The Page Finals system was introduced in this season and was unchanged until the introduction of the final five in 1972.
Much like 1930, 1931 was a missed opportunity for the Blues, with some thumping wins and 5 of our 7 losses being close, including three of them by one goal or less. A narrow 9 point loss against Richmond opened the season, followed by big wins over Fitzroy and Essendon. A 6 point loss to Geelong followed in round 4, which left the club lying in fifth place on the ladder.
Seven straight wins between rounds 5 and 11 improved the clubs fortunes, and the club climbed to third place on the ladder, only one game away from top spot. Poor end of season form saw the team only win 3 out of their final 7 games, but we managed to hang onto third place at the end of the home and away rounds, although 3 games behind leaders Geelong and Richmond. Losing six times during the season was surprising given that the club had often killed opposition sides, winning 5 out of their 18 games by more than 10 goals.
Entering the finals series, Carlton would meet Collingwood in the first Semi Final and were never headed, registering an 88 point win (20.10 130 to 5.12 42), the clubs 6th win by more than 10 goals for the season. Coming off this amazing win, the Blues' confidence must have been sky high, and it showed in the first term against Geelong in the Preliminary Final. Carlton held Geelong scoreless and kicked 7.5 for the quarter to lead by 47 points at the main break. In an amazing turnaround, the Cats kicked 8 goals to 1 in the second term to lead by 3 points at half time. In the second half, both sides could manage only 3 goals a piece and Geelong ran out the game 6 point winners (11.17 83 to 11.11 77). For the second year running, Geelong knocked Carlton out of the finals. They went on to beat Richmond in the Grand Final.
You may have noticed that the Round orders in this year appear to be slightly out of order. Please click here to find out why.
People of 1931Captain: Ray Brew
Coach: Dan Minogue
Leading Goal-kicker: Harry Vallence - 86 goals (also leading goal-kicker of the competition and new club record)
MilestonesRetirements: Horrie Clover - played since 1920
Debuts: Eric Little, Jack Kidd, Bill Jones, George Morrissey, Alf Egan, Bernie O'Brien, Frank O'Rourke, Fred Brooks, Len Clarke, Creswell 'Mickey' Crisp, Rex Job, Ern O'Regan
Blue & Whites vs Blues Practice Match, April 04Blues captained by Clover.
Older players, H. Vallence, Johnson, Clover, Allan, Davey, Kelleher and Downs played in the Blues team.
B&W captained by F. Gilby
This team inclued Gill, F. Gilby, Doyle, Arthur, Collins.
Among the recruits mentioned were; Phelan (defender, Werribee), Unthank (defender, Mornington), Rutherford (forward, Metro. Amateurs), G. Vallance (a forward, brother of Harry, Bacchus Marsh), Major (centre, Rochester), Cameron (Buchan), Collier (Eaglehawk), Harding (Somerville), Churchill (Kilcunda), Mudge (forward, Carnegie), Grist (half forward, Sandhurst), Kennedy & MacNamara both from the seconds.
Practice Match, April 11Teams captained by Davey and C. Martyn
Tommy Downs who missed last season because of disqualification played well and kicked three goals.
Crisp kicked four goals in the first half.
Better new players, O'Regan (Port Adelaide) showd dash in defence, A. Cameron (centre half back, Buchan), Stirling & Pollock both from Coburg, A. Mudge (defender, Carnegie), G. Vallence, Mick Crisp (forward, Sandhurst), L. Rhode (Sea Lake), Rutherford (rover, Old Melburnians), Collier (Bendigo), O'Brien (brother of Jack O'Brien)