McCarthy went into the pack together, and it an instant the game swung round in Collingwood’s favour. Attacking fiercely against the wind, with remarkable pluck and pertinacity, they missed a couple of chances before Hughes got the ball in front and scored Collingwood’s second goal. There was a suggestion of irony in the cheers, because they had been a long time waiting for it, but nothing half-hearted in the tumult that followed. After that goal Collingwood opened out a strong and brilliant attack. The short game was dropped for fast straight ahead plans, and in an instant St. Kilda, who seemed to have had the match in hand from the start, were being rattled.
The cheering grew wilder when Curtis, who had frequently failed them, got two goals in quick succession, to which he was helped in turn by the fine play of McCartney and Laxton. He had another chance soon afterwards, and there was almost a groan from Collingwood when he missed. Sheehy and again Curtis had chances which gave Collingwood points only, and with seven minutes to go they were still eight points behind.
Luck seemed against them, when Curtis, with a fine running kick, hit the goal post for the second time in the match, and for a moment it seemed that Collingwood’s chance was gone. They had, however, complete mastery of the play, and kept on attacking splendidly. The strange thing was that, although McCarthy and Hughes had done very little when apart, together they were a winning force in a very fine rally by a morally beaten side. St. Kilda did not stand the surprise very well.
The climax to the sensation came when Tuomey, who had frequently shown his pace, dashed the ball up to within range, and Bodrigh got it well out and right on the wing. He made a splendid shot, scored the goal, and one straight kick more meant a win for Collingwood. The chance came again to Dobrigh, who, just as the bell rang, marked it on the opposite boundary, not 20 yards out. He had his shot after the bell, missed the goal, and so Collingwood after a plucky and cracking finish were beaten by 3 points, the final scores being: – ST. KILDA 5 goals, 18 behinds- 48 points. COLLINGWOOD 5 goals, 15 behinds – 45 points.
What with the pace and the surprise at the finish, it was a great game, full of all the best points of fast and determined football. On the winning side Schmidt was undoubtedly their best. He played a brilliant game all through, in which the pace and cleverness which distinguish him were constantly shown. With the one fault of being unable to kick straight, Boyd was a really brilliant forward. Other men who shaped well for them were Collins, James, and Eicke, with Dangerfield, Hallett and Woodcock also prominent. But nearly every player in the team had an active part in the game.
Wraith was about the best all-round man in Collingwood colours, though Walton also played a fine game, and lasted right through. Colechin was prominent amongst the backs, Pannam, Dobright, and Reynolds always useful, while McCarthy, Hughes, and Sheehy only showed their best in the last sensational few minutes.
1919 ‘FINE GAME AT COLLINGWOOD.’, The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 12 May, p. 5, viewed 21 September, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1466826
|Charlie W. Brown