|Venue: Victoria Park||Date: Saturday September 10, 1904|
|Result: Won by 3 points||Umpire: Ivo Crapp||Crowd: 16,000|
|Goals: A.Snell 2, G.Topping 2, M.Grace 1, E.Prescott 1.|
|Best: B.Leeds, B.Boyle, T.Kennedy, G.Bruce, G.Topping, F.Elliott, C.Roland, J.Flynn, A.Snell, H. McShane.|
|Reports:||Injuries: B.Leeds (strained leg muscles)|
Game ReviewCarlton won through to our first-ever VFL Grand Final in 1904, with this three-point win against Essendon at Victoria Park. In the last minute of the game, Essendon's star forward Jack McKenzie had the opportunity to win the game for his team, but his place-kick from wide out just missed - allowing the Blues to meet Fitzroy in the Grand Final a week later.
The weather was fine and the ground was in good condition. With the exception of Charlie O'Connor who injured his knee, the Blues fielded their strongest team.
" By a happy inspiration, after the Carlton team had been "placed' on paper, "Joe" McShane decided to alter it by playing Leeds back instead of forward, taking Flynn off the half back line, and putting him in the ruck instead of Marchbanks, who took the place forward vacated by Leeds. Marchbanks, of course, went into the ruck later. This change of positions apparently discovered Leed's proper place, for next to little Topping, whose roving was magnificent, he played the best game on the ground, saving his side time after time all through the game with his cool, clever and unfailing play." (Age September 12 p9)
Essendon won the toss and kicked with the wind. They went straight into attack, however their shot at goal missed. George Topping and Jim Flynn relieved the pressure. The Dons went forward again but a good mark to Billy Leeds halted them. Essendon were dominating but the Blues' defence was standing firm with George Bruce and Fred Elliott down back assisting. Carlton attacked through Bob Boyle and Charlie Roland but the Dons' defence held firm. Again Essendon went forward and this time scored a goal. The Blues' attack was repelled and then the ball was swept forward where Charlie Roland and Fred Elliott stopped a certain Essendon goal. Very late in the quarter the Dons put the ball through the goals but former Blue, Umpire Crapp had awarded a free kick to Ernie Walton. At quarter time Essendon led by 8 points. The Blues had failed to register a score.
From the bounce the Dons attacked and out of a scrimmage in front of the goals they added their second major. Back in the centre there was some heavy play and Jim Flynn received a free kick. Archie Snell marked Flynn's kick and from a difficult angle put the Blues' first goal on the the board. Essendon not to be out done, immediatly went forward and scored their third goal. Carlton attacked through a free kick to Ted Kennnedy, he kicked the ball to Joe McShane. McShane's long place kick just missed and behind resulted. George Bruce obtained the ball from the kick out and from a resulting scrimmage George Topping emerged, cleared the pack and kicked Carlton's second goal. The Blues had lifted a gear and attacked. Joe McShane to Eddie Prescott and on to Henry McShane. From his kick another scrimmage developed in front of the goals. Again, George Topping managed to break free and put through another goal. The Blues were dominating and from a free Archie Snell goaled. Then the brilliant George Topping had another shot, but this time it hit the post. Essendon through a chain of passes goaled. Again Essendon swept forward but Charlie Roland was in their way. The ball was soon back, deep into Carlton's back line and this time Essendon's fifth goal was on the board. The Blues attacked through Jim Flynn and Joe McShane's shot hit the post. At half time after an exciting quarter the Blues trailled by 5 points.
The early part of the term fast and exciting but neither team was able to score. However, out of another pack of players Mick Grace put through Carlton' s fifth goal. Then from a diificult angle Eddie Prescott kicked his second and Carlton's sixth goal. The Dons became rattled. They could see the wind advantage was slipping away from them and because of this, their players were giving away unnecessary free kicks. However, Essendon late in the quarter kicked their sixth and the Blues held a slender lead of 2 points at the three quarter time break.
The Blues had the advantage of the wind in the final quarter but both teams went goaless. Carlton had most of the play during the final term, but attacked along the leeward boundary and scoring from this side of the ground was very difficult. It seems they were content to keep the ball bottled up near the boundary on the forward line. Essendon had a chance to win the game late, but missed and a behind resulted. The bell rang as the Blues were taking the ball out of the back line. Carlton had hung on to win by 3 points and advance into their first VFL Grand Final.
|B:||Billy Leeds||Frank Hince||Ernie Walton|
|HB:||Billy Payne||Albert Trim||Charlie Roland|
|C:||Ted Kennedy||Bob Boyle||George Bruce|
|HF:||Henry McShane||Mick Grace||Joe McShane (c)|
|F:||Jim Marchbank||George Topping||Eddie Prescott|
|Ruck:||Jim Flynn (vc)||Fred Elliott||Archie Snell|
ChangesIn : J.Flynn, E. Prescott
Out : C.O'Connor, P.Pitt
Images: Trove; Punch September 15 p17
Milestones / Interesting FactsFirst Finals Win: We note that this was our first finals win in the VFL / AFL, but what an amazing start - a defeat over Essendon, and at the home of Collingwood.... two of our more traditional enemies. What a sign of things to come!
Round 17 | Grand Final