Main content

The complete history of the Mighty Magpies

5 October 1935 | GF

  • South Melbourne
  • vs.
  • Collingwood

MCG (Away)

Attendance: 54,154

  • 7.16 (58)

    • QT 13.6

    • QT 24.8

    • QT 36.10

    • QT 47.16

  • -

  • 11.12 (78)

    • QT 11.3

    • QT 26.6

    • QT 38.10

    • QT 411.12

Match Report

The Argus
Monday 7 October, 1935

1953 Premiership
Collingwood Supreme
TEAM SPIRIT PREVAILS Thrills for Huge Crowd


The grand final League football match, in which Collingwood defeated South Melbourne, was a wonderful entertainment.

It began with a mighty roar of encouragement from 54,000 people. The atmophere became tense as fierce physical clashes occurred between the players. Each exciting incident in the play—and there was not one dull moment—caused wild cheering or roars of derision. As the game proceeded the excitement increased. For a long time neither side could gain a winning advantage. At one moment it would seem that South Melbourne, with its brilliant individuals and great pace, would run away with the game; at others Collingwood’s fighting spirit, team work, and cleverness appeared to give it the upper hand.

So fortunes fluctuated, until finally the thrilling duel ended with a remarkable demonstration of enthusiasm by the vast crowd. Collingwood had won its 10th premiership.

Pratt, South’s full forward, had not sufficiently recovered from the injuries suffered in an accident on Thursday to take the field. Matthews went into the side and played in the centre. O’Meara went to the half-forward wing, and Moore played at centre forward.

The first quarter did not give any indication that Colllngwood was to be successful. In spite of A. Collier’s form in the ruck and Kyne’s clever play at centre half-forward, which gave Collingwood the first behind, South Melbourne was soon definitely on top.

Leading to the ball with terrific pace, outclassing Collingwood in the air, and with its forwards too good for Collingwood’s backs, it seemed that South Melbourne must gain a harvest of goals. Moore marked over Dibbs for the first. Robertson, flashing into the play with his tremendous speed, sent on to Nash, who cleverly snapped the second goal. Albert Collier prevented the third rush, but Kyne was equal to a behind only.

Collingwood’s next advance was stopped by Hillis marking cleanly over Coventry. So far all of Collingwood’s forwards had been impotent against South Melbourne’s backs. Winning in the centre, where Matthews was clever, and with Reid tearing away with the ball, and its forwards scattering in all directions, South Melbourne bombarded its goal, but only behinds came. Those persistent backs of Collingwood, although not so confident as usual, managed to make South’s kicks for goal hurried.

The game became faster and fiercer.   Players threw themselves at each other with a total disregard of danger to themselves and their opponents, and South Melbourne’s score went to 2-4 before Pannam, of Collingwood, was freed near the boundary line, to score Collingwood’s first goal with a great angle shot. From then until the end of the quarter Collingwood managed to even the game up a little, chiefly because of Fraser’s ruck work and Whelan’s play in the centre, but South Melbourne had scored 3-6 and Collingwood was only 1-3.

The second quarter, a vital one to South Melbourne, began in a sensational manner. Hillis twice turned Collingwood back, but Coventry snapped a goal over his head. South Melbourne, still with those flashes of dangerous open play, scored a behind, and then a great mark by Davies over Ross gave it a goal. But it was South’s only goal for the quarter. Robertson, playing superbly at half-for- ward, raced away with the ball. Reid a moment afterwards was even faster; but Regan now began to outmark Nash, and Rumney was backing up in his inimitable fashion.

A sudden change came over the game.

Hitherto South Melbourne had concentrated upon kicking wide to the wings, but now that Collingwood was asserting itself, particularly Fraser. South found Collingwood kicking straight down the centre of the ground. Instead of waiting for their opportunity, all of South Melbourne’s wing players converged upon the middle of the ground. Play became crowded, tempers became frayed, and at times open hostilities occurred. The South Melbourne players threw themselves at their opponents, and Collingwood met them daringly and unflinchingly. But whereas this strife rattled the South Melbourne players so much that they forgot open play. Collingwood always had some of Its little men to weave in and out of the packs and emerge with the ball.

