Explore the History of australian football

Match report from the “Weekly Times”, 16/6/17, page 21


A large attendance at South Melbourne realised what can be done by accurate kicking. From the outset the South men followed a policy of wastefulness that brought them eight points against the nine scored for Fitzroy from half the opportunities. Only one goal was notched during the bout, Parratt, of Fitzroy, being the kicker. After South had been credited with minor points requiring double figures to count them, Fitzroy made a second sixer. This had the apparent effect of shaming South out of their missing craze, and goals were put on by Doherty and Morgan. Thus half time saw the Southerners leading by 10 points, every one of which represented a scoring shot. In the third bout the local men increased their lead through the instrumentality of Tandy, but his goal was associated with five other chances yielding only one notch apiece. Fitzroy, on the other hand, struck only twice, but scored the full points once. Hence at lemon time South were only fourteen points ahead - all of them scoring shots. Then accuracy of marksmanship began to influence the issue. South persevered like good sports, and maintained the lead for a long while. When they made a goal with less than ten minutes to go, it seemed all right for the local cause. The ‘Roys were equally determined, however, and by a special and well-maintained dash they crowded two goals into the concluding five minutes, and won by 5 points. The goal crossings were favorable to South by 25 to 15. The game may almost be styled Wigraft’s match, the ex-Prestonian securing four of Fitzroy’s eight goals. Holden, Mullen, Leithbridge, Moore, Purcell and Bamford were prominent among the winners, as were the South men, Howell, Caldwell, Payne, Belcher, Daly and Rademacher.


The final scores were Fitzroy 8.7 (55); South Melbourne 5.20 (50). The ‘Roys were reigning premiers, while South Melbourne was back in the VFL fold after missing the 1916 season. South's kicking for goal during the early part of the 1917 season was atrocious. In the first three rounds their tallies were 9.18, 8.16 and 5.18. Nevertheless they went on to qualify for the finals, only to crash out at the first hurdle agaInst eventual premiers Collingwood. The 'Roys too went on to make the finals and ended up playing off for the premiership against the Magpies. In the teams' first meeting in the final Fitzroy won by a goal, but Collingwood as minor premiers had the right of challenge, and they employed this to good effect, claiming the flag by a margin of 35 points.

The 'Roys' Len Wigraft

South's Jim Caldwell

Vic Belcher (South)

George Holden (Fitzroy)

South Kick Themselves in the Foot - VFL round five, Saturday 9th June 1915: South Melbourne versus Fitzroy at the Lake Oval