MELBOURNE (20) v. NORTH FITZROY (23)
The new football rules came into force on Saturday, but no very remarkable diminution of the roughness they are designed to check was perceptible in the above match. The naughty hands forbidden to clutch an opponents neck in order to pull him off his feet went thither not infrequently in the course of the play. No doubt experts have got so skilful in the practice of suddenly bringing a foe to the ground that it will take them some time to learn enough self denial to forego the pleasure it affords them. Be- tween 2,000 and 3,000 spectators were present. Though Fitzroy had the advantage in num- bers, the men, as a rule, lacked weight and reach—the latter a quality of great service when "marks" have to be taken off high kicks. Their slowness showed itself prin- cipally at the commencement. They got the choice of ends, and decided to kick with the wind from the west. Melbourne thus ob- tained the kick-off and they had the ball up to the Fitzroy goal in three or four kicks, and might have sent in between the posts had the advanced guard only been in readiness to snatch the oppor- tunity thus quickly offered to them. Fitzroy returned the ball from the kick-off spot— which was distant a strangely long 10 yards from the goal—into the middle of the field, and there it stayed for a short time. The activity of the Melbourne 20, shown in many ways, told with great effect. Sometimes as two or three Fitzroy men stood with uplifted hands to take the ball from the air, a smart opponent would snatch it from them with a cat like spring and astonish them with the cry of "mark," which, of course, entitled him to kick the ball deliberately over their heads. Then, again, when, part'y through luck, partly through sharp play—for they were not all novices—the Fitzroy middle division carried the battle forward, the crowd would see the ball snatched up by a nimble footed red cap, and brought back swiftly along the edge of the ground, past all the hands outstretched to stop him. Then arose a hue and cry—"Pitch him over," Hold him," &c.—until the whole field seemed to be thrown in his way and the blockaded runner had to finish up with a hasty kick. Though the advanced men to whom he had intended to fetch the ball were seldom reached the play was brought dan- gerously close to the Fitzroy goal, and the attack, from which the defenders had ob- tained temporary relief by their abovemen- tioned rally was renewed with an energy which called for most desperate resistance. Fitzroy had some efficient men, especially one sturdy fellow, dressed in uniform of his own not the club's, whose dexterously achieved marks many times afforded his side relief, and transferred the play to the middle ground. But Melbourne could never long be beaten off, and at last F. Baker, who is sup- posed to be able to make dead certain of a goal whenever he gets a mark within 60 yards of it, secured a catch scarcely 20 yards from the posts. The Fitzroy team backed quickly to the threatened goal, which became crowded like the entrance to an attacked bee- hive, and the crowd waited with impatience for the result. The result was nil, for Baker com- pletely missed his aim Every time Fitzroy got a kick off from the front of the goal they sent the ball down into the middle ground, and sometimes they even took it to the op- posite end of the field ; but Melbourne soon fetched it back, and eventually one of the well-trained twenty had the presence of mind, in the midst of a melée, to place the ball gently into the hands of Langdon, one of his own side, about 25 yards from the Fitzroy posts, and the goal was made with a clean straight kick. When the game was started afresh from the middle of the field, much better play was shown by the Fitzroy team, they got less frequently collected into useless knots at a easy distance from the ball. At the cIoeo of half the time allotted for the match tho teams changed ends Tbo public changed ends too, for they correctly foresaw that, now Melbourne bad the wind, tho forces would be concentrated immediately in front of tho eastern goal. Plenty of nmusemeut waa afforded to the onlookers Combatants hurled one another over with vicious energy "marks" wore claimed and disputed and captains and lieutenants Bbouted out en cou'ogement until they wero hoarse 1 ime after time, the well managed Melbourne team were callod upon to make the final charge, and their middle division zealoualyresponded At rare mtorvals some speedy Fitzroy player got the ball through them and carried it holf woy up the rise, on the top of which the Melbourne goal posts stood, but beforo he bad recovered breath the ball was brought back to bound about in front of the Fitzroy gaol, or to bo lost m the crowd behind it Melbourne, however, in spite of all their exertions, could not get a second goal They bad several sure men close up to tbe enemy's posts, but the enemy hung on to them so persistently that tbey never had the chance to make a leisured kick, and all the kicks made hurriedly went widoly astray. Finally, when Fitzroy had become tired of the monotony of kicking off the ball from before their posta, and when the light had so faded that playera were hardly to be distinguished from the crowd mixed freely in with thom, time was called, and Melbonrno wore declared the victors with one goal A ludicrous incident oc- curred jost before the termination of the
game. Ono of tbe Melbourne twenty had hin «woollen knickerbockers plucked clean nil him, and he suddenly found himself (with only his shirt and his stockings and his boots to piotect him from the cold) tbe object of universal attention. Somebody generously lent him a coat-an indifferent substitute for a pair of trousers, and 500 de- lighted boys broke' from the ranks and CHcortod him to the M.C.C. pavilion gate. All thiough the match the players woro greatly hampered by the spectators, and in the last quarter of an hour there were as many onlookers amongst them as thora wero
outside tbe lines.