A clever snap by Kyne made Collingwood 4-4 to South Melbourne’s 4-8.

Two great dashes by Reid momentarily opened out the game, but Collingwood’s defenders were not to be rattled by his methods, and they waited coolly to intercept his pass when finally he decided to kick the ball.

The torrid exchanges went on: the crowd thrilled to them. Collingwood scored goals, but South could not kick even a behind, and at half-time Collingwood led by 6-6 to 4-8.

No Slackening of Pace
The game had yet to be won. There was no slackening of pace, and the third quarter was one of excitement and strenuous endeavour. Collingwood went further ahead with a “poster” by Morgan and a goal to Coventry, who was now proving a handful to Hillis.

South Melbourne retaliated brilliantly but inaccurately, for Diggins, a power in South’s ruck, missed an easy shot. Bisset followed his example. South made amends with clever handball between Matthews, O’Meara, and Kelleher, who kicked a goal.

Again South opened out the game. This time Austin’s dashing defence sent up to Kelleher, and on went the ball to Matthews and Reid, whose perfect kick found Moore for another goal. The crowd roared its appreciation. South Melbourne was at last playing the game to its sup- porters’ liking, and a torrent of goals seemed imminent. But that back line of Collingwood’s, now entirely confident, steadfastly, shrewdly, and dashingly, with Rumney, Regan, and Froude magnificent, held South off. As the play was forced to Collingwood’s end the South Melbourne backs also became superb, and Austin was almost unbeatable. Collingwood led by a bare two goals at three-quarter time, with the scores 8-10 to 6-10.

During the three-quarter time interval Bisset, South Melbourne’s captain and coach, was helped off the ground. South Melbourne, which had all day sadly missed Pratt at centre forward, thus met with its second great misfortune. Diggins took over control of the team; O’Meara went into the centre and Matthews to the half-forward wing.

It was hardly conceivable, after such a gruelling afternoon’s play, that the pace of the game could continue, but it did, and the last quarter was as thrilling as the others had been. It is impossible to write the whole story of the incidents and the influences on the play.

One can only say that South Melbourne put up a magnificent fight. Never did its players give up, and its defenders strove mightily to turn the tide in their team’s favour. But individual brilliance was no match for Collingwood’s team work and the spirit of its players, who play first, last, and always for their club.

In the last 10 minutes Collingwood played coolly, found position easily, was unhurried in defence, and went on to a great and convincing victory.

Collingwood owes a lot to the Collier brothers. H. Collier, in his first year of captaincy, not only led his side capably to the premiership, but played a sterling game.

Albert Collier inspired the Collingwood team. Kyne, at centre half-forward, was a match winner. Regan, Rumney, and Froude were the outstanding players of Collingwood’s back line.

Fraser, particularly in the first half, was of incalculable value to his team. Whelan (in the centre), Carmody (wing), and Doherty (half-forward and roving) were other great players. In fact, every man on the Collingwood side was worthy of mention.

Clarke was the most useful and persistent player in South’s side. Austin and Hillis were the best defenders, with McKenzie doing his share; Faul played a great last quarter. Diggins played a great game. Kelleher’s accurate passes were effective, and Bisset, until he was injured, did well. Robertson was in great form, and Davies at times was effective.

The umpire, R. Scott, had a most diffi- cult game to handle, but he did it re- markably well.”

1935 ‘FAST AND FIERCE.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 7 October, p. 4, viewed 26 August, 2014,

The Argus
Monday 7 October, 1935





Collingwood won its 10th League premiership on Saturday and, in the opinion of its officials, it was the greatest victory of all. Ten times premiers, nine times runner-up, eight times third, and seven times fourth— such is the wonderful record of Collingwood, whose victory over South Melbourne was achieved because of the traditional team spirit of the club.

The match was watched by 54,154 persons who paid £2,912/6/8 at the turnstiles.

As the result of an incident during the game, which was fierce all through, two players—Riley (Collingwood) and Clarke (South Melbourne)—will face the independent tribunal on reports made by the umpires.

Bisset, South’s captain, was admitted to Prince Henry’s Hospital on Saturday night suffering from loss of memory and severe concussion. He recovered his memory yesterday morning, when his condition, according to the hospital authorities, was “fairly comfortable.”

