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THE FOOTBALL SEASON.

BALLARAT PLAYERS IN MEL-

BOURNE.

A CREDITABLE VICTORY.

NOTES BY OBSERVER.

These who judged the character of provincial football by the display at Bendigo on Wednesday   had a pleasant surprise at Fitzroy on Saturday afternoon, when a Ballarat team came down to play a picked Melbourne twenty. Some of the picked Melbourne twenty thought it indeed such a certainty that they stayed away, but there was no lack of substitutes, and after a little delay the places of Anderson, M'Callum, Wright, M'Culloch,       Young, and Vautin were efficiently filled by Banks, Cleary, M'Spearin, O'Grady, Reid, and Walton. It is only fair to say that several of those ori-

ginally chosen were obliged to stand out through injuries sustained on the previous Saturday.

There was a fair attendance at the match, about £70 being taken at the gates. Any doubts that   may have existed as to the calibre of the Ballarat footballers was removed at a very early stage of   the game, for they settled into their places like men who had been together all the season, and playing fast and clever football, they fairly   dazzled the Melbourne twenty. Indeed, before the league worthies quite realised what was being done Ballarat had scored three goals and a be- hind. In the rallies which brought this gratify-

ing result to the inland twenty they were quick   in getting to the ball, equally prompt in getting   hold of it, and they rarely failed to use it wisely.

They helped each other in a most intelligent fashion and their kicking from the outset was a     pleasant feature of the game. The crowed cheered   them heartly, and the league men, who had been       expecting a very comfortable time, sought to rise       to the unexpected situation. Unlike Ballarat,   they played, however, an individual game below their ordinary form, and were never able to wipe   off the lead gained by the visitors in these earlier     stages. Sutton, who captured the Metropolitan   twenty, sought to after things by a general change of position, but no improvement followed. At handball, with which they expected to do so   much, they found themselves completely matched, excepting that Ballarat adopted the wiser policy of only using the hand when it was not conveni-

ent to kick. The Melbourne men so far ignored     all discipline that they continually crowded to   the centre of the ground, and M'Kenzie, the vete-   ran captain of Ballarat, took full advantage of the     mistake. He kept his men resolutely to their   places, with the result that when the ball went to the Ballarat goal their backs sent it promptly      

away again, and when forced to the other end     their forwards rarely failed.    

On one occasion Sutton found himself the only     man in maroon up against six red and white   Ballarat men and a football. Is it necessary to say that a goal was the sequel? Thus Ballarat drew further away in the second quarter, and at   half-time game, appeared to be little hope of sav-      

ing the game, though some of the Melbourne men still thought that if their twenty could be     persuaded to play as a team they might wipe out     the difference in points. How surprised they   were then to find Ballarat going further away from them in the third quarter, until, at the last   change of ends, they had more than doubled their opponents' points. The metropolitans certainly   laboured under some disadvantage, for Reid, one         of their backs, was injured early in the day, and had to retire, while Waugh was so dazed by an   accident that though he remained on the field till the finish he was practically useless. Those     who watched the game were, however, quite satis-   fied that, apart from mishaps altogether, the su- prior twenty was winning on its merits, and though they did not keep their two-to-one lead in the last quarter, they won handsomely by 89   points to 54. Indeed, one cannot say too much   for Ballarat football as illustrated in this per- formance. In physique they were a striking team, and their tallest men used their height effectively in high marking, while their all-round     pace and cleverness was unmistakable. Better           than this, they played fine, manly football, going   always for the ball, and for the man only when   the tactics of the game justified it, and then with just sufficient vigour to serve the purpose. If this is the ordinary standard of Ballarat club foolball, residents of that city have nothing new   to see in a Melbourne match. After Saturday's   display there will be a much greater anxiety on the part of followers of the game in town to see     another contest.  

About the best man in the Ballarat team, on   this game, was Treweek, who plays rather along the whole flank than in any particular spot. He   was fast, clever in handling the ball, and showed sound judgment in getting away with it. Briefly,     he beat every man with whom he came in con-     tact. Kitz is one of the light-and-clever division     —just about as smart, indeed, as one finds them.     M'Grath and Wright were a useful, hard-working       pair of followers, the lastnamed being one those                  

whose height serves him well in high-marking     of their defenders, those who impressed the on-   lookers most favourably were Rodd, right back,      

and Vicars, just in front of him. Richardson and     Ryan both did first-class work in the same quarter         of the field. Their forwards were unmistakably    

a very clever lot. Wanliss, who got four goals. being the cleverest footballer, but Robert-        

son the hardest worker. Both the last-   named and Powell got two goals.  

Towards the end of the game, however, Sells was

perhaps the most conspicuous man on the field,           his fine, fast dashes, backed up with long, straight drop-kicking, making football of the best stamp.       His comrades declared that Saturday was not "his                 day out." If so, I should certainly like to see  

him out. Brosnan was another man who won  

distiction, and if M'Kenzie is no longer quite as dashing as in the days when he succeeded Burns as the Ballarat champion, he plays with an

old head now, and when unable to get away with the ball himself knows exactly where to look for a       better man. Bringing him in specially for the

duties of captain was a wise move on the part   of the selection of the team. Amongst the Mel-  

bourne men no one was so near his true form as Adamson in defence. His high marking and        

kicking were both very fine, M'Michael, who was able to strip again, had no reason either to re-

proach himself for the failure of this side. Pontin     was playing his best late in the day ; and for     Sutton it can be said that in a team which might         appropriately have been called the Wild Wanderers       he at least kept his place. Against Bendigo, places were changed just for the fun of the thing; against Ballarat they were changed because some-          

thing had to be done, and the captain could think     of nothing better. Thus Banks was found play-      

ing forward and kicking two goals, while more        

wonderful still O'Grady, to whom the rival goal       is ever a distant but alluring beacon, found him- self close enough to score a pair also. He         was surprised, but not more so than Moysey, who,   whenever he tried that smart hand-passing which           tells so effectively when amongst his own red legs, found a smart Ballarat man popping in and taking      

it right out of the mouths of the expectant but   slow Metropolitans. Others who showed fair form       were M'Kay, Shaw, Cleary, Windley, and Rankin.     At the close of the game the executive of the Fitz-      

roy Cricket Club asked the players of both teams       to meet them, and the health of the winners     being proposed, Councillor Renfrew, mayor of Fitzroy, complimented them heartily on their clever and interesting play, and their pronounced triumph

over a strong Melbourne twenty. The scores     were as follows:-      

First Quarter.—Ballarat, 3 goals 2 behinds ; Mel-        

bourne, 2 goals 1 behinds.  

Half-Time.—Ballarat, 6 goals 5 behinds ; Mel-  

bourne, 4 goals 4 behinds.      

Third Quarter.—Ballarat, 11 goals 7 behinds ; Melbourne, 5 goals 4 behinds.

Final.—Ballarat, 13 goals 11 behinds (89 points) :

Melbourne, 8 goals 6 behinds (54 points).    

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