BY OLD BOY.
League football, drawn out a fortnight longer than necessary, came to an end as far as this season is concerned, on Saturday, when, on the Melbourne Cricket-ground, 43,122 people saw a hard, keen, exciting match. It was a great struggle, in which, after Richmond had seemed beaten in the two attributes in which they were supposed to be pre-eminent—pace and skill—they rose to a great occasion, and having gained a lead refused to resign their ascendancy.
Richmond began with their faces towards their own city, and for a while they were hard pressed, but then, as later on, Carlton found the defence of the "Tigers" impenetrable. When Don gave Richmond breathing space they found O'Brien the lion in the "Tigers' " path. It was a hard, rushing game, and early Stephenson and Duncan were down, severely shaken. Thus weakened, they were driven off; Minogue and James leading the repulse.
For a moment O'Brien steadied them; but James, Smith, and R. Weatherill, forcing it, they found Morris a long way from goal. Jamieson had been drawn away, and when the Richmond man kicked the ball bounced and eventually rolled through the unguarded goal. Another Richmond rush was turned by Raleigh and Fisher, but for a while Richmond prevailed, until a splendid mark, and equally good kick by O'Brien, drove them back, and Martin, running on from Fisher's pass, got Carlton's first point.
Fighting desperately Richmond kept their opponents off, until Green and McLatchie, by beautiful passing, found Duncan, and the tall man, swinging round, scored with a nice left-foot drop. Morris, Minogue, and Don led an attack, which O'Brien frustrated, and Carlton came in again by the lower wing. Hislop stopped their first advance, but Borromeo and Blackman came again. A free-kick to Taylor steadied them, but he kicked to the wrong wing, and Clover marked. As before, he was too far out, the ball fell short, and as it fell McLatchie popped it through for Carlton's second goal.
From the bounce Carlton were at them again, and only Taylor's strong defence saved his side. Quick as lightning, Carew, Don, and Minogue rushed the ball up the pavilion wing, and Hughes marking scored a point. Jamieson, Stephenson, and Martin brought it back, and Duncan, from a free-kick, hit the post. Richmond were fighting hard, but Carlton, with surprising dash, prevailed to the quarter-time, when they led by 2-2 to 1-2.
The second quarter opened with a characteristic Richmond attack, James, Minogue, and Hughes, with half-distance passes, finding Bayliss, who, however, kicked badly.
Each side was fumbling and making mistakes, but Carlton were developing their long game. For a spell it was all Borromeo. First he served Daykin, but Hislop sent it back. Then, with a great mark and kick, he landed the ball in Clover's arms, and when the latter's shot fell short Borromeo marked and kicked Carlton's third goal. Though Richmond seemed beaten, their defence, however, never weakened. McIntosh, Hislop, and Smith were the first line, and when that was passed G. Weatherill, Thorp, and Taylor backed them up.
First by one flank, then by the other, then straight up the centre, Carlton charged and charged again, but Richmond had their backs to the wall. It became rough and unpleasant; it would have required angelic temper to smile at some of the charges, but both were too intent on the game to bother about reprisals. Fiercer, and fiercer still, it grew, until one wondered what the end would be, and half-time came with conditions unchanged, and Carlton leading by 3-4 to 1-3.
The match shed its faults in a remarkable way at half-time, and the second half produced a very fine game. It lost nothing in vigour or dash, despite the almost, constant rain, but it was more, a "ball hunt" than the "man hunt" of the earlier stages, and its thrills were extraordinary. The opening of the second half was sensational, for before a Carlton man had touched the ball Minogue and Morris had got it to Bayliss, and he kicked a beautiful left-foot goal.
They looked likely to repeat the performance, but Blackman stopped them. A great mark by James was too far out, and his shot was a long way short. Bayliss, however, chipped in, and snapping the goal, brought Richmond within a point of their rivals. The struggle increased in pace, and there was no lack of skill then. Incident crowded on incident! Once Hughes, dashing to goal, was penalised for chopping Green's hand away. It was a bad decision, and, even if correct, in such a game, far too technical.
The play swung hither and thither with neither able to make a convincing thrust and at three-quarter time Carlton still held their two points lead—3-6 to 3-4.
With only two points separating them, it meant that the real struggle had yet to begin. Richmond dashed at once to the charge, but, as usual, O'Brien stopped them. Martin carried it on to Duncan, but a free kick to Herbert saved Richmond, who swung the play back. James, eluding three opponents in front, got fourth goal, and Richmond led by four points. In a moment Carlton were in attack; Duncan gave McLatchie a chance, and a long snap went straight to Thorp. For once the reliable back missed the mark, and a behind resulted. A point meant so much then.