Bisset will be kept under observation, and an X-ray examination will be made to determine whether his skull is fractured.

Dibbs (Collingwood’s full-back), who was carried off the field in the last quarter, also suffered from concussion.

Takings Compared
The takings for the second round matches were not so good as those for 1934, but the figures last year included £2,000 which the League gained from rain insurance on two days of the four.

Some Coincidences
The front page of “The Argus” Football Guide for 1935, which was published before the opening of the season, contains a large photograph of Collingwood and South Melbourne players battling for a mark. This proved a reliable omen for the grand final.

The teams have met no fewer than seven times during the season, including the three matches on the northern tour. Collingwood won four of the games.

A remarkable coincidence about the winning of the premiership is the fact that on October 5, 1896, Colllngwod won its first premiership from South Melbourne. That was the year before the League was founded.

First to congratulate Collingwood after the match on Saturday was the president of the Victorian Football League (Dr. W. C. McClelland). He said that he was pleased to see the team back in the limelight again. It was good for the game.

Mr. A. Crofts (president of South Melbourne) said that he had had great hopes of seeing the pennant at South Melbourne, but the club had been defeated by a better side on the day.

The secretary of Collingwood (Mr. F. G. Wraith) paid a fine tribute yesterday to Collier upon having led his first team to premiership victory and to “Jock” McHale, the coach, who had had an extraordinary career with the club, with which he had been associated for 33 years. 

McHale had been captain in 1912, 1913, and 1914, and had been on the committee for 27 years. He had begun to play for Collingwood in 1903 and had finished his playing career in 1919, with 268 games to his credit. He had been coach for 25 years. During that time Collingwood had won seven pennants.

McHale had taken part in nine premiership wins—in two of them as a player. He had the great ability of being able to bring the team to its best at the right time. Collingwood had done the right thing in choosing its coach early and sticking to him. To McHale was due most of the team’s success.

£5 for Each Player
Delighted with the premiership win Councillor J. Ryan is presenting the players with £100—£5 each—and he will entertain them later. B. Makeham, the former centre half-forward and ruck man, who played in the 1930 premiership side, was among the many old players of the club who were present to convey their congratulations.

Bob Scott Retires
R. H. (Bob) Scott, who umpired the grand final, has announced his retirement. Scott, who has been a League umpire for 21 years, greatly appreciated the honour of having charge of the premiership match, which he handled splendidly. No one could be keener on the job than Scott, who has always made a deep study of umpiring, and has kept himself in wonderful condition.

Reid to leave Melbourne

South’s dashing wingman, Jim Reid, said on Saturday that he intended to return to New South Wales, and would play Rugby again. Reid has been with South only this season, and has distinguished himself by his great pace and cleverness.

A beautiful mark and kick, he will be missed not only by South but by the football public, which has been thrilled by his spectacular, though some- times profitless, dashes round the wing. Reid is a wicket-keeper and batsman of ability, and it was hoped that he would have played with South Melbourne this season. He has decided, however, to leave Melbourne, and he will carry the best wishes of all who admire a good sportsman.”

1935 ‘COLLINGWOOD’S TENTH LEAGUE PENNANT TEAM-WORK TRIUMPHS IN FIERCE MATCH.’, The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), 7 October, p. 4, viewed 21 August, 2014,

Final score
Collingwood 1.3   6.6   8.10  11.12 (78)
South Melbourne 3.6   4.8   6.10   7.16 (58)

Collingwood: G. Coventry 4, Kyne 2, Pannam 2, A. Collier, H. Collier, Stackpole.
South Melbourne: Davies 2, Moore 2, Kelleher, McEarchen, Nash.

Collingwood: H. Collier, Regan, A. Collier, Kyne, Froude, Rumney.
South Melbourne: Clarke, Hillis, Austin, Diggins, McKenzie, Kelleher.

Crowd: 51,154 at the MCG.

Umpire: Scott.

Team Stats

  • # Guernsey
  • GL Goals
  • B Behinds
  • K Kicks
  • H Handballs
  • D Disposals
  • M Marks
  • HO Hit Outs
  • FF Frees For
  • FA Frees Against
  • T Tackles
Provide feedback Ask the Experts