Semi Final 1960

Semi Final, 1960
Melbourne vs Fitzroy
Saturday 10 September
Venue: MCG
Attendance: 79,796

Match Statistics

Melbourne win by 62 points

Goalkickers: Frank Adams 3, Hassa Mann 3, Ian Ridley 2, Alan Rowarth 2, Ron Barassi 1, Robert B Johnson 1, Ray Nilsson 1, Geoff Tunbridge 1

100 Games
Trevor Johnson

The Demons entered the match having lost their last three games of the regular season, and despite having won the minor premiership for the sixth consecutive season they were pitched against the form side of the competition - Len Smith's Fitzroy.

Fitzroy had won their last nine matches, but despite this, the Lions had played just two games on the MCG in three seasons - their last the draw with the Demons in Round 14, 1959. They decided to leave their side alone, while Melbourne moved John Lord to centre half-back, Frank Adams to second rover, Bryan Kenneally to the wing, Bob Johnson as a forward pocket and Clyde Laidlaw to centre half-forward.

Fitzroy kicked with a strong breeze in the first quarter, and had they taken advantage it might have been curtains for Norm Smith and his side, but they botched it and the Demons led by 16 points. The Lions were shocked by Melbourne's relentless pressure, and were forced into a number of mistakes. It look 12 minutes for Frank Adams to snap his side's first goal, but by the end of the quarter they had 3.6 to 1.2 into the wind.

From there Fitzroy offered little resistance - kicking just two more goals before the middle of the last quarter. It could have been worse for the Lions if they hadn't won the free-kick count 31 to 11. Their score challenged the lowest ever in a Semi Final, the 3.8 set by St Kilda in 1908.

Speedy, play-on style football had been key to Fitzroy's storming end to the season, but on the wide open spaces of the MCG they were exposed. A tough tackling, tight checking plan to put the Lions off their game worked from the outset and by half time it was Norm's team who had set up victory. A goalless third term by the Lions was just icing on the cake, as Melbourne's defence beat them comfortably. They tried to make positional changes to find something that worked but were beaten in everything they tried.

It made little difference that Fitzroy dominated the hit-outs, because more often than not they were snatched by Melbourne's rovers or Ron Barassi as ruck-rover then kicked forward inside 50.

The Demons went straight to the Grand Final with their reputation reinstated after three disappointing weeks. It was the first time that brothers coached against each other in a final.

Best for Melbourne were Mithen, Ridley and Dixon. Ridley (ankle) was replaced by Nilsson in the last quarter, and Barassi (groin) by Leahy in the last quarter. Tassie Johnson suffered a cork on both legs, while Alan Rowarth had groin trouble. Barassi also had a bruised thigh and Ridley a sprained ankle.

Adams 3.3, H. Mann 3.1, Tunbridge 1.1, Barassi 1.3, R. Johnson 1.1, Nilsson 1, Ridley 2.2, Rowarth 3.5, Laidlaw 0.1

Age - 10/09/1960
Age - 13/09/1960
Sporting Globe - 10/09/1960
Football Record 1960 PF
Age - 14/09/1960

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Thursday 27 February 2020 22:28:38 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 11)

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