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HOW RICHMOND WON THE 1932 LEAGUE PREMIERSHIP
Carlton Beaten in Grand Final By 9 Points
Tigers Rally Magnificently When Game Seems Lost in Last Minutes
More Hard Knocks Than Science
The Sun News-Pictorial, Monday, October 3, 1932.
In one of the most gruelling grand finals ever played in the history of the League, the Richmond team defeated Carlton by nine points on Saturday and won the premiership of Victorian football for the first time since 1921 and the third time since the club entered the League in 1908. The record crowd for the Melbourne Cricket Ground, 69,724 people, who paid 3633/4/8 pounds at the gates, thrilled to the great struggle, the result of which was in doubt right to the last minute.
Richmond's premiership leaves Carlton as the runner-up, and the other positions were filled by Collingwood third and South Melbourne fourth. The deciding match was fought in perfect conditions overhead and underfoot. The sun was partly obscured by clouds; there was hardly enough breeze to flutter the flags above the stands, and the showers on Friday had softened the turf to just the right degree to secure the footing of the players. The almost continuous shouting and buzzing among the huge bare-headed crowd lining the area was a most inspiring setting for the crucial battle of the season.
The match, as a display of clever football by the two greatest drawing teams of the League who had finished the first round in the leading two places, was not always worthy of the occasion but there could be no two opinions about its ruggedness and the grit of every player engaged.
They flung themselves into the fray regardless of cost and neither in stamina nor courage did a man wilt for one moment. They saw through a torrid battle as players have rarely done previously, and it was only won in the last few minutes when Richmond rallied for a supreme effort after Calrton's final challenge had just fallen short of victory.
In vigor and in capacity for attack and counter attack there was little between the rival eighteens, but in the certainty of its methods and the sureness of its general system Richmond, all day, had a little on the Blues. Man for man and point for point in accuracy, aerial artistry and position play, the Tigers were the better side. But such was the determination and will-to-win in the Carlton men that the game had to be won through every minute, until the timekeepers called a halt just after Richmond had hit the front for the last time.
Richmond Off First
In the early stages scoring chances were few because of the stout defence at both ends, particularly by G. Strang and Nurdoch for Richmond, and Mackie, Johnson and Huxtable for Carlton. Richmond exploited fully the wing of Geddes, who had returned to the team, and for a time gave his opponent, Kelly, very few chances.
The play was too hard to be clever, and the heavy bumping was a spoiling factor. Over-anxiety led to many mistakes, but Richmond settled down more quickly. The Tigers had two goals up before Carlton got its first after 20 minutes battling, and when the Blues scored again at once they were level. Richmond, however, playing more steadily, went in for another, and led at the first change by a bare goal.
A better idea of the respective merits of the teams was obtainable when the second quarter opened. Calrton had a slight ascendancy in the rucks, but in the high marking the Tigers were winning the points, except when Mackie, the Carlton half-back, was on the spot. He stopped many a Richmond attack, and Davey, following, was also doing good work in the air.
The Richmond backs, however, were completely swamping the Carlton forward division. Repeatedly Carlton attacks broke down at half-forward, and it was the weakness of this line that in a large measure caused the ultimate defeat of the Blues. Vallence alone of the forwards seemed to be able to get the ball.
G. Strang playing almost everywhere, and D. Strang up in the front of goal, were by then marking superbly for Richmond, and causing heaps of trouble for Carlton.
Spite and Force
At one period of the second quarter too much spite crept into the play. Men were felled everywhere unnecessarily and brute force held sway for several moments. It was at this stage that the umpire (R. Scott) had to take a firm stand, and later he and a boundary umpire officially charged Bentley (Richmond) and Mackie (Carlton) with acts of misconduct. Scott, thereafter, was always in charge and he was justly applauded as he left the field at the end of the game.
In the meantime Geddes, of Richmond, has been badly hurt and none but his colleagues knew about it. In a collision with McCormack (Richmond) he broke a bone in his cheek. At half-time he was suffering great pain and some teeth were wired together by the doctor, but he insisted upon continuing to play.
The effect was noticable along Richmond's centre line in the second half, and when C. Martyn, the Carlton captain, struck his top in the pivot position, the Blues won nearly all the points midfield.
The second term, however, ended with Richmond 15 points to the good and the leaders then looked very much the better side. Starting the third, Carlton reorganised its forward line by placing Shea in a pocket on the same flank as Crisp and posting Cooper, the rover, on the other half-forward wing. Shea had been a doubtful player at the start and it was not long before he was limping from the effects of his damaged heel, sustained in the previous game. Obviously, he played for most of the match under a handicap. Egan, the Carlton half-forward, played through the second half with a broken nose.
It was even going in the third and Carlton did well to recover some of its lost ground. Entering the last quarter it had reduced the deficit to seven points, and the game had still to be won.
The Blues ten staged their most brilliant phase of the game and the excitement of the crowd reached fever heat as they fought for and gained the lead after a series of dazzling rushes in which the half-forward line functioned properly for the first and only time of the day. In 15 minutes Carlton had gone to the front by five points and was playing so strongly that it did not seem possible Richmond could recover.
But the Tigers rallied magnificently, and D. Strang, standing alone in front of goal, marked and scored full measure to put his side in front by two points. Again Carlton swept in, using every ounce of weight, and Bullen goaled to give them a four point lead with five minutes to go.
