MELBOURNE'S GRAND FINISH.
FAST AND EVEN GAME.
Melbourne had not beaten Essendon for five years until Saturday, their latest previous triumph over the red and blacks having been in 1910. In Saturday's matches, however, at the Melbourne Cricket-ground, after a speedy and even contest for the best part of the game, they, in the closing stages, took complete charge, and inflicted a de-
cisive defeat on their opponents. A touch of irony was lent to the proceedings by the fact that J. McKenzie, a former Essendon champion, played a conspicuous part in their downfall. Melbourne's only alteration in personnel was the substitution of Bryan for Walker. Essendon included Kirby,
Wade, and Donald, vice Gove, Lumsden, and O'Connor. The Melbourne players wore black armbands, as a token of respect for a former com- rade, Lance-Corporal Pearce, a well-known back
of a few seasons ago, who was killed in action at the Dardanelles.
Essendon made a belated appearance, and their unpunctuality was ultimately responsible for the match being finished in semi-darkness. With the advantage of the wind, Essendon moved off; nevertheless, it was Melbourne who were first to score. The visitors then asserted themselves, but met with indifferent success forward. In refresh- ing contrast was Shea's grand kick, which regis- tered Essendon's fifth goal. Much of the play
was confined to an area between the opposing half- back lines, and when these conditions obtained
J. McKenzie (centre) seemed ubiquitous, He ap- peared to have a part in every Melbourne rally
and many an Essendon advance was checked by him. Though their opportunities were fewer, the home team turned them to more advantage, secur- ing three goals from four scoring shots. Quarter- time scores were:—Essendon, 5 goals 8 behinds; Melbourne, 3 goals 1 behind.
Against the wind Essendon continued forcing tactics. Belcher, Baring, and Ogden were pre-
vailing against Melbourne's change ruck, but the activity of Kirby and W. Walker up forward was being nullified by Melbourne's solid defence, Lilley and Gray being conspicuous in this branch. Mel-
bourne's fourth goal came from a fine kick (a free) by Huntington. It was Essendon's turn to defend, and Day acquitted himself satisfactorily,
W. McKenzie, on the flank, was working hard for Melbourne, in his efforts were rewarded when the fifth goal came, from the boot of Doubleday. A good attempt to repeat the achievement was
made when the ball was taken from half-back by Bryan, to J. McKenzie, to Collins, but only a
behind was scored. The adjournment came with the totals:—Essendon, 5 goals 10 behinds; Mel-
bourne, 5 goals 7 behinds.
Essendon were soon on the defensive, a series of nice marks by Donald, their new man, saving the
situation. An Essendon rally was repulsed, but a second was more successful. Donald sent the ball along to Kirby, who saw the road clear, and was off. From his kick Feehan secured and passed over to Shea, the visitor's sixth goal follow-
ing. Persistently Baring and W. Walker bom- barded goal, nothing but points, however, reward- ing their efforts. Another goal to Melbourne by Brake from a free kick, then Essendon resumed their task. The opposition proved too strong, how- ever, and they had to be content at the last change with the negligible lead of seven points, with
the wind to face in the final term.
Melbourne bent all their energies to the task, but for a time could make no impression on the defence. Nine minutes of the allotted 25 had sped ere Allan, obtaining from Hassett, got the goal, which placed them within a point of their opponents. It was rapidly getting dusk, and the play at this critical stage was hard to follow. After a rather scrambling tussle on the right wing
Hassett sent it forward, and a behind was regis- tered, equalising the scores, with half the term gone. Day drove them off once, but back the ball came, from Lowell, to George, to Huntington, and amid great enthusiasm the goal that put Mel- bourne in the lead was hoisted. Essendon pre- vailed at the bounce, but Evans, marking, turned them, Brake and George gave Brereton the op- portunity for a hurried shot, which brought a point. A long running kick by Bryan fell short, and Day relieved. Only temporarily, however, for Brereton, marking from George, made no mis-
take this time. Led by Ogden, Essendon swept forward, only to find Evans again in the way. Some hard battling by Park culminated in a free
kick to him, but nothing came of it. Melbourne notched a brace of points before the inevitable
Essendon counter-attack. When it came it was of little avail. Kirby could raise only one flag, while W. Walker, from an easy chance close in, did likewise. Just before the bell W. McKenzie further increased Melbourne's lead by again scor- ing for them. The finish was:—
MELBOURNE, 10 goals 12 behinds (72 points). ESSENDON, 6 goals 17 behinds (53 points).
For the winner no one came so frequently under notice as J. McKenzie. He was ably backed by W. McKenzie (a sterling battler all day), Hassett, Huntington, Lilley, and Evans. This is no dis-
paragement of the efforts of others, for it would be hard to pick out a man on the side who was not conspicuous useful at one time or another Essendon on the other hand, were not such an
even side. Taking the game all through, Belcher, Webster, Baring (who only stripped at the last moment), Kirby, and Ogden, in their respective
departments, earned commendation. Donald, their new man, did some useful things in defence. Nor- dern, the central umpire, did remarkably well.