Good Old Collingwood Forever

The Story of Collingwood's 1953 Premiership

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Round 3 – Collingwood Vs Geelong

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May 9, 1953

Round 3 Action

Round 3 was the match that everyone wanted to see, the Grand Final rematch between Collingwood and Geelong at the Magpies‘ home ground Victoria Park. Collingwood however was reeling from injuries to several key players. Full-forward Bill Twomey who kicked nine goals in round 1 and wingman Des Healey both were injured in the Exhibition Match at the Showgrounds two weeks earlier, while Lou Richards, Mick Twomey, Peter Lucas and ‘Moccha’ Dunstan all suffered injuries in round 2 against North Melbourne. (1) George Hams and Dave Little were both dropped. (2) First gamers Tom Tarrant, Kevin Flint, Kevin Clarke and Neville Waller were selected, with Tarrant given the job of trying to stop Trezise and Pianto when they rested in the Cats’ forward pocket (3), whilst Waller was given the Herculean task of trying to curb Geelong skipper and centre-half-forward Fred Flanagan. (4)

Geelong fans celebrate at Victoria Park

Before the match Percy Beames said that the odds were stacked so high against Collingwood that if they won the match it would be a victory to overshadow all of the Magpies greatest triumphs (5), while H.A de Lacy from the Sporting Globe predicted that the Cats would simply ‘murder’ the Magpies. (6)

Unfortunately for the Magpies the Cats notched up yet another victory at their expense, this time by a margin of 25 points. Surprisinglyit was  a spirited Collingwood who were just one point down at three-quarter time, after leading by as much as 28 points at half-time, before the under-strength and exhausted Magpies finally bowed to Geelong’s superior stamina. (7)

Geelong, a team that prior to the game Essendon coach Dick Reynolds said played class football all the time (8), had their system torn to tatters by Collingwood’s vigor and tenacity. (9) The Magpies clearly resolved to make the Cats fight for every kick. (10) Dick Reynolds was so impressed by Collingwood’s effort that he declared that a full-strength Magpie side could beat Geelong (11)

Neil Mann

Stand-in skipper Neil Mann provided the inspiration for the Magpies in the ruck (12) and with his high marking. (13) Bob Rose was never beaten whether he was roving to Mann or playing on the wing (14), while Thorold Merrett was another dangerous player. (15) Des Healey outclassed the Geelong centreline with his sheer artistry (16) and magnificent ball handling (17), while Jack Parker was solid (18) and John Hickey showed great heart and worked tirelessly. (19) Ron Richards also fought gallantly. (20)

More action at Victoria Park

Geelong got back into the game in the second half after coach Reg Hickey made the tactical change of shifting Bob Davis into the centre, which dragged his opponent Frank Tuck away from defence. (21) Noel Raysun at centre-half-forward was rarely beaten and was responsible for several Geelong goals. (22) Bernie Smith was another stumbling block for the Magpies with his full-blooded dashes that got the Cats out of trouble time and time again. (23) George Goninon eclipsed Jack Hamilton, kicking four goals, resulting in Hamilton being shifted to the ruck in the last quarter. (24) Both Peter Pianto and Neil Trezise had quiet first halves but were effective in Geelong’s comeback. (25) In the end the Magpies’ courage was not sufficient against Geelong’s great strength. (26)

Scores

Team

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

Final Score

Geelong

2.1.13 4.4.28 9.9.63 14.14.98

Collingwood

3.5.23 8.8.56 8.14.62 9.19.73

Best

Geelong – Smith, Flanagan, Sharpe, Swarbrick, Raysun, Morrison, McMaster

Collingwood -Mann, Healey, B. Rose, Hickey, Merrett, Tuck, R. Richards

Goals

Geelong – Goninon 4, Flanagan 3, Trezise 2, Swarbrick 2, Raysun, Pianto, Sharpe

Collingwood – B. Rose 3, Healey 2, Mann, Merrett, Tuck

In other news

Footscray and Essendon both had great victories, with the Bombers John Coleman again kicking 10 goals. North Melbourne retained second spot on the ladder with a lucky 1 point victory over bottom of the table Melbourne, while Fitzroy and Carlton both enjoyed wins.

