North Adelaide's Tom MacKenzie wins third Magarey Medal (the first of which had been won as a West Torrens player). Name of STFA changed to Tasmanian Football League (TFL). East Perth admitted to WAFA. Grand final results - VFL: Carlton 15.4 (94) d. Fitzroy 6.9 (45); SAFA: Port Adelaide 8.12 (60) d. North Adelaide 5.9 (39); WAFA: East Fremantle 12.3 (75) d. West Perth 5.6 (36); VFA: West Melbourne 7.8 (50) d. Footscray 5.9 (39); NSWAFL: Newtown 9.8 (62) d. Redfern 1.14 (20); QFL: City 10.11 (71) d. Brisbane 2.5 (17); WA State Premiership: Mines Rovers 7.5 (47) drew with East Fremantle 6.11 (47); Replay - East Fremantle 7.5 (47) d. Mines Rovers 3.10 (28). Other premiers - TFL: Derwent (on points); NTFA: North Launceston (on points).
Norwood's tour of Victoria in July 1906 was noteworthy in giving the lie to widely held notions of VFL superiority. The Reflags, who finished the season in third place in the SAFA, won all three of the matches they played: against Essendon (fourth in the VFL), a Ballarat Combined side, and VFL runner-up Fitzroy.
The opening match of the tour against Essendon was tight and low scoring, but Norwood fully deserved its 13 point victory. Indeed, their winning margin might have been greater had they not had such difficulty adjusting to the more lenient umpiring which prevailed in the VFL at the time. According to "The Argus", "Judging by the play of the two sides Adelaide games are more strictly umpired than ours, and the Norwoods were further hampered by the fact that they are penalised at home for kicking in the ruck, and could not at once adapt themselves to the greater freedom allowed by the league".
The Essendon match took place on Wednesday 25th July. On the following Saturday the Redlegs visited Ballarat where they were opposed by a strong local combination - so strong in fact that it proved capable of defeating a VFL combination by 5 goals during the 1906 season. Norwood found the going tough early. At the first change, they had managed just a solitary goal to Ballarat's 6, and at half time they still trailed by 23 points. A 5.4 to 0.1 third term turned things around, leaving Norwood 10 points to the good at the last change. Norwood then added 2 goals to 1 in the final term to win with deceptive comfort by 22 points, 11.12 (78) to 8.8 (56).
The final match of the tour saw Norwood facing Fitzroy. Carlton had also offered to play the tourists, and had offered identical terms to the Maroons, so the issue was resolved by means of the tossing of a coin. The Reflags won the game in the opening quarter when they rattled on 7.2 to Fitzroy's solitary behind. Thereafter the 'Roys slightly outscored the visitors but they were never looked like making a realistic bid for victory. Norwood ultimately won by 30 points, 14.7 (91) to 8.13 (61).
The Reflags would finally get their chance to meet Carlton at the end of the 1907 season in a match dubbed as being for "the championship of Australia". The clash took place on the Adelaide Oval, and once again Norwood emphasised what a strong team they were at the time by winning comfortably.
Following an extraordinarily acrimonious clash between Essendon and his beloved Melbourne, "Billy T." felt constrained to record his feelings in what might very charitably be termed poetry. In a way, it was an early twentieth century equivalent of today's social media.
Begob, it was a lovely game, a game iv blood an’ hair,
Wid a thrifle iv torn whiskers an’ an eyelid here and there,
And iv all the darlin’ bla’guards that was afther raisin’ Cain
There was niver one like Nolan. Whoop for Oireland once again!
Yes a jooel, Mister Nolan,
Yer a bhoy there’s no conthrollin,
And when Erin wants a Saviour sure we’ll send our noble Nolan.
When the foight was at its hottest how he charged th’ writhin’ mob,
He whirled his fists, and yelled “Whooroo!” and punched ‘em in the gob.
The riots home in Belfast they was nothin’ worth a word
To the lovely dose of throuble that on Saturday occurred,
When the splendid hero, Nolan,
Sent the other divils rollin’,
And all Essendon was crippled by our lovely fightin’ Nolan.
Poor Parkinson was waitin’, an’ he got it in th’ jaw.
And for anything that followed, sor, he didn’t give a sthraw.
On the ground th’ bye was lyin’, wid his eyes up to the sun,
While his conqueror was layin’ out the others, one by one –
Was the dashin’ Misther Nolan;
It was bowls, an’ he was bowlin’,
Wid th’ bodies of his rivals, was th’ harum scarum Nolan.
He jammed th’ ball down Martin’s throat, he did, upon me soul,
And then he shwore the umpire blind he thought it was the goal.
He whirled the players ‘cross the field like feathers in th’ breeze.
He punched them wid his bunch of fives, he dug ‘em wid his knees,
Did that playful divil Nolan,
Och! His style is so cajolin’,
Ye must have heart of iron if ye’re not in love wid Nolan.
At the finish he was thereabout, his heart so full of fun,
That th’ umpire couldn’t shtop him wid a poleaxe or a gun.
An’ when he’d filled th’ Hos-pit-al wid players that was there,
He yelled: “Bring in all Essendon, its Council and its ‘Mare’.”
He’s a bhoy there’s no conthrollin’,
And when Ireland’s wantin’ Home Rule, begob! We’ll send her fightin’ Nolan!