Round 11 1958

Round 11, 1958
Fitzroy vs Melbourne
Saturday 21 June
Venue: Brunswick Street
Attendance: 22,000

Match Statistics

Fitzroy win by 41 points

Goalkickers: Ian Ridley 2, Ron Barassi 1, Robert B Johnson 1, Clyde Laidlaw 1, Athol Webb 1


Having played, and won, one of the greatest home and away matches of all time on the previous Monday the Demons suffered the upset of the season at Brunswick Street.

Norm Smith entered his first ever coaching clash with brother Len having seen his side lose only one game so far, but his side were on the end of a serious boilover - not only losing but losing comfortably after kicking just one goal in the second half.

Len and his coaching team hatched a plan for beating Melbourne that his players followed perfectly, exploiting the high marking but slow moving John Lord in defence, keeping Robert B Johnson and Ron Barassi quiet and stifling Laurie Mithen in the middle. They pulled a last minute switch on Lord, switching the player who'd been named to play against hm for a quicker player before the bounce. He also sent his best ball-winner Kevin Murray to the side of the ground where the wind was blowing, ensuring he was always in the play.

Although they were helped by a strong wind in the first quarter the Demons struggled for 10 minutes to score their first goal. They only took the lead late courtesy of a Ron Barassi goal. The Maroons then booted five in the second quarter.

It was by no means a match winning lead, but when Melbourne failed to kick a goal with the wind in the third they were doomed. Kevin Murray was thrashing Geoff Tunbridge and other key half-forwards Laidlaw and Rowarth were rarely sighted. The Demons were beaten comfortably in the ruck, Fitzroy covered their rovers and the result was a second defeat for the year. Norm Smith tried to counter with positional moves, Colin Wilson replacing Lord, Alan Rowarth going into the middle, Lauren Mithen to centre half-forward, and Clyde Laidlaw to a forward flank but nothing worked.

In handing his brother's side their biggest loss since the 1954 Grand Final, Len's Roys won the mark count 66 to 37 and beat the Demons all over the park to hand them their biggest loss in five years.

Best were Fenton-Smith, Ridley and Williams. Ridley (knee) was replaced by Trevor Johnson in the last quarter and Laidlaw by Turner also in the fourth quarter.

After the game Norm Smith said "I've always had great respect and admiration for my brother Len. He is a coach who uses his brain. I knew he would cook something up for us."

ABOVE: Len Smith and Norm Smith before the game

Melbourne 13.7 d. Fitzroy 12.10
Goals - Crompton 4, Gleeson 3, Atkinson 3, Cook 2, Kerr 1
Best - Gleeson, McKenzie, Melville

Melbourne 7.9 d. Fitzroy 4.9
Goals - Avery 2, Harris 1, O'Toole 1, Buswell 1, Anderson 1, Butler 1
Best - McLeod, Buswell, Kerley

Age - 23/06/1958
Age - 23/06/1958
Sun - 23/06/1958
Football Record R12 1958

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Saturday 15 February 2020 17:03:15 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 10)

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