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1869

Captain - Henry Harrison
Vice-Captain - James Byrne

After almost a decade of play the system of teams having to score two goals to win was abandoned in favour of victory going to the team leading at the end of two 50 minute halves. The idea wasn't initially embraced by some clubs, but it did reduce the number of draws during the season. Many matches were still played with teams changing ends after a goal.

Other than the change to the way matches were decided Melbourne came out strongly against any other rule changes, and the game itself was generally played as it had been in 1868. Before the season representatives from Melbourne, Carlton, Albert Park (formerly Emerald Hill), South Yarra and Hobson's Bay Railway gathered to draw up an official fixture list which was then published in the newspapers.

The first scratch match of the season was played on Saturday 8 May between teams chosen by Harrison and Byrne, with another intra-club game the following two Saturdays.

The games against 14th Regiment on 10 July was rescheduled to the end of the season. Matches on 24 July against Civil Service and 14 August against the Police were both cancelled.

Melbourne won 7, lost 1 and drew 6. Charles Carr was the leading goalkicker in MFC games with four. Despite their success they only had 23 paid up members.

The finish to the season was controversial when the third game of the season finished in a nil-all draw. Carlton claimed that they were the best side in the colony because they'd scored more goals over the three games. A fourth match was mooted in the press but never happened. In September captain Henry Harrison wrote to The Australasian claiming that each match should determine the champion rather than who scored the most goals for the season.

Matches

DateOppositionResult
5 June 14th Regiment WIN
12 June Carlton LOSS
19 June Albert Park WIN
26 June South Yarra WIN
3 July Police WIN
17 July Carlton WIN
31 July Albert Park DRAW
7 August South Yarra DRAW
14 August University WIN
28 August Carlton DRAW
4 September Geelong DRAW
11 September Albert Park DRAW
18 September South Yarra DRAW
25 September 14th Regiment WIN

Players

Dave Adamson, W. Barker, Charles Barrass, Larry Bell, John Bennie, Bertenshaw, F. Bruford, James Byrne, Charles Carr, Tom Colles, D. Duff, W. Finlay, Charles Forrester, J. Forrester, William Freeman, W. Gaggin, Ben Goldsmith, Bill Gorman, Ernest Harrison, Henry Harrison, Tom Hepburn, E. Hinton, R. Hope, Tom Hope, T. Leach, Austin Loughnan, C. McCracken, McLennan, Petrie, William Riggall, H. Ryan, Serrell, James Stodart, W. Thomas, Edwin Towle, Whitelaw, Wildman.

Goalkickers

Charles Carr 4, William Riggall 3, Bill Gorman 2, Edwin Towle 2, W. Barker 1, Larry Bell 1, Tom Colles 1, W. Gaggin 1, J. Stodart 1, W. Thomas 1

Notes
A. Loughnan was either Austin Loughnan or Andrew Loughnan

Some sources say the match against Victoria Police was played on the MCG itself and the damage done to the turf led to the football club being expelled back outside to Yarra Park. It is also suggested that a game against the Police was played on 19 May.

Media
The Argus - 08/05/1869
The Argus - 15/05/1869
Leader - 29/05/1869
The Argus - 14/08/1869
The Australasian - 11/09/1869
The Argus - 02/05/1870
"Origins of Australian Football: Volume 1" by Mark Pennings

Links
Blueseum 1869 page

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Saturday 10 October 2015 21:09:16 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 37)

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