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Footscray Premiers.  


The Association premiership for 1918 was won on Saturday, on the East Melbourne ground, when Footscray beat North Melbourne after a good, hard, strenuous game. The attendance exceeded 20,000, and the gate receipts amounted to £771,

making a total of £1,879 for the series, which will, after all expenses are paid, enable the Asso-

ciation to declere a dividend of about £90 a     club.

The strong wind blowing straight into the grand-stand goal was such an asset to the side winning the toss that there was unusual interest when J. Craddock (Footscray) and S. Barker   (North Melbourne) tossed. Footscray were suc- cessful and their supporters were delighted. When, however, North attacked against the breeze, and, aller being twice repulsed by Mongan, got in again and Irwin kicked a good goal within three minutes of the start, North stocks went up with       a run; but it was an early success, which was not repeated, for Footscray tore up the ground at once. Little Hardy raced away almost from the goal mouth in a dashing run, but just as he got clear and Norlh seemed saved Sheehan fouled Mar- tin, and the run was spoiled. Martin's shot landed in front, where Craddock turned it into goal. After another Footscray assault, which only   brought a point, Johnson gave North an opening, which Stevens mulled; but Rawle from a free kick ht the post, and that ended North's scoring for

the quarter. Footscray, phaying finely and aided  

by the breeze, prevailed. Their next goal came    

as the result of a tactical mistake by Condon, the North full back, who, exaggerating the importance of getting the ball into the Jolimont corner, played right across his own goal, and, Martin returning it, Samson easily scored. A brilliant dash by Milburn availed North nothing, and it was soon back again, and this time Morgan got the goal. Footscray were beating North then and hemming them in till Rawle gave his side relief, but Fitzgibbon and McKenzie brought it back quickly and Craddock

snapped fourth goal. lt was very fast and in-   teresting. In the ruck there was a keen struggle   between Barker and Howell, the rival giants; but   the wind was the dominating factor, and at   quarter-time Footscray. led by 4-5 to 1-1.  

North Melbourne were not dismayed by the lead   their opponents had established. They recalled the  

fact that Brunswick had scored 4-5 to 0-0 against   Footscray in the opening quarter a week before, and then were beaten. The rucks were struggling hard at the bounce, and Hurley, whose admirable umpiring has been a feature of the last three games, had to talk to them. As soon as they began again North surged forward, but their attack was wild, and the forwards could not combat the strong Footscray defence. A struggle between Norris and McKenzie on the ground was a diversion, and the game closed up until Ford, in relieving, faltered, and Stevens dashing in got North's second goal. Footscray turned another rush, and there was more diversion when. Fitzgibbon, having been beaten by Rawle, chased him and kicked him. lt was "hacking" of a bad type. Rawle retaliated, and with his fists proved more than a match for the Footscray wing man, who, however, landed one good punch on Rawle's nose. Footscray were forcing it then, and a sustained attack brought them a couple of points. Then North prevailed, and a hurried snap gave Forbes a goal. Just then North were breaking themselves on Foots- cray's defence, Rawle and Irwin being temporarily     knocked out. With great persistence they stormed through, aud Rawle, who had recovered, hit the goal-post again. It was strenuous then, with North coming on, and when Hawkins threw the ball to Barker and the latter snapped fourth goal only two points divided them. Footscray, anxious to reach half-way with a lead, went for goal, but only scored a point, Morgan's shot being touched by Condon, and when North retaliated they, too, only could raise one flag, and when the bell rang the score was: Footscray, 4-8; North Melbourne,


The third term effectually settled North Mel- bourne's claims, for Footscray, playing hard and at times brilliant football, took charge of the game. North were putting up a stubborn defence, but the tricolours not to be denied could not be repulsed, and only that they lost their accuracy forward they might have made the game absolutely safe. There were many fierce rallies; men went spinning like tops, and the game increased in pace and vigour; but slowly and surely Footscray gained the upper hand. North's only scoring shot was a poster by Forbes (their third in the game), while Footscray added two goals (Howell and Craddock), both from free kicks, and 8 behinds. There was a nasty incident when Gardiner stopped Martin, and Greaves avenged his club mate. Blows were exchanged, and it looked for a moment as though the disturbance might become general. Hurley kept control, however, and the incident passed, but it was unpleasant. At three-quarter time the tally was:Footscray, 6 goals 16 behinds; North Melbourne, 4 goals 7 behinds.

A lead of 21 points was not enough with that breeze to make Footscray feel absolutely safe, and the crowd was singularly quiet. A premiership hung in the balance, and with it the right to battle at the doors of the League on the ground of performance, and both sides went in to the final term determined and eager if not anxious. North came up at once, but Mongan drove them off, and at this stage all were on the ball. Hardy with great dash came across the goal, but the   little man was trying to do too much, and his effort failed. Again Fitzgibbon came into promi- nence, not by reason of his kicking, but for punch- ing. Gradually Footscray beat North back, and when L'Estrange and Craddock fed Martin for the seventh goal it was plain Footscray would win. A lucky snap by Hawkins, however, gave North renewed hope and a goal, and when Hendy after a clever hit out hy Rawle scored the sixth North were within 16 points; but before the end Crad- dock all alone got Footscray's eighth goal, and they won comfortably, with the seores-

FOOTSCRAY, 8 goals 17 behinds (65 points).

NORTH MELBOURNE, 6 goals 7 behinds (43 points).

There was no doubt that the better, stronger side won, and the first to admit it was H. Barker, the North Melbourne captain. It was a good struggle, but Footscray owed much to the winning of the toss, which not only gave them the early lead, but gave their, opponents the first struggle against the wind. North were thus always chasing it, and they tired before the end. There was hardly a weak man on the Footscray side, but their backs were particularly strong. Mongan, par- ticularly good, was well backed up by Edward, Mueleman, and Davidson. Patterson, on the wing,   was brilliant, and Craddock, roving and forward,

in fact as general utility man, was invaluable. Banbury, forward and back, was clever as ever, and Howell, whose duels with Barker were most interesting. Samson, L'Estrange, and Martin were   very busy in and about the ruck.

On the North side there were fewer men at their best, and so the work devolved on the small section which has kept North going. Barker, Rawle, and Hardy, as their ruck, were splendid, but had to do too much. Barker had none the worst of his tussle with Howell; McKenzie and Sheehan (back), Milburn (on the wing), were con- stant triers, but the rest were patchy, and a fault

all through the team wes a desire to run too far   with the ball. Hurley umpired admirably.