The Sporting Globe’s Alan Fitcher must have been watching a different game to the one described by the other scribes of the day. He claimed that Geelong had the game well and truly wrapped up at three quarter time despite only being a point up. (27) The Sporting Globe also claimed that the Magpies had been ‘thrashed’. (28)

Ladder after round 3

Team Win Draw Lose Premiership Points
Geelong 3 0 0 12
North Melbourne 3 0 0 12
Essendon 2 0 1 8
Footscray 2 0 1 8
Carlton 2 0 1 8
Fitzroy 2 0 1 8
Richmond 

 

1 0 2 4
Collingwood 1 0 2 4
South Melbourne 1 0 2 4
St Kilda 

 

1 0 2 4
Melbourne 0 0 3 0
Hawthorn 0 0 3 0

.

Leading Goalkickers

Player Team Goals in Round Goals For Season
J. Coleman Essendon 10 31
N. Trezise Geelong 2 14
J. Hickey Fitzroy 5 14
A. Aylett North Melbourne 3 11
G. Goninon Geelong 4 11
G. Marchesi North Melbourne 4 10
A. Walsh Carlton 6 10
P. Bennett St Kilda 4 9
B. Twomey Collingwood 0 9

__________________________________________________________________

Footnotes

  1. Buggy. H – The Argus – Friday May 8 1953 – page 8
  2. Beames. P – The Age – Friday May 8, 1953 – page 9
  3. Buggy. H – The Argus – Friday May 8 1953 – page 8
  4. Buggy. H – The Argus – Friday May 8 1953 – page 8
  5. Beames. P – The Age – Saturday May 9, 1953 – page 7
  6. de Lacy. H. A. – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday May 6 – page 2
  7. Beames. P – The Age – Monday May 11, 1953 – page 7
  8. Reynolds. D & Buggy. H – The Argus, Saturday May 9, 1953 – page 13
  9. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday May 11, 1953 – page 11
  10. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday May 11, 1953 – page 11
  11. Reynolds. D & Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday May 11, 1953 – page 10
  12. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday May 11, 1953 – page 11
  13. Beames. P – The Age – Monday May 11, 1953 – page 7
  14. Beames. P – The Age – Monday May 11, 1953 – page 7
  15. Beames. P – The Age – Monday May 11, 1953 – page 7
  16. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday May 11, 1953 – page 11
  17. The Age – Monday May 11, 1953 – page 7
  18. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday May 11, 1953 – page 11
  19. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday May 11, 1953 – page 11
  20. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday May 11, 1953 – page 11
  21. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday May 11, 1953 – page 11
  22. Beames. P – The Age – Monday May 11, 1953 – page 7
  23. Beames. P – The Age – Monday May 11, 1953 – page 7
  24. Beames. P – The Age – Monday May 11, 1953 – page 7
  25. Beames. P – The Age – Monday May 11, 1953 – page 7
  26. Fitcher. A – The Sporting Globe – Saturday May 9, 1953 – page 11
  27. Fitcher. A – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday May 13, 1953 – page 2
  28. The Sporting Globe – Saturday May 9, 1953 – page 11
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The Opposition – North Melbourne

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Allen Aylett

Allen Aylett

North Melbourne in 1953 finished the season in 7th place on the VFL ladder with 9 wins and 9 losses. They started the season with 6 victories in the first 9 rounds but could only manage another 3 wins for the rest of the season. Their biggest scalps were Collingwood in round 2, and Essendon in round 17. In round 11 they almost caused the biggest upset of the season against the previously unbeatable Geelong, with the Cats winning the match at Kardinia Park by a solitary point.

1953 was a year of transition for the North Melbourne side, as it was the year in which they decided to ditch the ‘Shinboner’ nickname. Their president Phonse Tobin who took over the reigns in 1953 thought that the image of a ‘Shinbone’ was unsavory for the club and in 1954 they adopted the kangaroo as their mascot.

1953 was the last season in which North Melbourne was coached by former champion Wally Carter. He took over as coach in 1948 and lead the team to 61 victories and 55 losses. In this period North reach the finals on two occassions, topping the ladder after the 1949 home & away season, only to  lose both of their finals matches. In 1950 they did much better, reaching the Grand Final which they lost to Essendon by 38 points. In 1958 he would again be reappointed coach of North Melbourne, a stint which lasted until 1962, but it was a not very successful period in the club’s history.

