1908 Championship of Australia

West Adelaide 2.3 157.4469.55912.981
Venue: Adelaide OvalDate: 3rd October 1908
Result: Lost by 29 pointsCrowd: 13,000
Goalkickers: V. Gardiner 2, F. Elliott 2, H. Kelly, J. Flynn, R. Mc Gregor 1.
Reports: NilUmpire: A.Hickey

The 1908 Championship of Australia was an Australian rules football match that took place on 3 October 1908 at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide, South Australia. It was the fifth edition of the Championship of Australia and the second since it came back the year prior. The championship was contested by the premiers of the VFL, Carlton and the premiers of the SAFL, West Adelaide in a single match played in front of 13,000, was won by West Adelaide by a margin of 29 points, giving West Adelaide its first Championship of Australia title.


If ever a club had reason to be proud its record it is West Adelaide. Bottom the list of the S A Football League for years the red and blacks have been able in a single season to win not only the premier club of the State but the championship the Commonwealth. It is a marvellous achievement, and one which is unparalleled in the history of the game in Australia. Every match they carried off during the season was won as the result of good combined play, remarkable handball, a wonderful ruck, and a capital defence and above all there was an esprit de corps amongst the players that made the team a brotherhood Saturday after Saturday they mowed down teams who, one to this season, used to try their junior against them, so obscure were they though and finally they wrested the premiership from the redoubtable Norwood, the champions
of the Commonwealth last year in game that will live long in the memories of those who saw it

When Carlton, who are known in Victoria as The Invincible," and who score triumph after triumph this year, culminating in their defeat of Essendon for the premiership of that State, negotiated for a visit to Adelaide to play West Adelaide for the premiership of the Commonwealth, the challenge was of course accepted. In accepting it West Adelaide acted with a certain amount of temerity-the red and black themselves admit that Carlton came all the splendid reputation they had gained in Melbourne made many a wearer of red-and-black feel that the chances of West Adelaide beating them were remote. The reds, however, went onto the arena of the Adelaide Oval on Saturday with great heart and they were greeted with tremendous cheering by the 13,000 spectators, who composed barrackers of all local senior clubs, but who willingly manifested their enthusiastic appreciation of a team who, by; sheer hard work, gentlemanly play and superior ability, had risen to top position under circumstances which are almost dramatic. The Essendon team who arrived in Adelaide on Saturday morning paid West Adelaide the graceful compliment of assembling in front of the central pavilion and heartily cheering the premiers of the State and when Carlton appeared they, too felicitated the red and blacks who responded with cordial cheers for the visiting footballers.

The success of West Adelaide can be summed up in one word – system. It was that which told with such effect in the game against Norwood, or, for that matter in the most of the season's contests. The men kept their places, the shepherding was excellent, the ruck first-class, and the kicking was good. In only one department of the game did Carlton excel, and that was in high marking which on their side was superb. Occasionally the visitors flashed out with brilliancy, but they did not sustain their attacks, and the better combination, of the red and-blacks their fine solid play, and splendid judgment made Carlton an easy prey. West Adelaide worked like a piece of well-oiled machinery, and they achieved a victory of which not only the club and their thousands of loyal supporters, but the whole State feel justify proud. Carlton themselves freely admit that they were beaten by a better team, and the heartily congratulated the red and blacks on becoming champions of the Commonwealth.

The teams were -
West Adelaide; J. Bruce, P. Bruce, J. Daly W. Dowling, R. Head, D. Horgan, A. Klose B. Leahy (captain) T. Leahy, T. Moore, B. Moy JJ. McCarthy JF. McCarthy, P. McKenna O'Donnell, W. Price, V. Stephens and J. Tierney (vice-captain).
Carlton; D. Gillespie, C. Hammond, V. Gardiner W. Payne, G. Pattison, H. Ingleman, F. Williams, F. Jinks vice-captain V. Elliott (captain), N. Clark, A. Lang, L. Beck, M. Gotz, H Kelly T. Kennedy, J. Marchbanks, R. McGregor, and J. Flynn.

