SOUTH MELBOURNE WIN.
NOTES BY ''OBSERVER."
When all the indications seemed to point to another unsatisfactory day for the second semi-final of the Football League, the luck changed at the eleventh hour. Even after some 36 hours of steady rain the turf of the Melbourne Cricket-ground gave good fast going, the day was bright and fine, and the playing ground was so well sheltered by the high buildings that the heavy wind caused scarcely any inconvenience. As a consequence, the conditions were pretty nearly perfect for the trial between Carlton and South Melbourne, and the match was witnessed by 42,000 people, who paid £1,503 for the privilege. All things con- sidered the match may not have been worth £1,500, but, all things again considered, it was from the ground individuals' point of
view worth a shilling.
There was some sensation at the hour fixed for starting play, when it was found that Carlton, after making an unusually early and diplomatic choice of their eigh- teen, had suddenly changed their minds at the last moment about several players. Bruce and Barningham were originally left out through indisposition, but when the list was finally posted in the Carlton dressing- room the names of Lang, Gillespie, and Frazer were missing - no reasons for their omission being given. While every-
one was curious, nobody was satisfied. One or two of the Carlton men grumbled openly, and were inclined to rebel, but having been spoken to privately by members of the club committee, changed their minds and de- cided to play. Both Lang and Gillespie are old members of the team, and were not considered to be out of form, while Frazer, though a comparatively new man, was com- ing on fast. To fill these unexpected gaps Carlton had their old leader Flynn, who had come all the way from St. James's, and was looking remarkably young and fresh- as well as two reliable reserves in Harris and Goddard. Scobie was the only player of note away from South Melbourne. With all the sensational rumours that were flying
about the great crowd that watched the game were soon satisfied upon one point- each side was doing its best, and for many reasons-all of which will not be found in print-the Carlton fellows were particularly
keen to win.
On the instant that they started, Flynn showed that he had not forgotten the game, for he had possession of the ball at once. Elbow and fist were early in use. Gotz got what seemed to me to be purely an acci-
dental knock, and sought to retaliate by jumping into his opponent as he kicked. The South were quicker to develop their clever-
ness. Prince, getting a free kick as the sequel to an elbow jolt from Sheehan, passed the ball up to the Carlton goal front, where Cameron had a flying, but ineffective, shot, and a little later Belcher made one of his few mistakes in spoiling a good chance to Kerr. Then with a Carlton dash it was taken to the other end, where Wells should have marked, but, getting a free kick in- stead, was short in his try, and Dolphin, the ever-safe Southern back, marked and rushed the ball out of danger for the mo- ment. A very fine mark by Thomas checked another Carlton effort, and, following up the advantage, Belcher played to his forwards, but Mortimer, who had the ball for an instant, was spoiled just at the critical mo- ment. It was for a time a case of sudden attack and prompt counter attack. In a Carlton effort, starting with one of Clarke's bull-dog efforts, M'Gregor, carried on the advantage to the forwards, where M'Donald got a free kick, and passed to Wells. The big fellow was a bit slow in his try, and again failed. The game got faster, and M'Cluskey, the new man for Carlton, stopped a red and white rush that looked ominous. A minute later he was guilty of an act which is not football in the sporting sense, whether you play it in town or coun- try. It was Carlton's turn just then, and as a result of the efforts of M'Gregor, Bac- quie, Wells, and Gotz, M'Donald had a try, which hit one of the goal-posts. If any- thing, South Melbourne had the advantage of the wind just then, but often played their opponents' game in getting the ball down the wind to the Richmond wing. An ill-timed pass to Cameron wasted a chance, but the South Melbourne men, playing bet- ter together and with more decision than Carlton, at length got an opening. Mortimer marked close up to the posts, and easily scored their first goal. A fine tussle be- tween Gough and Jamieson along the wing was in favour of the Southerner, but almost instantly Carlton, with some rattling foot- ball, were in command. Jamieson, Wells, and Bacquie were all conspicuous, and the rally ended with a mark to Marchbank
right in front, and Carlton's first goal. A good mark by Mortimer, but a badly-judged effort afterwards, and Harris rushed it out of peril for the Blues. A rather nasty at- tempt by Pentland to knock out Bacquie was an unpleasant point in the game, which was sharpening up to roughness. A flying mark by Clarke in front of Carlton's goal was badly supported, and before this menace could be answered Deas snapped it through-second goal for South. The quar- ter ended in South Melbourne having a bit the better of the scores, but nothing else.
