|Venue: M.C.G.||Date: Saturday September 14, 1935|
|Result: Lose by 21 points||Umpire: Blackburn||Crowd: 49,759|
|Goalkickers: H.Vallence 4.4, M.Crisp 4.4, A.Clarke 3.2, R.Cooper 2.3, T.Pollock 1.0, De Luca 0.2, Anderson 0.2, Johnson 0.1, rushed 0.2|
|Best: K. Shea, A. Clarke, J. Francis, F. Gill, M. Crisp, R. Cooper|
|Reports:||Injuries: K.Dunn (knocked out) replaced by J.Park in last quarter. E.Huxtable (gashed chin)|
Watched by a large crowd, Frank Maher had all players engaged in an exacting but not over-exerting training session on Thursday night. Three changes were made. Alby De Luca, Frank Dunn and Soapy Vallence came into the side and Wally Mutimer (suspended), George Collard and Clen Denning were the omissions. Keith Shea was passed fit to play, although there were some doubts about his injured shoulder. Gordon Mackie was still a week away from resuming. Carlton seconds would also be involved on Saturday, playing Melbourne in the Reserves first semi-final.
Although heavy rain had fallen on the Saturday morning, it had little impact on the ground, with conditions being only slightly greasy. Richmond won the toss and kicked to the Punt Road end, and from the start they employed similar tactics to Round 14. A half forward was stationed on the boundary line, dragging Hale out of the play and the full forward had instructions to play well up the ground, giving free space to their speedy forward pockets. Richmond were first into attack from a free, but a nice mark brought up only a behind. Carlton, doing well in the centre, went forward to Clarke who received a free kick only 30 yards out, but his shot was astray for one behind. Davey’s good ruck play started a move which saw Cooper and De Luca combine to kick to the goal square, where Vallence kicked a sensational goal, getting his boot to the ball while somersaulting over a pack. Richmond’s first goal came from a clever snap at the nine minute mark. Carlton seemed over anxious, particularly in attack, where Richmond’s strong defence had players continually crowding the play. From their backline, a long weaving run brought up Richmond’s second goal. Carlton’s defence was not playing well, leaving Richmond forwards unguarded and only Gill and Francis were playing to their usual standard. A good mark 60 yards out and a booming kick resulted in Richmond’s third goal, before Shea, playing excellently in the centre, was fouled and from the free kick passed to Crisp, who kicked Carlton’s second goal with a smart snap. Richmond were aggressive in their hunt for the ball, whereas Carlton were uncharacteristically fumbling, and were displaying no system. In the last five minutes of the quarter, a great burst of play from Richmond resulted in four goals and a handy 31 point lead at the first break.
Carlton made several positional changes over the break. Hale, clearly uncomfortable in the back pocket, was moved to half back and Gilby went to the back pocket. Two early Richmond attacks were stopped by Francis. He was involved again minutes later, receiving from Cooper and Shea, and passing to Crisp, who threaded through a pack and goaled just as he was tackled. The Blues had lifted and now commenced a strong series of attacks. First, Cooper, scouting well, passed to Vallence who marked and kicked his second goal. Richmond replied with a goal of their own. Green and Shea were providing lots of drive from the centre and from one of these, Cooper had a long kick at goal which just rolled through for goal number five. Another thrust brought only a behind from De Luca after impressive work by Francis and Clarke. Richmond responded with a goal, but Carlton kept pressing. Shea gave Vallence two opportunities for goals, but both his shots went wide. Carlton had all the play, but accuracy was letting them down. In the 20 minutes burst, Carlton had scored only three goals from eight scoring shots, while Richmond had gone forward twice for two goals. A third attack resulted in the tenth Richmond goal, from a magnificent 70 yard drop kick. The Tiger defence had been brilliant to date, bustling and harassing Carlton’s forwards, forcing them into unnecessary ball handling. Another Richmond goal late in the quarter restored their lead to 31 points at half time. Carlton had wasted a great chance; accuracy and over use of the ball costing them dearly. Shea, Francis, Gill and Clarke had been strong in the first half, but many others were being well beaten.