Jack O’ Halloran won the 1953 Syd Barker Medal for North Melbourne’s best & fairest player. He played 10 games for Essendon in 1950 and ’51 before joining North Melbourne for the 1952 season. Between 1952 and 1956 he played 75 games with the Kangaroos, before joining Footscray for another season and a half of VFL football. He was a stocky and fearless rover who was fast and had great stamina. He was appointed vice-captain in 1954.

Jock Spencer

One of the best known players from this era for North Melbourne would be Allen Aylett. Aylett was in just his second season for North in 1953 and kicked 32 goals. He would go on to win the Syd Barker medal three times in a row between 1958 and 1960, and captain the club between 1961 an 1964. He was strong and deceptively quick with great ball control and an aptitude for kicking goals. He was president of North Melbourne during their very successful period in the 1970s, before becoming VFL president in 1977. In 2000 he would be named as a member of North Melbourne’s team of the century and in 2005 he would be named the ‘Shinboner’ of the 1950s and would go on to be one of the greatest rovers of all-time.

Jock Spencer was another of North Melbourne’s best known players of the 1950s but unfortunately due to injury he only played 4 games during the 1953 season. North’s full-forward of the 20th Century was only able to kick 7 goals in ’53. In his 9 years at the club he played 153 games and kicked 475 goals, which was a club record until passed by John Longmire in the 1990s. His best season was in 1950 where he kicked 86 goals, finishing runner-up to Essendon’s John Coleman who kicked 120. He was a brilliant mark and long punt kick, although he was not always accurate. In 1952 he was selected ahead of Coleman to play for the Victorian state side at full-forward.

Kevin Dynon

Kevin Dynon was North Melbourne’s  captain in 1953 He was first appointed captain in 1947 when he was just 21 years old giving him the distinction of being the youngest player to fill that post since North’s entry to the league, but was replaced by Les Foote in 1948. He was reappointed in 1952 after Foote deprated Arden Street to captain coach Berrigan in New South Wales. Between 1943 and 1954 the versatile Dynon played 149 games and kicked 83 goals playing across the centre, on the half-forward line or even as a follower.

North’s leading goal-kicker in 1953 was Gerald Marchesi with 49, which was the fourth highest goal tally for the 1953 season. He was a strong and powerful half-forward flanker who was deceptively fast for his 14 stone frame. He was an accurate kick and a strong mark and considered one of the best half-forwards of his era. In 1954 he would captain the side which would go onto finish 4th. That would be his final season of VFL football.

Round 2 – North Melbourne Vs Collingwood

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May 2, 1953

North Melbourne dominated the round 2 clash with Collingwood

Going into the round 2 clash against North Melbourne at Arden Street Collingwood was missing their full-forward Bill Twomey who had sustained an injury in the exhibition match against Fitzroy a week earlier. (1) Also out injured was Collingwood’s centre-half-forward Maurice ‘Mocha’ Dunstan, which ultimately caused problems for the Magpies’ forward line. (2) North Melbourne’s Jock Spencer was also out of the match, playing in the reserves after being  injured preseason. (3)

North Melbourne thrashed the Magpies by 43 points. Collingwood were never in the match with the Kangaroos being too quick and tough for the Magpies. (4) They outclassed the Magpies with an all-round flawless display that made a shocked Collingwood look second rate. (5) The only two Collingwood players to show any initiative on the day were rovers Lou Richards and Bob Rose, (6) although Rose never looked dangerous whilst roving,  he much looked better while resting in the forward pocket where he kicked two goals. (7) Unfortunately injury forced the Magpie skipper Lou Richards from the ground at half-time and he was not able to come back onto the field. (8) His loss came at a critical stage in the game and contributed to the defeat. (9) He had kicked three of the Magpies’ five goals up until that stage. Jack Hamilton at full-back was well beaten by North’s stop-gap full-forward Gerald Marchesi. (10)

The speedy Allan Aylett demoralised the Collingwood defence (11) kicking two goals in the second quarter (12), while a powerless Collingwood put on a deplorable display in which they all too often spoilt each other while marking and collided into each other on the ground. (13) Many Collingwood players were too reckless when going into packs, whilst North Melbourne were much too strong, which enabled them to trade bumps with the Magpies whilst still retaining their devastating pace and teamwork. (14)