In the second term Carlton had, if any- thing, the advantageous end, but South Melbourne were so strong and so successful within range of goal that for the first time Carlton supporters became uneasy. A smart pass from Belcher to Kerr, and a running shot got South Melbourne's third goal. In a few seconds Deas had it in a good position, faltered between a desire to dash in or to take his mark, and lost the advantage in a breach of the rules. Belcher, who was playing splendidly for the side, had an important share in their fourth goal. It was he who passed the ball deftly to Mortimer, and the goal came from a very pretty and cool shot. South Mel- bourne were unquestionably showing bet- ter methods than Carlton, their men sing- ling out of the crush into good positions,
and the team invariably playing for the
well-placed man. Their length in passing was finely accurate. Carlton, on the other hand, trusted mainly to strong, rushing, forcing play. For a time they held the upper hand, but had no luck in shooting for goal. Clancy and M'Gregor were mainly responsible for affording Flynn a shot that failed. Marchbank to M'Donald brought only another behind, and a third was scored by Gardiner, who got the ball from Elliott. Cameron, of the South, got a caution for his treatment of Flynn. Then Marchbank, always doing magnificent work for Carlton, gave the ball to Elliott, who scored second goal. Immediately after- wards Barry, of the South, got a free-kick for Sheehan jumping into him-one of many incidents of the kind noticed during the match. Barry's shot was a long one but he was equal to the emergency, and kicked fifth goal. After M'Donald had been cautioned for badly slinging Deas, Carlton were pressing vigorously for a while, but got nothing better than stray points out of it. Between Clancy and Elliott another behind was added to the lengthening list. The South, in an interval-their points were being made in short but profitable moments of advantage-almost scored a goal, the ball passing through off the hands of the backs. Payne and Gotz were doing well for the Blues, but when Gardiner got an oppor- tunity it was only to fail once more. Flynn and Wells, the firstnamed from a fine high mark, both disappointed the side before half-time, when the South were leading by 9 points-with only seven tries to Carlton's
13. Yet on the whole the South, with fewer tries, had played better winning foot- ball than their Blue rivals.
In the third quarter Carlton rose to the emergency in great style, put every ounce of effort, all the pace they could command into the play, and with aver- age luck in goal-kicking should have easily headed South Melbourne, who were a bit rattled by the fierceness and determination of the attack. It was the best quarter of the match, full of incident, force, and excitement. Carlton's superiority was not immediately shown. After Thomas with a fine mark had checked an effort by Gotz, Deas made a beautifully judged pass to Car- penter, who failed once, but getting a se- cond opportunity immediately kicked South Melbourne's sixth goal. Gotz coming again to the attack had to circle in a dangerous locality before he got his shot, then kicked Carlton's third goal. Clancy had a chance, but lost his head, tried to force his way up to goal, and came to grief. A resolute rush out of goal by Goddard checked a Southern assault before it had quite developed; then for a time the Southern goal was always in danger. Elliott working strenuously gave Gardiner yet another show, but again the little Carlton forward failed. Bacquie, M'Donald, and Wells took possession, gave Gardiner still another chance-and the usual one point to the side. Finally, Gardiner after many failures got Carlton's fourth goal, being helped to the opportunity this time by M'Donald and Flynn. But in this period of strain Gough, Pentland, Belcher, and Prince all did fine things for South Melbourne, who were almost constantly on the defence. Carlton were going great guns -the South not a bit dismayed but resolute and ingenious always. Payne and M'Cluskey contributed brilliant patches of football for the Blues, and then after being long out of range the South got close home. Cameron played the ball to Kerr, and he kicked their seventh goal. The Southern backs in their excitement made costly mistakes at this stage. After beautiful football from March-
bank and Clancy, M'Donald was slung right in front of goal, and from the free kick
easily reducing Souths' lead to three points only. In one of their sudden, well-concerted dashes South Melbourne seemed certain to
score, for Carpenter had the ball in a good position, but Payne with a desperate effort flashed-across him, and took the ball almost off Carpenter's boot-a fine saving effort. Towards the end of the quarter it looked as if Carlton had spent themselves in one great burst, for after some fine fast play Prince had an uneventful shot for the Red and White, and only Payne's grand defence pre- vented the South getting home on another occasion. They led at the last change y 4
The recovery of Carlton gave a zest to the finishing spell, and, considering the pace, both sides lasted wonderfully. Right at the outset Carlton had a chance to get a lead, for Gotz passed to Wilson, who made a clumsy pant shot, and was all astray. Then
after a clever mark by Bacquie, Gotz got his scoring chance, and with the others went all wrong. Carlton's luck at this critical stage was deadly, but, still, point by point, even in their failures, they closed the gap. Clancy, dashing along the wing, put the ball in range, and before that attack was turned Bacquie and Gardiner further added to Carlton's forward failures. Dolphin was kicking in magnificently-every long place kick following the same curve, excited a cheer, and just as finely Marchbanks for Carlton marked many of these great kicks.
