|Venue: Punt Road Oval||Date: Saturday June 12, 1937|
|Result: Lose by 11 points||Umpire: Blackburn||Crowd: 27,000|
|Goalkickers: H. Vallence 3.3, M.Price 3.1, B.Butler 2.2, J. Wrout 1.3, J. Hale 1.3, W. Kuhlken 1.2, K. Shea 1.2, M.Crisp 1.1, A. Shields 0.3, E. Huxtable 0.1|
|Best:D. McIntyre, R. McLean, M. Price, A. Shields, F. Gill, E. Huxtable|
|Reports:||Injuries: F. Anderson (ankle) replaced by C. Neeson at half time, J. Francis (badly bruised arm)|
On a gloomy winter’s day, Carlton lost to a determined Richmond by eleven points at Punt Road. The Tigers led at every change and, despite spirited Carlton efforts, had the Blues’ measure. Had they kicked straight, the margin might have been greater. The gloom was no doubt matched after the game by Carlton players, officials and supporters as they realized that their chances of finals football were slipping away.
A strenuous session at Tuesday training introduced three new faces trying out for Carlton – Nunn, from Queensland, Richardson, a 6 foot follower from a local side and Doolan, a follower from Kyabram. Ansell Clarke, Bob Green and Jack Carney were still one or two weeks from resuming. Kevin Fox, who had sustained a knee injury in last week’s game, was hopeful of playing but Fred Ayers had a bruised hip from the reserves game and did not train. Gordon Mackie’s broken hand was responding well and he trained solidly.
On Thursday night, the selectors had to rule Fox out and Bob Chitty was omitted. Horrie Bullen was a welcome return to the side and Clem Neeson was made 19th man. Eric Huxtable had requested a clearance but the committee would not grant one to such a valuable player. Huxtable was included in the side on at half back.
This was a split round with three games to be played on Monday. As the Carlton oval was being used on Saturday to stage a Rugby Union game between the visiting Springboks and a Victorian rugby squad, the Carlton-Richmond Reserves game was played on the Monday.
Spectators to the game were greeted by a moderate fog obscuring parts of the Punt Road Oval and patches of frost lingering in shady areas near the boundary. Richmond won the toss and kicked against a slight northerly which was helping to disperse the fog. Using the railway wing, Richmond mounted two early attacks but two behinds were a poor result for promising moves. Play was intense early and the conditions were causing plenty of handling errors, although several splendid high marks were taken by both sides. Both defences were on top early, with McIntyre and Francis prominent for the Blues. Carlton looked the steadier side and some pacy play from Shea and Crisp moved the ball to Price, who shot a left foot pass to Vallence for the first goal. A series of Carlton attacks followed, with behinds coming from Hale and Price, but strong defence from Richmond ensured that nothing came from the other thrusts. Richmond gained their first goal from a clever play around the railway wing to where a rare Francis error allowed a Tiger forward in for a snap goal. Another Richmond thrust was prevented when one of their players was penalized for throwing the ball. Now it was Richmond doing all the attacking and, despite grim defence, another goal came after a clever shot from 40 yards out. Crisp and Hale then gave Wrout a chance but he missed for a behind. Vallence also had a chance but managed only the fourth behind. More attacks from Richmond brought five behinds in a row in a display of poor kicking and strong Carlton defence. Very late in the quarter, Price earnt a free close in to goal and kicked truly to leave the Blues down by three points after an even term.
Play was occasionally fiery and Umpire Blackburn was quick to penalize any transgressors, so free kicks were frequent. Richmond was in an aggressive mood and too often swept Carlton aside. This caused Carlton to make many fumbling errors and to attempt too much short-passing. Shea and Crisp collided heavily when going for the ball and both were dazed for a period. Shea recovered well and with Huxtable sent Carlton forward twice. Then Huxtable worked with Price and Hale to get the ball to Butler, who kicked a magnificent goal. Carlton’s defence was doing well, with Park a steadying force. From one attack, he marked well and sent the ball to McLean, who was doing well in the ruck. He found Bullen, who kicked forward to Price. His corkscrew kick just beat the Tiger defence for a goal. Richmond was winning across the centre and rallied well but their shocking inaccuracy brought only a string of behinds. Persistence gained them their third goal by way of a free kick, with a long drop kick going through. Although they had less of the ball, the Blues were now using it better, with a long kicks to drive forward. Carlton was also successful at getting players out on their own along the railway wing; Butler, Hale and Huxtable all getting loose and helping Carlton score two goals. The first came from Shea, with a long kick going through an unguarded goal. Wrout scored the other, when he scooped the ball from a pack and kicked a beautiful left foot drop kick to put the Blues nine points up. Then in a strange move Gill, who had been playing well in defence, was moved into the ruck. The move wasn’t a success. He seemed all at sea and Richmond made the most of his absence to rattle on several attacks. A touched kick gained a behind, before two goals came in quick succession to gain the lead. A snapped kick was unlucky to hit the post and then another goal came from a lighting thrust forward. Carlton responded, with Huxtable and McLean combining for Hale to mark and goal from an angle. But another fast movement gained Richmond’s seventh goal just before the bell rang for half time. Ominously, Anderson was limping badly with an injured ankle late in the term. Richmond had been the stronger side in the first half, having the most use of the ball but had kicked atrociously with five goals nine for the term. At one point in the half, they had kicked ten behinds in a row. McIntyre, McLean, Shields, Huxtable and Price were good contributors for the Blues.
