After being twice beaten - and against Melbourne deprived apparently of all hope of a say in the premiership - Geelong came to town on Saturday and gave Collingwood, the victorious, such a game and such a score as they have not had for a long time past. Until within a few minutes of time the cry was "Collingwood are beaten," and could the Geelong skipper have sparred a couple of good men from his fighting line to put up against Proudfoot and Williams, there is nothing more certain than that a winged and bedraggled Magpie would this morning have represented the physical and mental wreckage of Collingwood. Time after time when Geelong had broken down the main opposition, Proudfoot got the ball in front of his own posts, and while the Geelong novices tried to cut him off or surround him - but rarely to come in contact with him - sent it spinning out to midfield with one of his matchless drop-kicks. The play was superb, and I have never seen an umpire harder worked than was Hood in this game, but he kept with them till the final bell, when everyone, in the words of a pitying barracker "was dead to the world." Fine high-marking, still better drop- kicking, and much more running than usual were the best points in this electrifying game.
Geelong had unquestionably the best of the first half, and only Collingwood's luck in goal-kicking saved them. Tulloch got one of their goals from a free-kick right in front of the posts, and given him by Peter Burns above all men on the side. Two others Calleson got from a very sharp angle, and one of Smith's pair was a hurried shot out of a crowd - when he seemed utterly overwhelmed in a tornado of bigger men. Of course, they missed fair shots that might have been goals, but, taking it all through, the luck was with Collingwood, and that alone saved them. Possibly they have been taking it quietly in the training-rooms during the week, with the chivalrous idea of not crushing poor Geelong altogether.
I should like to have given more detail of this fine game, but space will not permit it. Enough to say that when they changed for the last time Collingwood was leading by four points, and when Calleson put on another half- dozen it seemed all over. Joe McShane, with a free-kick a long way out, gave Geelong a goal, and fresh heart, and in less than a minute Cole had put on another, and the visitors were two points ahead. Then followed a struggle in which men left their places, and the forty threw themselves into it with desperate energy, but the lucky snapshot by Smith in the last few minutes deprived Geelong of the points where they had lost nothing in honour. It was not a big crowd, but it yelled like ten thousand when the winning goal was scored, and as they went in the Collingwood men gave their gallant rivals full praise for their performance.
Anyone who wishes to commiserate with Geelong now had better save their pity for someone more deserving of it. On Saturday they had some of their old warriors in, and these made a wonderful difference. H. Young most of all, for he marked and kicked in splendid style - though, for want of condition, at the finish he had to go in goal. Mr. Brownlow tells me that he has yet a few good men to come in, and they need them, for three or four of Saturday's twenty might just as well have stayed at Geelong.
The back play of both sides was very fine. If Collingwood had a Proudfoot in their goal Geelong had a Burns, and the best work of Williams on the one half-back line was more than matched by Pontin in the other half of the field, while all through the drop-kicking of Proudfoot, Burns, McCallum, and Condon was superb. Geelong were hampered by the fact that S. Brockwell had maimed his hand badly in an accident, and had to be very careful with it; that Rankin, who did so well against the Melbourne, was quite unfit to play; and that Con- way, their captain, was bandaged like an exhibit at a St. John Ambulance meeting, yet played a plucky game in spite of it. There was some fine play on the centre, where Pannam and McCallum shared the honours, Strickland being prominent in the centre and Tame decidedly effective on the wing. Geelong had a lot the worst of it on that line.
The two best men on the field were, to my mind, Calleson for Collingwood, and Young, for Geelong. Calleson, in addition to getting two of their goals, showed fine football all over the field, and in the last quarter he and Condon were playing a very fine game. Flynn, formerly a Collingwood man, showed great promise for Geelong, for whom Joe McShane, who got two goals: Jas. McShane, very prominent in the earlier stages, James, and Halligan were in good form. H. McShane, though playing fairly made one or two sad blunders - in taking the ball in front of his own goal and losing it there. In addition to those I have mentioned, Gregory, Gillard, and Patterson were seen to advantage in Collingwood colours. Their two little then were, however, comparatively useless, as com-pared with what they used to be under the old rules.
Title: A gallant fight by Geelong. Author: Argus Staff Writer. Publisher: The Argus (Melbourne, Victoria, 1848 – 1957) Date: Monday, 24 May 1897, p. 6 (Article) Web: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/9166941
|Callesen, George||2||22y 271d||3||2|
|Condon, Dick||0||21y 64d||3||0|
|Dow, Charlie||0||23y 130d||3||0|
|Dowdall, Harry||0||24y 327d||3||1|
|Dowdall, Jim||0||29y 287d||1||0|
|Gibbs, Arthur||0||24y 145d||3||0|
|Gillard, Wal||0||22y 316d||3||1|
|Gregory, Jim||1||21y 98d||3||4|
|Hailwood, Frank||0||24y 49d||3||1|
|McDonald, Rhoda||0||19y 23d||3||1|
|Monohan, Jack||0||23y 274d||3||0|
|O'Brien, Bill||0||20y 60d||3||0|
|Pannam, Charlie||0||22y 232d||3||0|
|Paterson, Tom||0||22y 208d||3||0|
|Proudfoot, Bill||0||28y 345d||3||0|
|Smith, Archie||2||25y 95d||3||4|
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|Tulloch, Lardie||1||26y 37d||3||5|
|Williams, George||0||26y 22d||3||0|
|Brockwell, Sam||0||26y 107d||1||0|
|Burns, Peter||0||31y 137d||3||0|
|Coles, Charlie||1||17y 305d||1||1|
|Conway, Jack||0||30y 57d||3||0|
|Enfield, Stan||0||23y 264d||2||2|
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