July 1870 match vs Albert Park

Saturday 16 July - Melbourne Ground
Crowd - 1500 to 4000

Melbourne 0
Albert Park 0

Match drawn

Melbourne challenged the holders of the Challenge Cup to a match and the game degenerated into a series of violent scrimmages. Albert Park were missing some of their best players as they were required for the important departure of the mail from the colony.

The first match between the two sides had been controversial as Albert Park had won 1-0 but the result changed to a draw when it was discovered that they had an extra player on the field as the goal was kicked - and this battle further cemented the rivalry between the sides.

At one point Melbourne captain Henry Harrison threw an Albert Park player to the ground as he was about to mark. The opposition player left the game for 30 minutes and later announced he would not play again that season.

When the sides played football instead of brawling the game was dominated by Melbourne, but Albert Park constantly saved themselves by rushing the ball behind. They were also assisted by Melbourne missing a number of shots on goal, but lost a number of players to the savage style of their opposition.

Melbourne chose to kick downfield for the first half, and they laid siege to Albert Park's goal from the first few minutes. As Albert Park players went down injured - four in the first 30 minutes - Byrne and Loughnan both missed chances - the latter being adjusted to have hit the post.

In the second half the same pattern was followed, with Melbourne attacking and 'the Hillites' hanging on grimly. They managed to get to the end with no score despite never getting within 50 yards of their own goal and they retained the cup. By the end of the match the players not only had to deal with each other, but with the crowd encroaching into the playing field.

Best were Byrne, Hope and Riggall.

The roughness was controversial, but responding to a letter to the newspapers where he had specifically been mentioned for his actions Harrison wrote "Football is essentially a rough game all the world over, and it is not suitable for men-poodles or milksops".

A lengthy reply from C. Crooke - Honorary Treasurer of Albert Park - attacked Harrison, claiming that "one or two" Melbourne players deliberately set out to injure their opponents. He claimed one of their players suffered a broken nose, and the player who Harrison had slung suffered a severe gash above the eye.

Harrison (c), Byrne (vc), Barker, Bell, Carr, Colles, Duff, Finlay, Freeman, J. Forrester, C. Forrester, Goldsmith, Hope, Hepburn, Loughnan, Loughnan Jr, Ryan, Riggall, Treacy, Towle. Emergencies - E. Harrison, McLennan, Thomas.

Some source estimate the crowd at 1500 to 3000.

Australasian - 16/07/1870
Argus - 16/07/1870
Argus - 18/07/1870
Australasian - 23/07/1870
Australasian - 23/07/1870
Australasian - 30/07/1870
Australasian - 30/07/1870
Australasian - 06/08/1870

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Monday 09 April 2018 12:34:30 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 10)

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