Carlton beat Richmond by 7 points in a spiteful clash at Princes Park. Frank Irwin was suspended for 18 games, and would never again play for the Blues.

Round 17, 1927

Venue: Princes ParkDate: Saturday September 3, 1927
Result: Win by 7 pointsUmpire: LehenyCrowd: 30,000
Goalkickers: H.Vallence 3, V.Arthur 1.
Reports: 4 players (2 from either side)Injuries:

Game Review

This game was played in icy, gale-force winds, and was a rough clash. Five players were knocked unconscious, and two men from each side were reported by the field umpire. Carlton defender Frank ‘Sailor’ Irwin was suspended for a massive 18 games for striking Richmond key forward George Rudolph, and never played for the Blues again.

Tiger Jack Baggot was found not guilty of striking Irwin, while Harold Carter (Carlton) and Alan Geddes (Richmond) were found not guilty of the heinous crime of wrestling each other (could this be the first instance of a report for this offence?). The ill-feeling generated from this match was re-ignited when the teams met in the first Semi Final a fortnight later, and can be seen as one of the seeds of the bitter enmity that continues today between the Blues and the Tigers.

The importance of this game was revealed in the attendance figures with 30,000 barrackers at Princes Park. Three other games in this round, Collingwood v Essendon, St. Kilda v Geelong, and Footscray v Fitzroy all had the next highest with 8,000 at each venue.
The blustery wind was blowing across the ground making good football difficult. Richmond scored the first goal. Good play by Frank Donoghue, Fred Gilby, Vin Arthur, and Tommy Downs who kicked to Harry Vallence and he marked and goaled. Maurie Beasy forwarded the ball to Jimmy Goonan and on the run just missed for a behind. Richmond then scored a behind. From the kick off by Jim Watson, the Blues ran the ball down the ground by a chain of passes by Tommy Downs to Vin Arthur, Hedley Blackmore, George Gough and back to Blackmore. A place-kick attempt for goal by Blackmore failed. Harry Vallence then kicked the second goal after good work by Joe Kelly and Jim Goonan. Frank Donoghue and Denis Kelleher combined for Vallence to score the Blues' third goal. At quarter time Carlton led by 13 points.
Richmond attacked from the start of the quarter and Joe Kelly, Tommy Downs, Harold Carter Denis Kelleher, and Alex Duncan turned many forward moves. Blackmore passed to Gough for a minor score. Fred Gilby to Gough and again his snap just missed. Both sides missed easy chances but the wind was playing havoc. At half time the Blues maintained the lead by 13 points.
The Tigers were first to break the goal drought by a nice snap by, future Carlton coach, Percy Bentley. The Blues attack through Maurie Beasy but Harold Carter's kick registered a behind. In a scrimmage of players Tommy Downs was knocked down and he had to be carried from the ground. This led to Frank Irwin and Baggot of Richmond being reported. Carlton retaliated and Fincher and Rudolph were soon in the hands of the trainers. The crowd was a fever pitch. Play resumed with some players preferring the stoush to the football. The crowd cheered just before the break when Tommy Downs returned to the field. At three quarter time Carlton led by 8 points.
The Blues attacked but each moved was turned back by Richmond. Vin Arthur then ran forward, twisting and turning through the defenders, and his screw kick snap bought up the first Carlton goal since just before quarter time. Play again became heated when two players started wrestling, other players rushed in and Harold Carter and Richmond's Alan Geddes were reported. The Tigers attacked and kicked a goal reducing the margin to 7 points. The Blues then defended stoutly in the final minutes to hang on and win by 7 points.

""In such conditions good play was out of the question, but no one played better for Carlton than Beasy, Arthur, Kelly, and, until injured, Downs. Beasy was equally strong whether following or defending, Arthur was too good on the wing for Geddes, and Kelly, on the other wing accounted for O'Brien, who was included at the last minute in place of Watson. Downs was a determined rover, and, in addition, rendered fine service in defence. Duncan was at his best in the final quarter, and Donoghue, Johnson, Kelleher, and Gilby were the best of the others. Goonan showed pace and ability, but persisted in running too much."
(Trove: Argus September 05 p6)

At the end of this round Carlton were in 4th spot on the ladder with a percentage of 117.8.


B: 21 Frank Irwin 33 Jim Watson 10 Denis Kelleher
HB: 18 Frank Donoghue 32 Alex Duncan 6 Fred Gilby
C: 7 Joe Kelly 31 Jimmy Goonan 30 Vin Arthur
HF: 3 Charlie McSwain 1 Horrie Clover (cc) 8 Hedley Blackmore
F: 22 Harry Vallence 14 George Gough 25 Harold Carter (vc)
Ruck: 11 Maurie Beasy 5 Les Johnson 28 Tommy Downs
Coach: Horrie Clover


Trove, All Images Table Talk Sept 08: Off to the football, supporters on the Sydney Road (Royal Parade) cable tram outside Princes Park.





Last Game: Frank Irwin

Round 16 | Round 18
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