Kicking Behinds

LEAGUE FOOTBALL    By F. Keith Manzie

Good old Geelong. At last they’ve done it. They have won a semi-final for the first time in their career. Having surmounted the first obstacle lying between them and the premiership, they should bear out my prophecy and go very close to securing the pennant.

Even Collingwood will find them “tough nuts to crack,” and I am looking a great struggle between these two sides when they meet on Saturday week. (I do not, for one moment, expect to see Richmond down the Magpies, despite what happened in the semi-final last year.)

Good Kick is sticking to the boys from the Pivot with a tenacity that augurs well for their successes in future engagements.

A Most Peculiar Game

This meeting of Carlton and Geelong was one of the most peculiar games I have witnessed. Not once throughout did the match reach a very high standard of excellence, but in the first half it was so bad as almost to verge upon burlesque. Never have I heard such riotous laughter greet the attempts of the players to make the game look something like Australian football, and the regularity with which the ball was kicked out of bounds and through the behind posts was a triumph of bad shooting.

The game commenced in a ragged manner, with both sides crowding the play and making Innumerable mistakes, but the match had not been many minutes in progress when Carlton, began to take charge of affairs, and suggested that they were a side with more method than their opponents. All the Blues’ attacks were centred on Clover, but Todd, the Geelong full-back was very wisely satisfying himself with knocking the ball away from the tall Carlton forward Instead of trying to mark with him.

However, despite this silencing of their “great hope,” the Blues were playing like a winning side, and their long kicking down to goal was In marked contrast to the stupid short passing that was indulged in by the Pivotonians.

At quarter-time Geelong had, by dint of careful attention to the short passing, amassed the score of 2 behinds, while Carlton had gathered in 8 goals 1 behind.

It was into the second quarter that the comedy was introduced. Stern, grey-headed old men (to whom Laurel and Hardy would be anathema and Buster Keaton a pain in the neck), I saw shaking with uncontrolled mirth as kick after kick dribbled along the ground, and when Carlton kicked their twelfth successive behind, the laughter was spontaneous and sincere.

Whether it was a bad ball or not I do not know, but at any rate I have never seen so many kicks misdirected nor dribble along the ground as in this game. Their appearance of desiring to keep the ball “along the carpet” almost amounted to a fetish, and suggested that one was watching a cricket match. In fact, so close to the ground was the game played that several spectators contemplated lying flat on their chests to watch it.

Carlton’s kicking at goal was atrocious, and though they were playing all over Geelong (who looked like a well-beaten side), their lead at halftime was but 3.5 points (4.14 to 3.6), Geelong having rushed three quick goals just before the bell.

After the interval the match improved beyond recognition, for Geelong, seeing that the match was still within their grasp (owing to Carlton’s inaccuracy), were a revitalised side, and the game developed into a ding dong- struggle. However, despite the Pivotonian improvement, Carlton still clung to their lead—until Collins suddenly became Geelong’s match-winner. This boy appeared to become inspired: for marking like a champion he made three successive sensational rushes on goal, from each of which he dropkicked the six points. Geelong led, and at three-quarter time had a grip on the game with 10.7 to 7.16.

In the last term the Pivotonians ran all over the tired Carlton giants, and won their first semi-final with ease by 13.11 to 8.21. It was a game of mistakes, and Geelong can thank Carlton’s early failures in front of goal and Collins for their victory. Had the Blues kicked straight in the second term, not even Collins could have saved the game for the Pivotonians.

Next Saturday Collingwood meets Richmond in the second semi-final, and a hard, rugged game should be ‘the’ result. Richmond is far from being the Richmond of old, and the Magpies should win with a fair amount of ease.

LEAGUE FOOTBALL (1930, September 25). Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939)

(Note: Around the 1860′s Geelong developed the nickname “Pivot City”, a name that was in reference to Geelong being the central hub for shipping and rail to Melbourne, Ballarat and the Western District. Some local business’s still retain the Pivot name to this day but one local football club did change its name from the Pivotonians to the Cats in 1923 after adopting the Pivotonians name in the late 1870s from the previous Seagulls moniker.

For the record Collingwood went on to win its 4th flag in a row beating Geelong by 30 points).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *