Reference_ 1934 VFL R08 - South Melbourne v Fitzroy - Goal in off a Small Boy



The South Melbourne v Fitzroy match was the Argus's match of the day. A great game though has been overshadowed by the unusual goal in the final quarter.


Tthe Argus Newspaper, reporting on Monday after the game on the weekend events reported that in the USA, John Dillinger had robbed another bank, in England, Don Bradman's team were playing Surrey in on the return Ashes tour after the 1933 Bodyline series. (England would not pick Larwood in the test teams though he was still playing and the Monday Argus reported that 'Larwood had hit a batsman in a county game who had to be carried off the field.) and in Germany a plot to kill Adolf Hitler had failed.

Governor Huntingfield (Victoria's first Australian born Governor) attended his first Australian Rules match. The Argus did not miss the opportunity to make a point:

His Excellency the Governor (Lord Huntingfield) was among the 37 000 spectators who saw the League football match between South Melbourne and Fitzroy on Saturday. As a matter of fact and a matter of tact, he was bound to concede, as he did at half-time, that the code was very interesting, but as a former Queenslander, and after his long residence in England, he was bound also to say a guarded word about the attractions of Rugby. At any rate, Lord Huntingfield did not, as many followers of Rugby do, say that Australian football is ‘too polite.’ Perhaps the crushing handgrips he received from players of both sides before the match convinced him that the game was not precisely ‘ladylike.’ (Alec Chisholm Argus 2-Jul-1934 p9)

The Age 2-Jul-1934 p6
The Age 2-Jul-1934 p6


South Melbourne

B:Jock FaheyRon HillisHec McKay
HB:Bill FaulLaurie NashJock McKenzie
C:Harry ClarkeLen ThomasHerbie Matthews
HF:Jim O'MearaPeter RevilleAlan Welch
F:Reg HumphriesBob PrattJack Austin
Foll:Dinny KelleherJack Bisset
Rover:Austin Robertson
19thJim Cleary

Coach:Jack Bisset


First game for Allan Thompson

B:Horrie DawsonFrank DonnellanFrank Curcio
HB:Tommy WilliamsLes WattFred Davies
C:Doug NichollsLen StottWilfred Smallhorn
HF:Colin BenhamJack SextonIan Fleming
F:Jock CordnerAllan ThompsonCharles Cameron
Foll:Alf CallickAlan Fitcher
Rover:Haydn Bunton Snr
19thMickey Sharp

Coach: Len Wigraft

Reference_ 1934 VFL R08 - South Melbourne v Fitzroy - Goal in off a Small Boy - Fitzroy
Reference_ 1934 VFL R08 - South Melbourne v Fitzroy - Goal in off a Small Boy - South Melbourne

The Game

Lake Oval
Sat, 30-Jun-1934
Crowd: 27,000

South Melbourne2.5 (17)4.11 (35)9.14 (68)13.19 (97)
Fitzroy1.4 (10)4.5 (29)8.9 (57)13.10 (88)
DifferenceSY by 7SY by 6SY by 11SY by 9


Allowed extraordinary latitude by the central umpire, the combatants in the South Melbourne-Fitzroy game staged one of the most rugged, gruelling games of the season. ....with vital consequences linked up with the issue, both sides played a desperate game from the opening bounce. Misdirected kicking by the attackers at either end was a feature of the opening minutes of play, Pratt being right off the target with the slippery greasy ball. (Age 2-Jul-1934 p6 by Forward)

Either the responsibility of the occasion or the desire to keep tho play moving proved too much for the central umpire (Frood), the result being that he allowed the players to ‘have their heads’ in the early stages, and the game almost got out of hand. At the end of the first quarter Fitzroy supporters made an extraordinary demonstration, which culminated in the umpire being ‘counted out. (Alec Chisholm Argus 2-Jul-1934 p9)

Open scientific action continued to be missing from the game, the players preferring to match strength against strength in a series of fierce crushes in which there were many heavy knocks and falls.....The solid work in the crushes continued with not a man showing the white feather, the man-to-man clashes and the umpires decisions keeping the crowd in one continual roar. (Age 2-Jul-1934 p6 by Forward)

Fitzroy supporters became apprehensive when the sides returned, and they found that Bunton, owing to a shoulder injury could not take the field.....Fitzroy attacked strongly and when Sexton found Thompson, and the latter goaled and placed Fitzroy a point ahead, wild barracking developed. Pratt, who always has to fight a lone battle with a shepherder against terrific odds crashed badly, but pluckily resumed, and Bissett and Robertson in a sudden thrust, landed the ball with the forward, who aimed accurately. (Age 2-Jul-1934 p6 by Forward)

Further goals by Pratt and Welsh against a goal by Callick ended the third quarter with Fitzroy down by 11 points.

Colin Benham - 1934 MacRobertsons 1/2d Footballers - Source: Australian Rules Football Cards
Colin Benham - 1934 MacRobertsons 1/2d Footballers - Source: Australian Rules Football Cards
It was a case of ‘all in’ till the finish, the umpire allowing the players to tear through in a manner not often seen in League football. No quarter was asked or given. An astonishing turn and snap gave Pratt a goal, but immediately afterwards Sexton, who gave a particularly fine last quarter, amazed opponents with a snap goal, despite desperate defence and buffering.....A free kick to Stott gave Fitzroy another goal, and the scores were then 11.17 to 11.9 against the visitors. Players were bowled over like nine-pins in the subsequent desperate play, and the game was in the balance when Kelleher in the forward pocket went through like a battering ram and kicked the match-winning goal. Fitzroy, despite the setback, played on with the hope of a dramatic last minute victory, but Hillis, Faul and others held them out.(Age 2-Jul-1934 p6 by Forward)

Another goal by Reville sealed the game but a goal by Benham reduced the margin as Fitzroy refused to give in. Right on the final bell Benham marked again.

''The crowd rushed the ground, and the Southern defenders left the goal base. Benham then fired at the unguarded goal, the ball bounced in the base among the crowd of small boys, one of whom touched it, and it rolled through the goal to the amazement of the Southern defenders then at the centre of the field. The goal was recorded and the exciting game ended with the scores:
South Melbourne 13.19 (97 Points)
Fitzroy 13.10 (83 points)''

Match Previews

SOUTH MELBOURNE STRENGTHENED FOR GAME WITH FITZROY BISSET AND REVILLE RETURN. (1934, June 29). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 13. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10951331

Match Reviews

No heading. (1934, July 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 13. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page561714


Argus 2-Jul-1934 p13
Argus 2-Jul-1934 p13

The Aftermath


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