Semi Final 1957

Semi Final, 1957
Essendon vs Melbourne
Saturday, 7 September
Venue: MCG
Attendance: 70,232

Match Statistics (external link)

Essendon win by 16 points

Goalkickers: Robert B Johnson 2, Geoff Tunbridge 2, Geoff Case 1, Dick Fenton-Smith 1, Ian Ridley 1, Athol Webb 1

Last Game
Jim Sandral

100 Games
Ian McLean

Melbourne had beaten Essendon in the last minute of their Round 14 clash thanks to a controversial free kick in the last minute, so along with the prospect of a finals victory Essendon went into the Semi-Final with all the motivation they needed. They were the only one of the 1956 finalists who had qualified for the top four.

The game turned in the second quarter when Melbourne's defence crumbled under intense pressure, eventually leaving them down by 48 points down at the long break. Melbourne had been chaotic with their forward player, often ignoring Robert B Johnson during the first half even when the Demons had the wind. Both he and Ron Barrassi? improved in the second half when they were moved on to the ball.

In an effort to rally his troops John Beckwith climbed on a locker room bench and led a rendition of "Grand Old Flag". The impromptu singalong cut the tension in the locker room, and the side was dramatically reshuffled which gave them a second lease of life. Beckwith's side almost went on to pull of a spectacular comeback.

Cutting the gap to four goals at three quarter time their momentum was momentarily halted by rain, but with 10 minutes left they were just 10 points behind. With the wind fading they could have snatched the unlikeliest of wins but fell short as Essendon's defence tightened, leaving them to play Hawthorn in the Preliminary Final a week later.

Bad kicking had cost Melbourne again, not only did they score 8.19 but they had another eight shots which failed to register a score. It didn't help that they hit the post four times.

Best were McLean, Beckwith and Johnson.

It was the only major Semi Final that the Demons would ever lose under Norm Smith.

Football Record (external link) 1957 Finals
Football Record (external link) 1957 Finals
"In times of treble" (external link) - The Age 25/05/2003

Created by Supermercado5863571 points . Last Modification: Sunday 22 of December, 2013 21:19:07 EST by Supermercado5863571 points . (Version 9)