1898 – Essendon 16.16.112
Essendon 5.4 7.10 11.12 16.16 112
St Kilda 1.1 3.7 4.7 5.7 37
Sat 28-May-1898 3:00 PM Venue: East Melbourne Cricket Ground
Essendon won by 75 pts
Round 4, 1898, the reigning premiers, Essendon hosted the previous year’s wooden sooners, StKilda, who were still yet to win during their time in the league, StKilda. Including the previous year’s round robin finals series, Essendon sitting on top of the ladder and were riding a 6 game winning streak. While StKilda, on the other hand, had lost 17 straight across the two seasons. Essendon had never scored above 100 points, coming close the previous season also against StKilda, when they scored 13.16.94. Their average over the first three rounds of the 1898 season was 6.3 goals a game.
In charge of this game was Henry ‘Ivo’ Crapp, having had the week off in round 3, returned to umpire his third game of the season.
This StKilda team was said to lack confidence and though they have plenty of material, there was not a great deal of organization within the team. However “Rover” was quite flattering of the inclusion of “real Good” players including Joe Hogan, Tom McNamara, Joe Moorehouse and Walter Stewart, with their combined skills, would strengthen the team considerably.
Within the first 15 minutes the game was torn apart by Essendon’s ruckman Alec Hall, a man who would amazingly go on to be the first league coach of 3 league teams, kicked three goals. Essendon would kick another two goals for the quarter, as well as 4 behinds, to StKilda’s 1.1, to go in at the quarter time break with a 27 point lead. Hugh Gavin was prominent in the middle for Essendon, helping drive the ball forward. For the away team, ‘Old Boy’ noted that StKilda appeared to begin this game like they had been practicing their handball. However on reflection, player Tom Blake, noted that this was not the case and was more of a spur of the moment decision.
However StKilda were able to go toe to toe with the reigning premiers in the second quarter, with the aid of the wind. Both teams adding 2.6 to their tallies, with Essendon holding the same margin at the main break.
With the wind in the 3rd quarter, The Same Old went about their business adding another 4 goals and 2 behinds, while StKilda had to be content with a solitary goal. Against the wind in the final quarter they scored another 5.4 to another single StKilda goal. With 15 scoring shots to 2 after half time, the Same Old’s finished the game with a commanding lead, cracking the ton for the first time and stretching their unbeaten run to 7 in a row. At this stage of the season they also had 4 players in the top 10 league goal kickers, with (2nd in the league) Charlie Moore on 9, Arthur Cleghorn on 7, Alec Hall on 5 and Norm Waugh on 4.
“Rover” gave StKilda a bit of an excuse for their loss to Essendon, stating that “any team numbering less than twenty tip top players has no sort of chance against Essendon”. Although “Markwell notes that “StKilda is a very weak team compared with the other 7, some of the players are individually first class”. StKilda’s main problem though, according to “Rover” is that they lack any system in playing which gives the opposition clubs opportunities which they are not slow to take advantage of”.
At the end of the round, after a big win and some “Kicking practice”, Essendon sat undefeated on top of the ladder, a game clear with a percentage of 255.7%.
Best – Anderson, M.Collins, Stuckey, Wright, Cleghorn, Hall.
Goals – A.Hall 4, C.Moore 4, H.Gavin 2, A. Cleghorn 2, P. Barr, D.Currie, C.Tenbrink, N.Waugh