Neeson took the injured Anderson’s place at half time. Gill was back in defence and Hale was playing between half back and half forward. Crisp, unusually quiet, sharked a Richmond tap out and cleared from the centre to Cashin, who passed the ball to Shields, a standout in attack so far. He passed nicely to Vallence who gained a lucky free kick and goaled. Another forward move by Carlton gained a behind, from a snap at goal. Richmond now made a couple of attacks but again kicked poorly for two behinds. Carlton kept playing the ball to the wings, but this was the area where Richmond was well on top. A good forward thrust through Crisp and Shields got the ball to Hale but his hurried snap brought only a behind. Now it was Carlton’s turn at poor kicking and a flurry of attacks brought only behinds. The fog was descending gradually throughout the term and visibility was quite poor at times. Strong work and team play gained Richmond two goals. The pace of both sides as they strove for victory was making a splendid spectacle. Rugged play from Francis and McLean sent Carlton into attack to where Butler scouted a pack well and goaled to reduce the margin to nine points. Fine play from Richmond’s defence stopped two attacks but Carlton thrust forward again through Hale and Price to Crisp, who drop kicked the Blues’ tenth goal. Carlton were looking good when Shields, with a weaving run, shot at goal but his kick was touched on the line to register only a behind. The Tigers responded with long kicks, driving the ball into their forward line for a goal to restore their eight point lead. It was the best period of play for the day and the excitement was intense, with the crowd roaring their appreciation. Kuhlken drove Carlton forward but a kick from Hale was touched through. Again Richmond attacked and a lovely high mark resulted in their eleventh goal and an eleven point lead at the final break.
Carlton made several changes during the break. Crisp went to half forward, Hale into the centre and Cashin onto the ball. Richmond swept forward and kicked at goal. Price appeared to have it covered but the ball bounced away from him into the arms of a Richmond forward for a goal. Another shot for goal was touched by Park for a behind. Moments later, a free kick for a push in the back brought up another Richmond goal, making it difficult for Carlton from here. The game was being played in semi-darkness due to the fog and gloomy weather. The Blues fought back determinedly with McLean kicking to Kuhlken close to goal. His shot went through for full points but half the crowd didn’t see it due to the fog! Richmond’s defence was hard to penetrate and a series of attacks were stopped. Crisp worked the ball to Butler who managed a behind only. Although Richmond had a handy lead, play was still exciting. Still trying, Cashin and Crisp combined and sent the ball to Kuhlken, but his shot from ten yards out was touched. From the rebound, good teamwork gained the Tigers’ their fourteenth goal and sealed the game. Cashin and Kuhlken assisted Vallence to gain his third goal but it was too late for Carlton. In a last effort, Price gained from Crisp and goaled to trail by eleven points when the final bell rang.
After the game, Don McIntyre was presented with a handsome cup, donated by Mr Vic Leveson, for being Carlton’s best on the day. At 3-5 Carlton's chances of finals action seemed forlorn. Carlton was now seventh on the ladder with a percentage of 108.9.
|B:||2 Don McIntyre||21 Frank Gill||26 Jim Park|
|HB:||9 Eric Huxtable||10 Jim Francis (acting capt.)||1 Frank Anderson|
|C:||8 Keith Shea||12 Creswell 'Mickey' Crisp||4 Norm Cashin|
|HF:||11 Jack Hale||28 Jack Wrout||25 Arch Shields|
|F:||20 Will Kuhlken||22 Harry Vallence||30 Mick Price|
|Ruck:||15 Horrie Bullen||14 Rod McLean||29 Bert Butler|
|19th Man:||34 Clem Neeson|
MilestonesLast Game: Will Kuhlken
Round 7 | Round 9