Richmond extended their lead after 30 seconds of the quarter, from a great dash and long kick which resulted in a mark and goal. Their accuracy was very good; 12 goals coming from 19 scoring shots. Davey was battling away in the ruck and Carlton scrambled on. Huxtable had come into the game and after some great play passed to Johnson. He kicked to Shea, who quickly sent the ball to Crisp for Carlton’s sixth goal. Dunn was moved to centre half forward in an effort to combat the strong Richmond attacks being launched from there. Huxtable, fearlessly attacking the ball, sent Carlton forward twice and from one thrust, Turner kicked to Vallence, but again his shot just missed for a behind. Carlton were courageous and determined in their play. Gill, defending brilliantly, and Francis repelled a Richmond attack, resulting in Cooper passing on his wrong foot to Vallence, who goaled. Play was tough but fair, with both sides concentrating on the ball and not the man. Richmond goaled, but the Blues kept persisting and Davey kicked to Cooper who received a free kick and goaled. Carlton were now playing their long kicking game and had rallied strongly. But again, poor kicking let them down; De Luca and Cooper each missing easy chances for goals. Francis, desperate for the ball, saved a Tiger attack with a great mark and suddenly Richmond looked like the team under pressure. It was short lived, as they goaled to steady the play. Not to be denied, Carlton answered, with Cooper cleverly passing to Clarke for Carlton’s ninth goal. Weight was being thrown about and a needless bump gave Richmond a free kick which brought up their 15th goal. Play was now held up, as Umpire Blackburn had received a ball full in the midriff, temporarily winding him. When play resumed, Hale and Turner combined well to work the ball to Crisp but another behind resulted. Late in the term, a Richmond goal from a clever overhead snap gave them a 35 point lead when the bell rang. Despite all their hard work, Carlton had lost the quarter by four points and a difficult task loomed going into the last quarter.
The Tigers drove forward relentlessly at the start of the term and some great work from Gill was undone when a silly tackle gave Richmond a free in front. The ball hit the post but another attack shortly after resulted in a goal and a 42 point lead. Lesser teams than Carlton may have given up at this point, but the Blues persisted. Anderson was moved to centre half forward and De Luca to the back pocket. Anderson received a free kick, but another behind was all he could manage. In the play again soon after, he battled away to Shea who sent the ball forward. From desperate play in a scrimmage in front of goal, Clarke snapped Carlton’s tenth goal. Anderson was again in the thick of play and helped Cooper to the 11th goal. Richmond answered with a goal, but the Blues continued to press forward in desperation. Indiscriminate play by Carlton players did not help their cause, with Richmond successfully relieving several attacks with free kicks. Dunn was accidently knocked out and was replaced by Park. Francis, very good all day, started an attack, kicking to Anderson who passed to Vallence. His long punt went through the middle, and when Davey’s good play resulted in a mark and goal to Pollock, the Blues had a faint sniff of an unlikely victory. Richmond kicked a goal to give them some breathing space, but the Blues, now playing their best football of the day, thrust into attack again. Good work from Cooper, Clarke and Johnson assisted Crisp to a goal to make the difference only 22 points with seven minutes to go, but it was all too late. Slowing the play right up, the Tigers effectively shut down the game. A behind to Richmond was followed by one to Carlton, after Gill, Turner, Shea and Anderson combined well. The bell sounded with Carlton making one last attack to lose by 21 points to a stronger team on the day.
And so another season ended on a disappointing note with a loss to Richmond. Carlton had been very good all year, favoured by many to win the pennant, but had been outclassed in the most important game they had played. Season 1936 beckoned. Would the Blues rise to the challenge and end the drought?
Free Kicks: 2.4
Richmond: 25 24 25 24 - Total 98
R.Cooper 13, C.Davey 11, F.Gill 10, C.Crisp 9, H.Vallence 8, J.Francis 8, A.Clarke 7, A.De Luca 6, J.Hale 6, E.Huxtable 6, M.Johnson 4, K.Shea 3, B.Green 2, T.Pollock 2, C.Turner 2, K.Dunn 1, F.Gilby 1.
Richmond: 9 12 12 13 - Total 46 (including 13 for OOB)
J. Hale 7, F.Anderson 6, K.Dunn 6, K.Shea 5, C.Davey 4, E.Huxtable 4, M.Johnson 4, A.Clarke 3, J.Cooper 3, C.Crisp 3, A.De Luca 3, F.Gill 3, B.Green 3, H.Vallence 3, F.Gilby 2, C.Turner 2, J.Francis 1
|B:||11 Jack Hale||21 Frank Gill||1 Frank Anderson|
|HB:||9 Eric Huxtable||10 Jim Francis||6 Fred Gilby|
|C:||27 Clete Turner||8 Keith Shea||32 Bob Green|
|HF:||16 Ted Pollock||20 Alby De Luca||12 Creswell 'Mickey' Crisp (vc)|
|F:||5 Keith Dunn||22 Harry Vallence||31 Ansell Clarke|
|Ruck:||17 Charlie Davey (c)||15 Maurie Johnson||19 Ron Cooper|
|19th Man:||26 Jim Park|
Alby De Luca, Clete Turner
Round 18 | 1936