|Venue: Princes Park||Date: Saturday April 18, 1953|
|Result: Loss by 5 points||Umpire: Beitzel||Crowd: 27,198|
|Goalkickers: T.Walsh 3, J.Spencer 2, B.Milroy 1, M.Wenn 1.|
|Reports:||Injuries: Howell (thigh) replaced by Calder third quarter. James (cramp) replaced by Hosking fourth quarter.|
Carlton welcomed future great John James when the 1953 VFL season kicked off with this 5-point loss to Footscray at Princes Park. Four other new Bluebaggers also started their VFL careers. Tony Walsh impressed with three goals at full-forward, in his first match after joining the Blues from Geelong.
The story of the match was the home side's jitters in front of goal. Bill Milroy started the rot by missing a sitter from right in front in the first term. Carlton then had 10 shots in the second term for a poor return of 2.6, while the Bulldogs scored 1.1 from their only two opportunities. When the second half began, the Doggies found their range and booted 5 goals straight in a dominant third term. The Blues managed three of their own, but five other attempts resulted in only one score - a point. During time-on in a frantic last quarter, Ken Hands dropped a crucial mark in the teeth of goal. Had he held on to it and kicked straight, he would have put the Blues in front. But that was not to be, and the visitors held on for a deserved win.
Various newspaper reports before and after this game:
"Carlton will open the season without six players who appeared in last year's semi-final, and with an almost entirely new goal-to-goal line."
"Selectors last night named Echuca sharpshooter Noel "Nobby" O'Brien as full forward, hoping he will be granted a one-day permit by Echuca. If he is not cleared, Tony Walsh, cleared by Geelong to Carlton, and named as 19th man, will play full-forward."
"Acrobat Keith Warburton suddenly appeared, head and shoulders above the pack in the second quarter, to tap the back backward, and then lie straight in mid-air for a finger-tip mark."
|B:||15 Bruce Comben||5 Alex Boyle||31 Brian Molony|
|HB:||16 John Brown||14 Vin English||4 Doug Guy|
|C:||34 A. Max Thomas||7 Keith Warburton||11 Laurie Kerr|
|HF:||10 John James||18 Max Wenn||17 Doug Beasy|
|F:||2 Bill Milroy||12 Tony Walsh||32 Jack Spencer|
|Ruck:||1 Ken Hands (c)||13 Jack Howell (vc)||9 Jack Mills|
|Res:||19 Don Calder||28 Jack Hosking|
Max Wenn, John James, Alex Boyle
Debut and Only Game: Jack Hosking
Debut (Carlton): Tony Walsh
1953 | Round 2