It was some time before either side could score, although both did a fair amount of attacking West Adelaide however asserted themselves and T Leahy and Price notched behinds in quick succession. Then the visitors took a hand in the proceedings, but repeated attacks were stemmed by Horgan, P Bruce, Stephens, and B Leahy. The handball shown by the local men literally paralysed their opponent who were unable effectively to cope with it, and it was only owing to the efforts of Black, Jinks, Marchbank and Hammond that the red and blacks did not establish a big lead. Kelly Ingleman and J Gillespie were also prominent for the visitors. Along the forward lines Kelly Gillespie, and Elliott (following) were those to be roost reckoned with Kelly was the first to score for Carlton. He took a fine mark, crowned it with an equally commendable goal. Then the South Australians took a turn on the offensive and a fine bit of wing play by J F McCarthy enabled Dowling to score the first goal for his side with a difficult snap shot. Each team had four men on the ball, Tierney T Leahy, P Bruce, and Downing representing West Adelaide, and Marchbanks Hammond Gardiner, and Flynn for lowed for the visitors, and in this department West Adelaide maintained their reputation. In handball knocking out, and groundwork Carlton were outclassed, and it was only in high marking that they could claim any superiority. The red and black rock soon enabled their forwards again to resume the aggressive, and after Moy from an easy shot had raised one flag, Daly snapped a goal from the ruck. Almost immediately the Blues took up the offensive, and after a spirited tussle Hammond passed neatly to Gardiner, who marked
well and scored the maximum. Before the bell rang Kelly scored a single from a free, and the quarter ended with the local champions two points in the lead.

In the opening five minutes of the second quarter Carlton did all the attacking but the excellent work of Stephens, Horgan, O'Donnell and McKenna (who was frequently left alone), rendered all their efforts unavailing. The fight was keen manly and exciting. Unfair fair was conspicuous by its absence, and the only offence for which frees were awarded was for holding the ball. In this matter the visitors used to a lenient umpire, erred frequently, and were thus placed at a disadvantage. In handball the local men were superior, but the visitors still held pride of place in high marking, in which department some fine results were achieved. During his term West Adelaide continued with the same four followers but the Blues effected a complete change, and Jinks, Williams Gotz, and Lang took a turn on the ball. Before the bell rang for the long interval the South Australian premiers had added 5 goals and 1 behind, while their opponents had only managed to increase their tally to the extent of 1 goal and 1 behind. The third quarter was the only term in when Carlton obviously held the upper hand. Attacking from the bounce Marchbanks kicked a behind within a minute after the beginning. The struggle was keen and exciting, and at times it looked possible that Carlton might yet win. The visitors among whom March banks Gotz and Elliott stood out prominently, showed much more judgment in their passing and kicking, and their change of ruck told momentarily upon the West Adelaide' followers. In the last quarter, however the local men showed their superiority unmistakeably. Their opponents, who shone only in high marking, and the home team played with such precision and brilliancy as to demoralise the visitors completely.

The main factor of the win was the superb handball, and complete understanding existing between the players of the winning team. When a West Adelaide player had the ball, he would seemingly instinctively send it with correct aim to a colleague. So perfect was the judgment shown, and so great was the West Adelaide pace that Carlton were carried off their feet, and it took the visitors some time to settle down properly. The best player on the ground was Dowling, the West Adelaide joint rover and P Bruce, the other rover, was almost as good. T Leahy played one of the best games of his life in the ruck, and others who did well for the victors were Tierney, J F McCarthy, Hogan, B Leahy, (captain), R Head, and W. Price Of the losers, Marchbanks was undoubtedly the best. He was reliable, and at times brilliant. He showed to best advantage when on the ball, but he was only in splendid form both in the back and forward lines. Elliott was responsible for some sterling work, as was also Gotz, Flynn and Lang, who did the roving, carried out their duties in finished style. Hammond, playing back and on the ball, was a tower of strength, and Jinks, in similar positions, was, of considerable use to his side. Beck, in goal was a solid defender, and showed commendable judgment on several occasions. The wing men, Kennedy and Ingleman, did sterling work, while Kelly and Gardiner were the pick of the forwards.