West Meliiourne(twentt-)?ïve) v. Carlton (twenti).- This match was played in the Hojalpark, and resulted in a draw. The West Melbourne team had considerably the hestof the game all through. Tho Carlton only put the ball once behind the West Mel- bourne goaL
Essendon v. Standard, at Essendon, This match resulted in nn easy victory for tho former, who Becurod ono goal, kicked by M'Cnrtby, to their opponents' m7. The Es Hendon had the ball in closo proximity to tho S'andard gool during the wholo game, and it was not once behind their own posts.
St. Kilda v. Hawthorn.-A match be- tween these clubs took place on the St. Kilda ground, ond resulted in a victory for tho foi mer, who obtained two goals, kicked by Little and Pearce. The game was very one Bided throughout.
Matches wero also played as follows : Warwick v. Northcote, won by former, with three goals (kicked by Macgregor) to one (kicked by Allen) ; Hotham United v. Siuth Melbourne, drawn ; Coast v. Ballovue, won by Const, with one goal to nono ; Abbo's'ord v. Williamstown (second 20), won by former, with six goals to none ; Toorak v. Balacluva, won by former, with two goals (by D irchy and Saddler) to nono ; Lincoln United v. AlbeitB, won by former, with fivo goals (b; Bailey, Pratt, ond Knight) to none ; Excel siorv. Hotham^hill, drawn, asoach gotogoal, kicked by Ryan and Woods ; South Mel- bourne (second 20) v. Star of Richmond,
The match arranged to be played between the first twenty of the Hotham Club and twenty-five of the Fawkner Club, on the ground of the latter, foil through, owinz to the latter club failing to appear. The Hothamitcs turned out a fall team, and were, of course, considerably disappointed at the absence of their opponents.
One of the beBt matches of the season was played on the club's ground ¡on Saturday in the presence of a largo number of spec- tators. Mr, Howard acted as captain on the one Bide, and Mr. O'Meara on the other. The contrat commencod nt 3 o'clock and lastod till 5, Only two goals wero obtained, Mr. O'Meora's sido winning one in the early part of the play, and Mr. Howard's the other just before the termination of the game. At a meeting of tho committee in the pavilion several new members were admitted, and
rulla for the government of the club were . adopted. _
At the King-street ball court on Saturday several matches were very evenly contested. Rahilly and O'Brien beat Purcell and Rat- tray, Flanuery and Hassett beat Evans and Kennedy, and M'Gutro and Dwyer beat Doyle and Quinn. Several lesa important matches also took place. A Binglebanded match bas been arranged for to-day between two well-known players for a trophy.
Alsest-pauk Yacht Club -The first event for Mr. Knipo's presentation cup carno off on the lake on Saturday IoBt. Throughout tbe day there was a splendid breeza from the BOuth'WCBt, and the rain keeping off, ren- dered the afternoon enjoyable. Punctually at 3 p.m. the undermentioned yachts Btartod from moorings laid down in front of the club sate:-Marianne, G. Knight; Fairy Queen, A-Lewis; Shamrock, Jas. Clark; Alert, C. F. Beauchamp ; Planet, C. Simpson ; Kathleen, V. Mackay ; Louise, J. F. Marrett ; and Alarm, R. Heard. With the wind free, the boats sailed olong the south shore, poet Obstruction Island, up the channel, and lounded St. Kilda Islond on the star board bond. Up to thin point all the boats were huddled together, the Alarm having a elicht lead, with the Marianne in cloae at- tendance. The two crocks, Shamrock and Kathleen, were now drivon on to the island, and the Marianne went away with the lead, the A'arm being second. In the second round the Marianne and Alarm occupied the some position, with tho Fairy Queen, Planet, ond Alert well up. The wind freshened, and the beats sailing close hauled one or two capsizes appeared imminent, bat no accident recurred. No alteration took placs in the relative positions of the boato in the third round until making up the cast channel, when the wind fell light, and the Marianne, in making a boord between Mud-flat ond the north shore, notlOO yards from the winning pest, bung in stays, and before again feeling the wind ahe was passed by the Alarm and tbe Planet, and only secured third place, tbo Fairy Queen being fourth. Throughout tho race there was a splendid contest between the two leading boots, in thnnine miles they never being more than 100ft. optrt. Mr William Reddish officiated as judge and