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FITZROY FIRST.

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.

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