|Venue: Junction Oval||Date: Saturday September 5, 1936|
|Result: Lose by 1 point||Umpire: Batt||Crowd: 18,000|
|Goalkickers: H.Vallence 6, F.Anderson 2, B.Kuhlken 2, H.Bullen 1, A.Clarke 1, R.Cooper 1, K.Shea 1, J.Wrout 1.|
|Best: F. Anderson, A. Clarke, H. Vallence, J. Hale, K. Shea, R. Green|
Game ReviewCarlton’s run of victories came to an end by the narrowest of margins against a determined St Kilda side, who were keen to finish their season on a winning note. Perhaps it was the effects of the previous three hard games, or perhaps it was the prior knowledge that win or lose, they were going to play Melbourne in the first semi next week, but the Blues didn’t resemble the Carlton teams of previous weeks and played their best football too late in the game. But nothing could detract from St Kilda’s deserved win; they had the Blues’ measure all game.
Thursday night’s training was a solid session with players revved up and keen to play. Shea and Pollock were standouts in the session and both looked fit. Davey and Crisp trained very lightly and it was looking increasingly likely that they would miss this game and the first semi-final. Three changes were announced – Gilby was rested, and Denning and Cashin were omitted. Three top players, in Shea, Carney and Pollock returned to the side. Mutimer was made 19th man.
Basking in lovely late winter weather, the good sized crowd witnessed a fast start from the spirited Saints, who did all the attacking with a slight breeze for the first ten minutes. An early miss was followed by a goal, after Park had leapt high but missed the ball. Then, a free kick from 30 yards out scored the second St Kilda goal. St Kilda was very fast, dominating the game and they registered their third goal after some excellent team play. By contrast, the Blues resembled nothing like the team of the last few weeks, looking lethargic and slow. St Kilda’s forward line was causing Carton’s defence many anxious moments and of particular interest was the tussle at centre half forward, where Carlton’s Gordon Mackie was pitted against his younger brother Ken. Another goal stretched the Saints’ lead out to 24 points, before a zig zag movement around the wing involving Cooper, Clarke and Shea brought up a minor score, which was quickly followed by another. Shea was creating attacks for Carlton but the strong St Kilda defence was holding up well. Finally, Shea drove long to the goal square, where Vallence took a great mark and kicked Carlton’s first goal. The Saints responded forcefully, with a quick thrust forward for a goal. Another attack was stopped by the Blues, but the kick out of defence sailed out of bounds. From the free on the boundary line, a lovely punt scored the sixth St Kilda goal to put the lead at a clear five goals at the first change.
The Blues started the quarter with a series of attacks. From one, a miskick from a St Kilda defender went to Kuhlken, who luckily goaled with a kick which just bounced through. Then Anderson and Francis combined well and got the ball to Vallence. He unselfishly passed to Cooper, whose well- judged shot raised Carlton’s third goal. Carlton had opened up the forward line, playing wide which disorganised the St Kilda defence. The Blues were suddenly back in the game, with Shea, Cooper, Anderson and Bullen all playing well. St Kilda twice went forward around the wings, but each attack failed when their forwards were caught out of position. Carlton moved forward and Kuhlken hit the post after receiving a free kick, before Vallence, showing great poise, got past two opponents and kicked over his head for Carlton’s fourth goal. When Wrout just missed another chance, scoring a behind only, the Blues were just eleven points down. Rallying, St Kilda attacked straight down the ground and a great mark preceded their seventh goal. Carlton responded in kind when Clarke marked and evaded the man on his mark to kick a lovely running goal. Keeping the pressure up, Francis kicked forward to Cooper, but his shot was well wide. The game was fast and very entertaining, with both sides displaying great football. St Kilda was unlucky when a shot after a fine mark just went off line at the last moment. Another behind was scored for the Saints before a running goal moments later gave them a 17 point lead at half time. Shea, Anderson, Green, Huxtable and Clarke had been good for Carlton.
