Saturday June 1 - Royal Park
Carlton 0 (half time 0-0)
Melbourne win by 1 goal
Goalkicker: Bransby Cooper 1
The sides that had played off for supremacy at the end of 1871 played their first match of the year on Carlton's ground. The Blues had their best side, while Melbourne had lost captain and vice captain since the end of the previous season.
Carlton went on the attack first, but after Melbourne cleared the danger the ball spent some time in the centre of the ground. The home side had more of the chances, but none which looked likely to open the scoring until a free kick in front of goal that missed. The last 15 minutes of the first half were even, with Melbourne working the ball to their goal and nearly scoring multiple times.
The home side had the advantage in the opening minutes of the second half, before Melbourne took over with the advantage of a slight breeze. After 25 minutes Goldsmith had an excellent chance, taking a mark, running around his opponent and kicked through the goal but the ball touched a player on its way through. The goal finally cvame when Cooper marked 35 yards out and converted.
Carlton battled hard for an equaliser, and had a shot that only narrowly went wide despite spectators thinking it was a goal.
Bell filled in as captain due to Riggall not appearing. William Freeman suffered a dislocated shoulder which kept him out of the game for two years.
Australasian - 08/06/1872