1910 SummaryPolitical upheaval at the club potentially cost us another Premiership in 1910. A reform group took control of the committee before the start of the season, the apex of which was a nighttime meeting of 2000 supporters surrounding a raucous rally held on a the back of a lamplit lorry (see footnotes) and attended by many influential Carlton people. Established champions Fred Jinks, Charlie Hammond, 'Mallee' Johnson, Harvey Kelly, Frank Caine, Les Beck, and Ted Kennedy all departed from Princes Park. It was a sign of the depth and strength of the club that despite losing these star players, we would again lead the competition at the end of the home and away season, and again contest the Grand Final. But this was not to be our year. Although the Blues progressed to the Grand Final and played well enough to win, we lost to Collingwood by 14 points; 9.7.61 to 6.11.47.
This was a wasted opportunity for the Blues. After a solid start and good mid-season form, Carlton fell away toward the end of the season, losing our last three games. Even so, we still finished two games clear on top of the ladder. Of our five losses for the year, the Blues had more scoring shots on three occasions, and one match appears to have been heavily influenced by the wind (in our loss to Essendon in round 16, no scores were registered to one end of the ground in the first three quarters).
Unfortunately, the solid form of the early and mid-season (seven games in the first ten were won by 28 points or more, and we enjoyed 10 goal-plus wins in rounds 11 and 12) seemed to desert the Blues late in the season, and we split our last eight games with 4 wins and 4 losses. This year also marked the end of Carlton's exceptional run of top three finishes between 1903 and 1910.
Ultimately, Carlton's tilt at the Premiership in 1910 was knocked off the rails when a major scandal occurred prior to the Semi Final, when three Blues were withdrawn from the selected team. Alex "Bongo" Lang admitted to taking a bribe, but refuted suggestions that he would have given less than 100% on the field. He and teammate Doug Fraser were suspended for five years, while Doug Gillespie was cleared. Lang did eventually return to play for the club in 1916, but Fraser would be seen on a VFL ground again. For more on this massive scandal, please click here.
Tragically, Tom McCluskey, a member of the Grand Final side, was later killed in action in World War I.
People of 1910Coach: Fred Elliott
Captain: Fred Elliott
Vice Captain: Billy Payne
Leading goal scorer: Vin Gardiner - 42 goals
MilestonesDebuts: Jack Bristow, John 'Jack' Massey, Tom McCluskey, Archie Wilson, Claude Cornish, Reuben Holland, Charlie Hay, Doug Fraser, Jim Tumilty, Les Batty, Percy Sheehan, Bill Goddard, Tom Clancy, Andy McDonald, Andy O'Donnell, Jack Wells
vs Victorian Railway United at Northcote parkApril 09
Play commenced at 3.45pm. Only seven regular Carlton players played.
Wells ex St.Kilda played well. Another Wells from Carlton Juniors scored a goal. Lee Braid from Brunswick (decided to remain at the 'Wicks for the season)
Carlton team; (17) Herald April 09
Backs; Wilson, Ingleman
Half backs; L. Braid, Ford, Oliver
Centres; Faucett, Wells, Smith
Half forwards; Wells, Heaney, Gardiner
Forwards; Elliott, Jones, Topping
Followers; O'Donnell, Wells
Carlton won by 65 points
Carl; 3.7 6.12 7.14 10.18.78
VRU; 1.0 2.1 2.1 2.1.13
Goals; Topping, Wells, rest unknown
vs Carlton District (21) at Northcote ParkApril 16
"There were lots of juniors playing; L. Braid from Brunswick, a really good player: Renwick formerly from Western Australia, and later from Essendon Association: Schuncke, formerly of Carlton Juniors, who tried for Melbourne last year: and Heaney, late of Richmond, showed out well. (Argus April 18 p4)
Corrigan ex Footscray
Carlton team (18) Herald April 16
Backs; Birmingham, Ingleman, Renwick
Half backs; Gotz, Heaney, O'Donnell
Centres; Braid, J. Wells, Clancy
Half forwards; Schunke, W. Wells, Jamieson
Forwards; Corrigan, Topping, Gardiner
Followers; Norris, Elliott (Capt)
Carlton won by 28 points.
Carl; 3.7 7.10 9.15 12.19.91
CDist; 1.4 4.5 5.6 9.9.63
Goals: Topping 5, Gardiner 4, W. Wells 2, Corrigan.
vs Greensborough at Princes ParkApril 23
Play began at 3.30pm and Blues had 3 goals on the board before Greensborough crossed the centre.
(Goals to Schunke, Gardiner and Wells.) The ball was returned to Carlton's forward line where Topping added a major then Clancy and Corrigan both added goals.
Topping, Gardiner and W. Wells added goals in the second term
Carlton team; Herald April 23
Backs; Gillespie, Ingleman, O'Donnell
Half backs; Jamison, Heaney, Ford
Centres; Bruce, McDonald, Clancy
Half forwards; Harris, Topping, Corrigan
Forwards; T. Wells, Gardiner, Schunke
Followers; J. Wells, W. Wells
Carl; 7.4 13.9 17.14
Gbgh; 0.0 0.0 1.1
Goals; Topping 2, Gardiner 2,Schunke, Corrigan, Clancy, Wells, W. Wells: rest unknown
Scores up to three quarter time only.
Footnotes1. The meeting was held in a square between the Melbourne General Cemetery and the Carlton Refuge, which you can see in modern times as the block of land just south-east of the big roundabout at the top of Melbourne University. See this map.
2. Apparently, at the end of the season there were murmurings amongst Carlton and South Melbourne supporters about both clubs seceding from the VFL and returning to the VFA.
The Footscray newspaper, The Independent of September 3, 1910 mentions the discontent. To read, click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73477165
The Independent of December 24, 1910, again writes on the subject, and the VFL's attempt to wipe out the VFA.
To read the article, click here> http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73477603