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Needing just to draw to make the finals, Carlton lost to Footscray by 1 point at Princes Park. Four recent Carlton greats played their last games.

Round 18, 1944

Carlton 4.2 26 8.4 52 10.9 69 13.10 88
Footscray 2.2 14 6.9 45 10.11 71 12.17 89
Venue: Princes Park Date: Saturday 2 September 1944
Result: Lost by 1 point Umpire: Harry Hooper Crowd: 34,000
Goalkickers: J.Conley 2, O.Grieve 2, J.Mooring 2, M.Price 2, J.Wrout 2, J.Bennett 1, R.Savage 1, A.Way 1.
Reports: Injuries: J.Wrout (broken leg) replaced by P.Schmidt early in the third quarter.












Game Review

Footscray has only defeated Carlton twice at Princes Park. The first time was in Round 9, 1928 when they won by one point and the other was in Round 17, 1931 by 4 points.

This match decided which of the two sides would participate in the finals. The Blues appeared home when they led by 17 points midway through the last term, but Footscray rallied valiantly, drawing level with less than a minute left. It was then that Footscray's Harry Hickey took a strong pack mark 50 metres out from goal, and as he walked back to take his kick, the final bell sounded across the ground. Hickey let fly with a big drop-kick, and the Carlton crowd roared as Bob Chitty appeared to mark the ball right on the goal line. But the goal umpire - after consulting the field umpire - signalled a point and tipped the Blues out of the finals. Carlton players were adamant that Chitty had marked the kick inside the field of play, but their protests fell on deaf ears.

Adding injury to insult, Jack Wrout broke his leg in his final game for the Blues, and stalwart 1938 Premiership defender Frank Anderson finished up at Carlton to join Preston in the VFA as captain-coach. Incumbent Blues captain Bob Atkinson also returned to the VFA (with Coburg) after this game, while brilliant forward Paul Schmidt announced his retirement after a notable 78-game career that produced 228 goals.

The Blues were in 3rd spot by 2 points prior to this clash, their loss to Footscray allowed the victors to move into the final 4 at the expense of the Blues who finished the season in 5th spot. They ended up missing the finals by 2 points.

Hickey's kick boots 'Scrays into Four
Footscray fought a desperate last quarter to snatch a one-point victory over Carlton. The win, from a kick taken after the bell, put them into the Final Four. With scores level, the Footscray centreman Harry Hickey marked 55 yards out from goal just moments before the bell rang. Scores were tied at 88 points each. High drama reigned as the 35,000 strong crowd held its breath. A solitary kick would decide which team would go to fight out the Finals. For the Bulldogs, Hickey's kick was all-important because Carlton had the superior percentage which would put them into the Finals in the event of a draw. As Hickey prepared for the kick of his life, his team-mate Miller ran over to steady him. Hickey swung into the kick, going all out for distance. The ball flew high and true, but so did Carlton defender, Bob Chitty who marked above the pack, only to have the goal-umpire rule he had caught the ball over the goal-line, awarding Footscray a point and a passage into the finals. A delirious crowd spilled onto the oval. - 100 Years of Australian Rules Football.

This game is remembered as one of Carlton's controversial finishes, a theme explored in a Blueseum exclusive article available here.

Team


B: 9 Bob Atkinson (c) 1 Frank Anderson 14 Rod McLean
HB: 18 Arthur Sanger 6 Bob Chitty 26 Jim Clark
C: 8 Fred Fitzgibbon 5 Ern Henfry 12 Doug Williams
HF: 35 Jack Conley 4 Alec Way 31 Charlie McInnes
F: 13 Ollie Grieve 28 Jack Wrout 30 Mick Price (vc)
Ruck: 24 Ron Savage 3 Jack Bennett 16 Jim Mooring
19th Man: 21 Paul Schmidt
Coach: Percy Bentley


Milestones

Last Games: Jack Wrout, Bob Atkinson, Frank Anderson, Paul Schmidt


Round 17 | 1945

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