It was chiefly through his grand efforts that Gotz got an opportunity, and the odd point -which this time was greeted with rousing cheers-for the gap had at length been bridged-the scores were level-and both sides felt the responsibility. Marchbank was again cheerd for one of his towering marks, and Belcher, with an effort just as fine, checked him. Then under severe stress, and with the Carlton backs pressing for-
ward out of place, South Melbourne got their opening, and scored a singularly lucky goal. Two Carlton backs in turn missed it. Carpenter had a chance kick, almost on the boundary line, the ball rolled for an instant right along Carlton's goal, line, with no one close enough to interfere-and just at the last moment it turned inward, and cleared the post-eight goal, and a remarkable one. The South roused themselves after that opportune success. Hiskins got a free kick in a good position-though he almost forgot to drop to the neck touch-and with a very fine kick scored ninth goal. With time running out fast Carlton had all their recovery work to do again, and in these critical minutes Belcher, Kerr, and Morti- mer, who had been sent to brace up the de- fence, all served the side gallantly. Carlton seemed to lose their heads slightly, and bat- tered away at the South goal from bad posi- tions. Gardiner had a chance, and missed, but Gotz got the sixth goal, and again South Melbourne's lead shrank to two points in a great and exciting finish. The Southerners, even in this desperate situa- tion, could pick their men better than Carl-
ton. They played out to Hiskins on the wing, and he lodged the ball well up to goal, but Sloss, who got it, found the ex- citement a little too much for him, tried a
badly-judged pass, and the chance was lost.
With five minutes to play Carlton tried hard to force things, but a mark by Thomas checked them when the pressure was threa- tening. Then what everyone expected hap- pened. The South suddenly broke through Carlton's closing ranks, Carpenter got pos- session with his wrong foot for action, but making a clever and complete detour had his shot, and amid wild Southern enthusiasm scored the goal, and won a great and excit- ing match by 12 points.
A comparison of the tries-23 for Carlton to South Melbourne's 15-shows how the match was won and lost, but it must be said for the South that they always showed more skill and better judgment than Carl- ton when within range of goal. They might have added to their tries and brought about their own defeat by wild effort, but they played the correct game, and were rewarded by a victory more narrow even than it looks on points. They deserve the greatest credit, too, for coming so splen- didly through that crisis when Carlton were pressing them, playing over them, and seemed certain to beat them. Their for- wards were better lot than Carlton's, for the two little men in blue, M'Donald and Gardiner, were always handicapped by want of height, and Gardiner was com- pletely off the correct kicking line. The result means, of course, two more games, for Carlton has the right to play the win- ners of next Saturday's match in a final.
On the winning side no one did finer work than the constant Belcher, who was
invaluable all over the field. Next to him it was difficult to make choice between Prince and Kerr, neither of these two little men making many mistakes. The play of Prince against the heavier Carlton man was particularly clever and plucky. South Mel-
bourne's backs were a really good lot, though perhaps Grimshaw did a little more than anyone else, with Thomas as his most valuable assistant. One of the features of the match, though, was the magnificent exhibition of place-kicking by Dolphin. Barry, Bower, Cameron, and Carpenter were all of great service. The Carlton pair who stood out most prominently were Marchbank and Payne, in that order. Marchbank was a great man all through, and Payne has never played with finer de- termination and effect than he did on Saturday. No one on the side worked quite so hard, perhaps, as Elliott, whose efforts
in the ruck may often have escaped notice.
M'Clusky did some tall soaring, and looks like developing into a star. Carlton's centre line, Clancy, M'Gregor, and Jamieson, seldom failed them, and these opposing
lines contributed some of the best football of the day. They were admirably matched. Flynn surprised everyone by his form, and Gotz was also a valuable man to Carlton. The best of the forwards was M'Donald. Elder was cheered at every interval for his very fine umpiring. Scores:-
1st | 2nd | 3rd | Match | Qtr. | Qtr. | Qtr. | Final. |Points.
South Melb 2-1 | 5-2 | 7-5 | 10-5 | 65
Carlton .. .| 1-4 | 2-11 | 5-13 | 6-17 | 53