West Adelaide: JF. McCarthy (5), W. Dowling (2), W. Price (2). J. Daly (1), T. Leahy (1), and T. Moore (1).
Carlton: V. Gardiner (2), F. Elliott. (2), J. Flynn (1), R. McGregor (1), and H. Kelly 1).

First Quarter: West Adelaide, 2 goals 3 behinds. Vs Carlton, 2 goals 1 behind.

Second Quarter: West Adelaide, 7 goals 4 behinds Vs Carlton, 3 goals 2 behinds

Third, Quarter: West Adelaide, 6 goals 5 behinds. Vs Carlton, 7 goals 7 behinds

Final Quarter: West Adelaide, 12 goals 7 behinds. Vs Carlton, 7 goals 10 behinds.

On Sunday the visiting teams, Carlton and Essendon, were entertained by; the League at a picnic at Aldgate. The party left the Grand Coffee Palace, where they are staying at 10.30 in the morning five drags being used to convey them. About 120 guests sat down to the dinner at the Aldgate Hotel, and Mr. W. Coombs presided. The toast of the visiting teams were honoured at the instance of the chairman, and Messrs. J. Worrall, (manager of' the Carlton team), F. G. Reid (manager of the Essendon team), and Alderman Crichton (president of Essendon) responded. The South Australian League was submitted, by Mr. Worrall and responded to by Mt. its H. J. Pascoe. An enjoyable day was, spent among the hills, and the party left on their return at about 4.30.

The Essendon football team, who were' the runners up for the Victorian premiership, arrived by the Melbourne express on Saturday. They were accorded an enthusiastic reception at the League Rooms on Saturday, the vice-chairman (Mr. W. G. Coombs) presiding. In proposing the toast of the Essendon team, coupled. with the name of the manager, the Chairman said he understood the visitors were purely holidaying. The League was pleased to meet them and extended to them a hearty welcome. An invitation would be given them to join in the festivities arranged in honour of the Carlton team.

Mr. F. G. Reid, the manager, and also the secretary of the club, said he had pleasant recollections of previous visits to Adelaide, and was sure his team would have an enjoyable stay. The President (Alderman A. L. Creighton) appreciated the kindness received, and alluded to the good feeling which had sprung up between the States, mainly as, the result of Federation. No game had done more to advertise the States, than, football, and Essendon had a kindly feeling for South Australians. He was sorry he team were not premiers, but as guests they would be critics of the championship match that afternoon. They had heard much of! West Adelaide, thought they were marvels, and wanted to see them play. Football was a game which made young men manly men, and he wished the South Australian League success.

Mr. Reid proposed the "South Australian Football League," coupled with the name of Mr. Coombs of Mr. G. P. Leahy, the secretary of the 'West Adelaide Club, in reply, said Essendon
were the red-and-black team of Victoria, and had nearly accomplished what West Adelaide, the red-and-black team of South Australia had done, in rising from the bottom of the list to the top. He was sorry they had not achieved premiership honours.

The Chairman said that Mr. L. Cohen' a South Australian, just now resident in Melbourne was present. As he was a hearty supporter of football in Adelaide, and, particularly of the North Adelaide Club, he asked Mr. J. J. Woods, the Norwood delegate, to propose his health. Mr. Woods submitted the toast, were drunk with musical honours. Mr. Cohen responded.
Mr. J. Andrews, delegate of the West Torrens Club, proposed the "Adelaide and Suburban Association," the chairman (Mr. P. Argall) responding. There is considerable uncertainty as to
the future movements of the team, but it is probable that on Wednesday they will be pitted against a combined team picked from the Adelaide and Suburban Association. It has not yet been definitely decided, however, as it is possible that the oval will be engaged. On Saturday Port Adelaide will Endeavor to place a team in the field against them. Should they do so, an interesting
tussle should be the outcome.

The Norwood Football Club intends giving a complimentary smoke social to the Carlton and Essendon football clubs of Victoria in the St. Peters Town Hall on Wednesday evening.

Season 1908 | 1907 Championship of Australia | 1914 Championship of Australia | Champions of Australia
Contributors to this page: Bombasheldon , blueycarlton and Jarusa .
Page last modified on Saturday 22 of January, 2022 17:36:37 AEDT by Bombasheldon.

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