A Satisfactory Opening.
NOTES by OLD BOY.
The competition last year, resumed after a lapse of nearly three years, served the purpose of giv- ing some of the clubs a foundation on which to build up a side for this year, but Hawthorn, Essen- don, Brighton, and Williamstown, who adhered to their decision to play no football in war time, had to completely reorganise in order to re-enter the lists. The games on Saturday were somewhat one- sided, but there was a deal of local enthusiasm, and when the teams shake down into their stride, there should be keen competition. Several clubs were disappointed in having failed to secure clear-
ances from the League for players owing to the
league permit committee not meeting on Friday evening.
BRUNSWICK IN FORM.
Essendon were hard put to it to revive their club after the rest of three years, but they are gathering a good side together. When they faced Brunswick on Saturday there were many new players, and the main point which struck me was the lack of weight in the side. Prior to the be- ginning of the game there was in interesting function, the unveiling of an honour hoard of the Essendon Club by the mayor (Councillor Fenton), who was supported by Sergeant Ryan, M.L.A., just back from the war.
There were some notable new comers to Associa- tion ranks. Brunswick had W. Dick as captain and coach,with V. Gardiner, from Carlton, two old league players, who will need a lot of train- ing to bring them back to their old form; Tap ping, from Western Australia, who was classed as the best player in the 1914 Australasian football Carnival, and Payne, from South Melbourne. Es- sendon had P. Shea, from the other Essendon as captain and coach, and King, from Fitzroy.
Essendon playing up the hill had much the better of the early stages. They were faster and more concerted in their play, but they were wild in front of goal. Their first two points came from P. Shea's boot but at the first change they were only a point ahead-4 points to 3. In the second term, Strownix, for Essendon scored the first goal, but Dick answered it with one for Brunswick. Top- ham, who has been away with the navy for four years, has marking well but kicking badly, and at half time Brunswick led by two points, 1-8 to
The third term saw Brunswick much in the ascen- dant, but their shooting for goal was all astray, and they added nine behinds in addition to their three goals while Essendon only put on a point. In the last quarter Essendon made a plucky rally, but Brunswick went ahead again, and won with the scores:—
BRUNSWICK, 5 goals 22 behinds—52 points. ESSENDON, 3 goals 8 behinds—26 points.
Brunswick owe much or their success to the
fine defence of Tapping, a solid half-back of class; to Stevenson (a useful junior follower), to Harker (half forward), Christie, Walker, and Chase (across the centre), the last-named in his 17th year with the club, and to Sullivan, Johnson, and Swift. On the Essendon side Shea did a great deal, but I was much taken with Watt (a clever little rover), a nephew of the Acting Prime Minister; Shorten
(wing and rover), Russell (rover), Rothwell,
King, Adams, and Roberts. Of the older brigade Strownix was best.
NORTH MELBOURNE AGAIN.
It has become monotonous of recent years to re- cord scores of over a hundred points to North Mel- bourne, and on Saturday the performance was re- peated, for they kicked 127 points to 25 against Port Melbourne. There were about 3,000 people present, and they were enthusiastic in their ap- plause of North Melbourne's skill. The Northerners welcomed back their defender Woodington, who has been on active service, and he played well, and also had another returned man in Miller. Port Melbourne had only seven of last year's team, but some of the new men showed promise. The game was very one sided, but in the last quarter Ports showing improved form, did much better. North Melbourne in that term scored 7 goals 3 behinds, while Ports kicked 1 goals 1 behind. The final
NORTH MELBOURNE, 19 goals 13 behinds-127
PORT MELBOURNE, 4 goals 1 behind-25 points,
For North Melbourne, Hardy, who resisted all temptations to transfer to the Essendon League team, roved well, and kicked three goals. The other principal goal-kickers were Stevens (4), May (3), Rawle, Brown, and Hawkins (2 each). Others worthy of notice were Donelly (centre), Sheehan, Miller, Hart, and Woodington (in defence), and Barker and Rawle (ruck). For Port Melbourne, Coy (a schoolboy), Barfoot (the clever rover), Paterson (halfback), Johnson and White (ruck), and J. Stanford, were the most prominent.
NORTHCOTE FINISH BEST
Hawthorn had just begun their senior existence when war stopped them, and so they had practi- cally to begin again this season. There were only eight of their former players in the colours when they met Northcote at Glenferrie. There was a fair attendance, and the Hawthorn executive were quite pleased at the bold showing their men made. Northcote led by a couple of points in the first quarter, in which each side scored four goals. In the second term Hawthorn put on 3 goals 1 behind, while Northcote scored 10 behinds, so that the local team was 7 points ahead at half time. In
the third quarter Northcote wiped out their deficit, and established a small lead of three points, and, keeping going, added 15 points to 9 in the final term, and won with the score:—
NORTHCOTE, 11 goals 19 behinds-85 points. HAWTHORN, 9 goals 12 behinds-66 points.
The Northcote team included Robinson (Carlton), Purcell (Fitzroy), Holmes (Prahran), Ferris (Fair- field), H. Chesswas and E. Pink (Deep Rock) and Mills (returned soldier), new players. Robinson had the misfortune to injure his knee early in the first quarter, and was practical useless thereafter. The goal kickers for Northcote were:—Pink (3), Chesswas (3), Ryan (2), Wilson, Mills, and Byrne. Their best players were Pink, Cheswass, Mills, O'Keefe, Ryan and Purcell. For Hawthorn Len Gibb (captain), Les Gibb, Wilkinson (3 goals), Tantau (2 goals), Dwyer, and Hyder were the
Footscray, under the coaching and captaincy W. Sewart, the old Essendon player, who has re-
turned from the war, made short work of Prahran at the West Footscray ground. There were about 2,500 people present, but they saw a one-sided game, in which Footscray had things all their own way except in the final term, when each side scored 2 goals 3 behinds. Footscray with the wind scored 3 goals (Grierson 2, McDonald) 4 be- hinds to 1 behind. Against the breeze the tri-
colours still prevailed and their record for the term was 4 goals 5 behinds, while Prahran could only score a couple of points. With a lead of 51 points to 3, Footscray went still further ahead, and while holding Prahran down to a single point added 5 goals 4 behinds. The final term was well
contested, Prahran scoring two goals (Tennant and Carlson) before Footscray replied with couple. The scores were:—
FOOTSCRAY, 14 goals 16 behinds-100 points. PRAHRAN, 2 goals 7 behinds-19 points.
Footscray, in addition to Sewart, who played well in the centre, had in another returned soldier, J. Grierson, who kicked four goals, and was a useful forward. Howell (late of South Melbourne), Phil- lips (from Essendon), and the veteran Gregory each kicked two goals, and others prominent were Greeves (from Carlton), Tomblin, and McDonald. For Prahran who had in Cook (a returned Anzac), George (Melbourne), and Gleeson (Richmond), the best players were Quinn (back), Topham and Ten- nant (forward), Maynard (ruck), and Sullivan.
Williamstown and Brighton, from opposite sides of the Bay, stood out of football during the war, but they met on Saturday as keen as ever. Wil-
liamstown have had the advantage of a good junior team, and it was not surprising to find them easy winners on Saturday at Brighton. Williamstown began with a rattle, and scored 7 goals 9 behinds to 1 goal in the opening term, and keeping going hard all the time, ran out winners with the
WILLIAMSTOWN, 17 goals 23 behinds—125 points.
BRIGHTON, 5 goals 3 behinds—33 points.
There were some large goal scores on the Wil- liamstown side, Mitchell (5), Amy (4), McDonald
(3), and Middleton (2) each scoring freely. For
Brighton, Cobb kicked 3 goals.