Hunter, the Richmond rover, had been taken off becuase of an injured knee, and Anderson replaced him. The Tigers sorely needed a goal, and the newcomer did the trick just as he had done at the right moment in the semi-final a fortnight earlier.
Richmond then led by two points and Carlton had finished. The end came soon after Titus had marked well out and kicked a beautiful goal. In the crisis the Tigers never faltered and richly derserved their victory.
In such a game practically every man had to pull his weight, but many rose to championship standard when the best was called for. Honors for Richmond were won by the Strang brothers, Martin, McCormack, Murdoch, Bolger, O'Neill, Titus, O'Halloran, Baggott and Geddes.
Foremost in Carlton's ranks were Mackie at half-back and Johnson following or back. Then came C. Martyn in the centre, Clark roving (who was magnificient in the last quarter), Huxtable, Oprey, Cooper, Vallence, Davey, Gill and Bullen.
DRESSING ROOM SCENCES
League President Praises The Premiers
High Standard Game
Hundreds of excited supporters tried to force their way into the Richmond dressing room after the match, but only a limited number could be admitted, and even then the room was packed. The players were rushed with congratulations, and all the officals of the club were beside themselves with joy.
After a long struggle through the crowd Dr. W. C. McClelland, president of the League, accompanied by Mr. L. H. McBrien, the secretary, appeared in the room and the president gave the start to a number of congratulatory speeches in the room, which were punctuated freely by outbursts of cheering - the only indication to the crowd outside of the enthusiastic scene within.
Dr. McClelland, in complimenting Richmond on having won the premiership, said the club had been knocking at the door for many years, and no doubt supporters wondered whether it would ever be admitted. But at last it had burst open the door, and now stood at the head of the list.
Althohgh hard, and sometimes fierce, the game had been played in a good sporting spirit in keeping with the high standard and best traditions of the League.
Richmond's victory had established its right to the title of premier team in a manner as convincing as it was deserved. He also congratualted the president (Mr. B. Herbert) and the secretary (Mr. J. Smith) on the team's success in their first year of office.
Mr. H. L. Roberts, vice-president of Richmond, expressed the club's appreciation of Dr. McClelland's remarks. His references to the players were well deserved.
Congratulated by Losers
Mr. D. Crone, president of Carlton club, added the congratulations of the losers. Richmond had earned the premiership, and it would only be hypocritical to say otherwise. Carlton had lost a great game, but it would come again stronger and better next season.
When the Richmond players and supporters had cheered Carlton, Dan Minogue, coach of the losing side and former Richmond captain, offered his congratulations to F. Hughes and P. Bentley, the coach and captain respectively of the winners. Until that day, he said, he had been the only captain of a premiership Richmond team; now he was glad to know Bentley was another.
Mr. H. Curtis, president of Collingwood Club, said it was the greatest final ever played. "The result was never certain until the bell rang, and the fact that Richmond could come back and win after having lost the lead reflected the greatest credit on the coach and players."
Mr. Percy Page, the former Richmond secretary, was called for, and received a special round of cheering. He said he felt as pleased as all of them that at last another premiership had come their way.
Captain Realises Ambition
Percy Bentley, the captain, who was given an ovation, said since, as a boy, he saw the last premiership team in 1921 he had an ambition to lead a Richmond team to another premiership. That ambition had at last been realised, and it was a wonderful experience.
F. Hughes, the coach, also received an enthusiastic cheer. He expressed his delight at the team's success and he thanked the players, trainers and staff for the help they had always given him.
He had never had any interference with his work from the committee. He specially thanked the captain for setting an example that would inspire any man.
Alan Geddes, who was described by the president (Mr. Herbert) as the gamest man that ever stepped on a football field, because of playing on after injuries, said he was glad the team had won for the sake of Checker Hughes. He felt sure it would do the same next year.
Mr. Herbert, who wore the guernsey in which he played in the 1921 premiership, thanked Dr. McClelland and the officials of the other clubs for their congratulations. In describing the game he said Richmond would have been just as unlucky to lose as Carlton was.
Mr. W. Strang, father of Gordon and Douglas Strang, said he felt proud of his boys and the whole Richmond team for their splendid and courageous play. There was no reason why the same team should not win more premierships.
The flag at Richmond Town Hall was hoisted soon after the result of the game was known.
The winners celebrated in the evening at a dinner in the Hotel Metropole, Bourke Street, city, and the Carlton team had a function of its own in the pavilion at Prince's Oval.
Yesterday Richmond players were guests of a supporter at Mornington, and tonight they will attend a fancy dress dance at St. Ignatius Hall, Richmond.
1932 GRAND FINAL SCORES AND STATISTICS
Attendance: 69,724 (Record at the time).
Receipts: 3633/4/8 pounds.
1932 Richmond Premiership Side
B: M. Bolger M. Sheahan K. O'Neill
HB: J. Baggott J. Murdoch B. McCormack
C: S. Judkins E. Zschech A. Geddes
HF: J. Twyford G. Strang J. Titus
F: F. Heifner D. Strang M. Hunter
R: P. Bentley T. O'Halloran R. Martin
I: J. Anderson
Richmond: D. Strang 4, Titus 2, Hunter, Heifner, Martin, G. Strang, Bentley, O'Halloran, Anderson.
Carlton: Vallence 5, Clark 2, Shea 2, Bullen 2, Crisp.
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