Then charge answered charge; the battle was between the two front lines of defence; one moment O'Brien, the next G. Weatherill; then Greenhill, then Weatherill again, until Hughes, Morris, and Turnbull, by lovely passing, found Bayliss, but the crack forward kicked astray. In a scramble Richmond almost got in, and as Turnbull, and the ball, went through goal, no one knew what had happened till one flag went up. Jamieson had saved it.
Then more bombardment by each in turn without breaking through, until Raleigh and Martin forced a way to Clover. He was hemmed in near the boundary, and in trying to pass to a comrade landed the ball in Don's arms. James added a point then, and with a quarter of an hour gone Richmond were five points ahead; and they kept up the pressure till Turnbull, marking from Herbert, scored fifth goal and Richmond's lead had increased to 11 points.
Carlton bore themselves in the crisis. A premiership was slipping, and must be regained! First Fisher came to the charge to be repulsed by Don. Then Blackman was driven off by G. Weatherill and Harley, but Fisher tore through, and, kicking, found Stephenson alone. The little wing man tore on, and going at full speed took a long pot shot, and up went the two flags for Carlton's fourth goal. There remained eight minutes for play.
Six minutes by the watch, with another two for added time, and a premiership in the balance! Was there ever such a final? Carlton were making a supreme effort, and Richmond, with their motto, "What we take we hold," threw all caution to the winds. Their defence never slackened, though the bombardment increased in intensity. It was thrilling! Men spun and fell like skittles, and yet it was not unfair. Roll after roll of the Blue wave curled and broke on the Richmond defence and no one faltered.
Carlton were making a dying effort and gradually, with the sand in the glass running out for the last minutes, with the timekeepers checking off the seconds, they attacked again. Straight to Duncan went the ball. "A mark," yelled 10,000 Carlton throats; but, no! Hislop intervened, and away he raced with the field in hot pursuit. It was a glorious dash, a remarkable relief, and as he kicked the bell rang, and Richmond had won. A dramatic ending to a stirring contest! The scores were:—
RICHMOND, 5 goals 6 behinds (36 points). CARLTON, 4 goals 8 behinds (32 points).
Title: "TIGERS" TRIUMPHANT. RICHMOND'S SECOND PENNANT. Hard, Desperate Game.
Author: Old Boy
Publisher: Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957)
Date: Monday 17 October 1921, page 7
|13||Blackman, Billy||0||26y 70d||19||0|
|27||Boromeo, Bert||1||29y 158d||46||19|
|8||Chandler, Newton||0||28y 26d||41||4|
|1||Clover, Horrie||0||26y 209d||33||105|
|2||Daykin, Percy||0||31y 100d||134||136|
|20||Duncan, Alex||1||21y 231d||16||7|
|7||Fisher, Charlie||0||28y 332d||111||147|
|16||Green, Gordon||0||31y 229d||92||85|
|6||Greenhill, Jack||0||24y 114d||38||3|
|5||Hiskins, Rupe||0||27y 351d||34||2|
|4||Jamieson, Ernie||0||33y 133d||121||4|
|25||Martin, Frank||0||26y 107d||70||11|
|15||McKenzie, Croft||0||27y 240d||11||0|
|21||McLatchie, Stewart||1||25y 57d||31||38|
|10||O'Brien, Paddy||0||28y 182d||116||7|
|18||Raleigh, Wally||0||26y 106d||38||0|
|3||Stephenson, Jack||1||21y 78d||20||4|
|22||Toole, Harry||0||24y 38d||7||3|
|2||Bayliss, George||2||26y 199d||68||175|
|8||Carew, Bobby||0||22y 318d||36||5|
|17||Don, Donald||0||21y 59d||73||107|
|22||Hall, Clarrie||0||31y 270d||137||159|
|33||Harley, Frank||0||26y 108d||52||25|
|1||Herbert, Barney||0||32y 237d||192||90|
|29||Hislop, Max||0||26y 51d||87||7|
|32||Hughes, Frank 'Checker'||0||27y 231d||71||47|
|4||James, Hughie||1||31y 164d||158||98|
|3||McIntosh, Norm 'Snowy'||0||31y 226d||29||1|
|1||Minogue, Dan||0||30y 41d||121||52|
|11||Morris, Mel||1||26y 129d||17||21|
|10||Smith, Jimmy||0||22y 263d||67||39|
|7||Taylor, Ernie||0||23y 127d||17||0|
|5||Thorp, Vic||0||30y 355d||196||7|
|13||Turnbull, Norm||1||27y 122d||43||23|
|15||Weatherill, Bob||0||24y 87d||59||39|
|28||Weatherill, George||0||21y 145d||30||0|