The third quarter was an even affair, with goals going alternatively to both sides. Carlton was away first, with Kuhlken goaling with another lucky shot, a kick off the ground from a scrimmage in front. St Kilda answered stylishly, with a running goal after some great play. Carlton was winning the aerial duels, with Mackie under notice for some lovely marks but St Kilda had control across the centre, except on Green’s wing. Wrout gained Carlton’s seventh goal but St Kilda replied moments later with a soaring mark which was followed by a fine goal. St Kilda was working well together, but Carlton had no effective forwards except for Vallence. He received a free and kicked his third goal, but again St Kilda responded with a goal of its own. It was a tough but fair game with both Park and Huxtable both receiving heavy knocks during the term. Late in the quarter, Vallence again eluded the defence and goaled to edge the blues closer, but St Kilda had all the answers and scored their twelfth goal to maintain the 17 point lead at the final break.
Carlton moved Anderson into the centre at three-quarter time and Francis took Anderson’s usual half back position. As in previous games, this had immediate effect with Shea kicking long for goal, but the shot narrowly missed. Then Vallence had a chance but his shot went out of bounds. When Shea kicked truly from an angle at the seven minute mark, the Blues were only eleven points down. Hale, Anderson and Huxtable were doing great work sending Carlton forward, but only a behind resulted, scored by Kuhlken. The two Mackie brothers had had an entertaining contest so far, but St Kilda’s Ken kicked forward to where Bill Mohr, their full forward, evaded the defence and kicked his eighth for the game and his 100th goal for the season. St Kilda players and supporters of both sides cheered him wildly and Carlton’s Park was among the first to congratulate him. Vallence, Carlton’s best forward, kicked an answering goal but the Saints replied with their 14th to maintain their lead with just ten minutes left to play. Again Vallence goaled; this time from a great running shot from 50 yards out to keep Carlton in the hunt, but when St Kilda responded with a goal from a low driving shot with only five minutes left, it needed something special, which Carlton didn’t seem to have, to win this one. Desperately Carlton rallied, and Anderson found Vallence, but only a behind came. Then Anderson got past his opponent and drop-kicked a wonderful goal from an angle. Bullen kicked an almost identical goal moments later and suddenly the chance was there. But another St Kilda goal from a kick into an unguarded goal relieved the pressure. The crowd, treated to one of the games of the season, was now in paroxysms of wild excitement, urging their sides on. Only seconds remained but the Blues relentlessly attacked. It was all Carlton now but Vallence, Bullen and Wrout all missed opportunities, scoring singles, leaving the difference just seven points. A desperate thrust came from Carlton, with the ball kicked to a pack in front of goal. Wisely, Anderson stayed down and flashed through a goal with 30 seconds left. Then Shea took and extraordinary mark and forwarded but the Saints swept the ball away. Again Shea, with a frantic last effort, got the ball and was running into goal when he was swamped by the defence as the bell sounded, leaving Carlton one point down at the end of a great game.
And so the home and away season finished, with Carlton in 3rd spot on the ladder with a percentage of 124.8 and set to play its third 1st semi-final in four seasons. The season’s 12-6 win-loss ratio of Carlton’s was actually better than it looked, for the collective amount by which Carlton had been defeated in those six games was just 58 points. Melbourne had been victorious by 15 points in their only meeting of the sides, but Carlton could go into the game with some confidence. Injuries were the only real worry with several players out and others carrying injuries. All would be revealed next week.
|B:||2 Don McIntyre||26 Jim Park||1 Frank Anderson|
|HB:||9 Eric Huxtable||24 Gordon Mackie||11 Jack Hale|
|C:||7 Jack Carney||10 Jim Francis (c)||32 Bob Green|
|HF:||8 Keith Shea||28 Jack Wrout||19 Ron Cooper|
|F:||5 Keith Dunn||22 Harry Vallence||4 Will Kuhlken|
|Ruck:||15 Horrie Bullen||16 Ted Pollock||31 Ansell Clarke|
|19th Man:||3 Wally Mutimer|
Round 17 | Semi Final