A DAZZLING SIX MINUTES. Collingwood's Game Effort.
NOTES BY OBSERVER.
Again fifty thousand people mustered on the Melbourne Cricket ground for the last league game between Fitzroy and Colling- wood, which was played under conditions imperfect only in being somewhat too
"summery." It was a fine strong, striv-
ing game, though never quite a perfect one. For a half the struggle Fitzroy ex- celled in dash, Collingwood in the finer points of play, and these two qualities matched so evenly that with the game half through neither side had gamed a per- ceptible advantage. Then in a meteoric few minutes at the opening of the third quar- ter Fitzroy swept everything before them and scored three fine goals with a run, while Collingwood appeared to be momen- tarily paralysed. Yet before the finish Fitzroy were playing as if for their lives. Collingwood had them penned in within long kicking range of their own goal, but their shooting failed them at this crisis, and, breaking through late in the quarter, Fitzroy, in another burst of success, scored a couple of goals which definitely made them champions of the season.
Power Against Skill.
Fitzroy opened the game with one of
their breezy rushes, and in two kicks the ball was forced behind Collingwood's goal.
There was better football in Collingwood's answering rush, Pannam, at the close of
a beautiful run, sending the ball straight as an arrow to Lee, who made a good kick, but missed the goal. A couple of free kicks in quick succession to Atkinson
and forceful efforts by Collins and Wigraft, carried the ball along the wing to Fergie, who managed only a be-
hind. Further smart play by Fergie led to Parratt having a shot on the angle, a very good try, but not a goal. Again Col- lingwood's answering effort was better managed, for there were quick passes from
Pannam to Baker, to Lee, who although the shot was not an easy one, kicked first goal for Collingwood. They were playing a cool, quick game in the typical Colling- wood manner, and at the end of another of their smart advances Cock passed the ball to Lee, who after trying vainly to place it, took a drop kick and failed. A beautiful kick off by Jenkin—one of many —was just as finely marked and returned by Drummond and Collins had to do his best in defence for the Maroons. Again
Collingwood, easily ahead on the short, quick game, came breezing in by the wing, and Tyson almost on the boundary tried what seemed to he a hopeless shot, and scored the goal. It woke up Fitzroy, and they dashed at Collingwood's goal in the
full-chested fashion. The effort ended with a pass from Sherry to Parratt, who got a free kick and first goal. It was even and earnest, both sides breaking through in
turn, and with the brothers Coventry
working fraternally together, trouble threatened Fitzroy. Gordon Coventry's shot was a bad one, and Lethbridge, mark- ing the ball gave his side relief. With the short quick passing which made the other team look slow on occasions, Col-
lingwood came in with the usual "zig-zag" rush by the wing. This time Atkinson stopped them and back the ball went fly-
ing to Collingwood's end where Freake, had a free kick, and a long kick, but no other result. In the midst of the turmoil Parratt got it coolly, and kicked Fitzroy's second goal, putting them ahead by a
point. Then a hundred thousand eyes were fixed on Pannam, who at the end of a pretty rush, picked out Gordon Coven- try, and with marvellous judgment as to strength dropped the ball fairly into his arms. There was no gain from it, and in a desperate rally players were down in clusters before Wigraft broke away with the ball. Sheehy and Collins were in turn prominent in defence, and the quarter closed with Fitzroy nominal leaders with a score of 2-5 to 2-3. Both sides were
strong in defence, and the forward who
got a try earned it. The balance of skill for the term was with Collingwood.
Even Second Term.
Beginning the second quarter Collingwood were very busy until a great mark by Jenkin close to Fitzroy's goal stopped them for a moment only. S. Coventry passed the
ball to Lee, who again could not get it to stay in position for a place shot, and his drop kick was a bad one. Fitzroy were being
hard pressed, and when one of their ruck men hit it out of a crush, smart little Baker snapped up the ball, and kicked his side's third goal. The players were all impetu- osity, rules being freely broken. Colling- wood pressed their attack cleverly and per-
sistently, and found Atkinson one of their chief barriers. With Fitzroy in range again Parratt was passing it to Freake, when Murphy dashed across and spoiled them. In their next effort Gale passed to Freake, who marked in front, and kicked third goal, putting Fitzroy again in front by two points. Though they were towering for the ball in the crushes and playing with splendid power, Fitzroy made more mistakes, were a bit clumsy, as com- pared with then rivals. In the next rush of the Magpies, Wescott was prominent, and he landed the ball with Lee, who,
although he had Drummond's help in try-
ing to make a hole for it, was driven once again to the drop kick—but these never served his purpose. In that crush a bad breach of rule by a Fitzroy man right in
front of his own goal gave Bowe the chance for an easy one, but in a half- hearted effort he was all astray. It was stern and hard for a long time, the con- spicuous ones in the struggle being Fergie and Taylor for Fitzroy, and S. Coventry and Drummond for Collingwood. It was one of Drummond's breezy efforts backed up by S. Coventry, which landed the ball with Gordon Coventry, and from a towering punt he got Collingwood's fourth goal. At half time Collingwood were in front, with a score of 4-5 to 3-6, and to those who watched the game closely and without bias it seemed likely that they would be in front at the finish. They were quite as fast as Fitzroy, and their little men distinctly more clever, though some of their champions—Twomey and Murphy for example—were strangely
out of it.
Moments of Triumph. The sensation of the match came early early in the third quarter, after the teams had rested for more than half an hour. Fitz- roy kicked a goal within five seconds, had three goals in about six minutes and seemed to be fairly streaming away with the match. It was a wonderful burst of success, and it won the match. From the bounce of the ball Gale passed it to Freake, who sent it spinning through for fourth goal and a point ahead. After a short struggle Donellan passed the ball up to the forward lines. Here Freake again marked, and with an exactly similar kick got fifth goal.
