The powers that be had changed the ‘program’ for the finals campaign in 1898, with the ladder at the end of the 14 rounds determining the games for a series of ‘Sectionals’ – Carlton, coming 7th, would play against 1st, 3rd and 5th, whilst the ‘even’ teams would also play-off.
The ladder below represents performances for the first 14 rounds, whilst Rounds 15-17 above represent the 'Sectionals'. Performances in the ‘Sectionals’ would determine the finalists - technically a team could come last, win all the Sectionals and go through to a Semi Final! Despite this alluring opportunity, the Blues could not win a game in the Sectional round and came at the bottom of their 4-team 'Sectional Ladder A' for the 1898 season and played all their Sectional games away from Princes Park.
This year saw the first Grand Final playoff (with 1897 being a ‘points’ decision). Fitzroy defeated Essendon to take the flag.
Jimmy Aitken and Ernie Walton
Leading Goal Kicker: Tommy O'Day - 8
Patrons of the Club: Cr. McEacharn (Lord Mayor of Melb), Alderman Moloney (MLA), F. H. Bromley, J. Anderson, E. L. Zox, Alderman Pigdon, Crs. W. Strong, W. Cook, W. Ievers, J. J. Brennan, Lt.-Col. Robertson, Messrs; George Robertson, Gardiner, Gateliff, Quirk, Malcolm, Baker, T. S. Marshall, and Gillespie. (Age April 09 1898 p11)
Carlton played Richmond City on the Richmond City Reserve April 09
Carlton played Melbourne Juniors at Princes Park April 16.
A match between the Carlton President's team and the Secretary's team took place at Princes Park April 23.
Carlton played South St.Kilda (23) at Princes Park May 07.
Carlton played Brunswick at Princes Park on April 29.
Carlton won; 6.7 - 3.6
Jack Douglas, Pat Considine, Jim Balharry, Les Vernon, Dick Stewart, George Young, Bill Churchyard, Mick Donaghy, Herman Dohrmann, Jim Cowcher, Alf Moore, Tommy Kinman, Des Meadowcroft, Dan Pender, Charlie Curtis, Mick Pender, Fred Barlow, Charlie Brown, Len Morrison, Tommy O'Day, Jim Pender, Bill Sharkey, George Warde