Fitzroy had taken complete command of the game. Next Fergie drove it up to Par- ratt, who made a very nice shot, but got a point only. They were threatening again, when a mark by Brown kept them off for an instant. Then McCracken hit the ball from the crush straight to Fergie, who snapped their sixth goal. Considering how evenly the sides had battled to that point, it was an amazing outburst. But Colling- wood showed their finest quality then, and never for a moment lost heart. In a little while they had Fitzroy driven back on their own goal, and it was saved only by heroic efforts from Lethbridge, McCracken and Elliott in turn. Fitzroy were a long time before they got another scoring chance, and the long kick by Rattray to Parratt closed with seventh goal. Collingwood's fifth was a family affair, Syd Coventry passing to his brother Gordon, who scored it. The play was fast, open and fine. A rush by Lethbridge was gamely answered by Tyson, and then Fitzroy got in close to further success, for the ball rolled through, but blushed against Saunders's leg, which made five points difference in the gain. The game
was rough, but it was the roughness of determined effort rather than ill-temper. Nothing could crush Collingwood, though with Tyson and the Coventrys in the thick of it and Baker twice passing the ball up to Fitzroy's goal-front, they gained nothing, for first Atkinson, then Collins, next McCracken stemmed and turned their swift changes. Toomey almost for the first time shone out, and following upon his dash,
the ball was forced behind. From his next rush G. Coventry got a behind. Then it was Fitzroy's move, but grand shots by Fergie and Rattray in turn just failed to cover the distance. It was a day for the long game, and the beautiful drop kicking on both sides was repeatedly admired.
Fitzroy Again Booming.
Fitzroy were playing great, strong, dash- ing football, and again they got complete command. An effort that began with Taylor and was helped on by Molan ended with a mark to Freake and from his shot the goal to Fitzroy. Then Fergie passed the ball to McCracken at a point which seemed outside his range but a fine shot scored ninth goal. About then the umpire had to speak to several of the players for unnecessary roughness. The last effort of the quarter was with Collingwood, and again the Coventry Brothers figured promi- nently, Gordon finishing off with seventh goal to Collingwood, who had, however to face the last hard phase 15 points to the
bad, the scores being: Fitzroy, 9 goals 10 behinds; Collingwood, 7 goals 7 behinds.
"Cribbed Cabined and Confined." Although Fitzroy had played a grand third quarter there was nothing finer in
the match than the gallant effort by Col- lingwood to recover their position, which marked the opening of the last term. Again and again Jenkin, with magnificent kicks,
drove the ball a long way out but no farther could Fitzroy get it, and Colling-
wood had them completely cornered on the Richmond flank of the railway goal. Their ruck men struggled desperately, hit- ting the ball out, only to see it snapped up time after time by the alert little Colling-
wood scouts on the skirts of the crush. Lee had a snap shot and missed. Soon
afterwards he and the ball went spinning behind, locked in the arms of the Fitzroy backs. Then Twomey and Drummond came at them and found Atkinison in the way. Drummond was playing beautifully; he and Westcott figured in the next assault on Fitzroy's goal and got nothing. Baker
had a free kick within range—a nice kick but nothing more. Drummond, too, failed in his next effort, and Fitzroy realised themselves desperately pressed. With
time Collingwood seemed capable of still winning, and Fitzroy played for the flanks and the saving game. There was a vital moment when Sheehy passed the ball to Lee, who missed. A moment later he
struggled for a clear shot at the goal, but a free kick for holding spoiled him. At length, and not before they needed it, re- lief came to Fitzroy. They in turn were attacking, but Freake missed two shots and McCracken another. Coming on a second time, they made the match safe. Freake played across to Williams, who kicked tenth goal, and after Drummond had wiped off that gain with a beautiful goal for Collingwood, Fitzroy took posses- sion. It was their ball. It passed from Rattray via Taylor, McCracken, Fergie, and Freake, to Wigraft, who kicked the goal. It was all over, though Lee got another goal—the last of his fine career as a footballer and, appropriately, a beauty. The bell found the scores thus:—
Fitzroy, 11 goals 13 behinds 79 points. Collingwood, 9 goals 14 behinds 68 points.
Men of the Occasion.
Again evenness was the highest—the winning quality in the Fitzroy team, yet they were not quite the perfect side that defeated Essendon. Their champion on the day—the finest player in the match was Taylor, who all through, but espe-
cially in that crisis when they were so long pocketed close to their own goal, was a great footballer. And Fergie, whether rov-
ing or placed, was a good second. On the back lines Atkinson, Molan, and Jenkin were stalwart defenders and Wigraft and McCracken did an immense amount of work in a ruck game. In putting in their old pair of forwards, Parratt and Freake, two of the coolest men that ever played the game, Fitzroy really played their win- ning card. They would give much, I
think, to have the pair just beginning their
career again. On the Collingwood side, Drummond though not particularly pro- minent at first, played superbly in the last half, and Westcott and Baker were the others of their lightweights who distin- guished themselves. Pannam, very promi- nent at the outset, died away later.
Tyson, Syd and Gordon Coventry, were three hard and constant workers, while Brown was the best of the backs, and Lee, in his last game, still a star among their forwards.
Elder, who like Lethbridge and Lee, was making a last appearance in a game which all three have adorned, shut his eyes in several incidents that on another occa- sion would have led to censure.
Coincidence in Crowds.
The figures relating to the attendances it the two last games in the League finals are curiously alike. On Saturday the attendance was 50,054, just 33 more people than on the previous Saturday, when the attendance was 50,021. The slightly in- creased crowd gave a slightly decreased gate, £2,221/1/4, as against £2,261/3/11 for the previous game.