Team

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

Final Score

North Melbourne

5.2.32 10.5.65 14.7.91 18.10.118

Collingwood

3.1.19 5.5.35 7.8.50 11.9.75

Goals

North Melbourne – Brady 4, Marchesi 4, Aylett 4, Grambeau 3

Collingwood – B. Rose 2, L. Richards 3, Batchelor 3

Best

North Melbourne – Parkes, Aylett, O’ Halloran, Brooker, Hamilton, Brady

Collingwood – Finck, Mann, B. Rose, Kingston, Batchelor, M. Twomey

Around the Grounds

Carlton recorded their first win of the season defeating the hapless Melbourne. Geelong were much too strong for Footscray defeating them by 41points, with Trezise kicking 8 goals and Goninon 3 for the Cats, cementing their place at the top of the VFL ladder. John Coleman kicked 11 of Essendon’s 13 goals in their 10 point loss to the Swans, while Fitzroy recorded a 1 point victory over Richmond, with Joe Hickey kicking 6 goals for the Gorillas.

Ladder After Round 2

Team

Win

Draw

Lose

Points For

Points Against

Percentage

Premiership Points

Geelong

2 0 0 180 99 190.9 8

North Melbourne

2 0 0 233 132 168.9 8

Carlton

1 0 1 150 124 121.0 4

Essendon

1 0 1 200 187 107.0 4

Richmond

1 0 1 153 148 103.4 4

Collingwood

1 0 1 193 195 99.0 4

St Kilda

1 0 1 149 162 92.0 4

Fitzroy

1 0 1 169 101 88.5 4

South Melbourne

1 0 1 176 207 85.0 4

Footscray

1 0 1 128 163 77.8 4

Melbourne

0 0 2 126 163 77.3 0

Hawthorn

0 0 2 95 179 53.1 0

Goalkickers

Player

Team

Goals in Round

Goals For Season

J. Coleman Essendon 11 21
N. Trezise Geelong 8 12
B. Twomey Collingwood 0 9
J. Hickey Fitzroy 6 9
A. Aylett North Melbourne 4 8
G. Goninon Geelong 3 7
G. Marchesi North Melbourne 4 6
P. Cash Hawthorn 4 6

In other news

It is quite interesting reading the old newspaper reports of the matches and seeing the different styles that each journalist/commentator uses while writing their match report. One thing I found odd was that twice in his article on this match, the Herald’s Alf Brown referred to North as Melbourne. I guess this was a mistake on behalf of the editor and shows the perils with trying to get the paper out in the evening after the conclusion of the match. This is something that is not so much of a problem these days as there are no longer any ‘evening editions’ of the Melbourne newspapers.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Footnotes

  1. Reynolds. D & Buggy. H – The Argus – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 13
  2. Reynolds. D & Buggy. H – The Argus – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 13
  3. Reynolds. D & Buggy. H – The Argus – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 13
  4. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  5. Brown. A – The Herald – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 25
  6. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  7. The Age – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 7
  8. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  9. The Age – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 7
  10. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  11. Brown. A – The Herald – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 25
  12. Brown. A – The Herald – Saturday May 2, 1953 – page 25
  13. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10
  14. Bickford. G – The Argus – Monday May 4, 1953 – page 10

    The ANZAC Exhibition Match – Collingwood Vs Fitzroy

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    Wells pays tribute to the ANZACS

    On Friday April 24th 1953 Collingwood and Fitzroy played an ANZAC eve exhibition match under lights at the  Melbourne Showgrounds. The Magpies easily prevailed by 24 points before a crowd of 22,000 mildly enthusiastic spectators. (1)

    In what the Age football writer Percy Bentley described as a hotly contested match in which the Magpies eclipsed Fitzroy in almost every part of the field, (2) Bill Twomey kicked six goals and proved to be the Maggies match winner. The Gorillas’ full-back Norm Johnstone was no match for Twomey who outwitted his opponent with fast leads and safe marking. (3) Unfortunately for Collingwood the big Magpie went off in the last quarter with what appeared to be an injured shoulder. (4)

    Fitzroy's McGregor and Collingwood's Jack Hamilton contest for the ball

    Fitzroy’s greatest weakness was their attack, where the Maroons’ full-forward Magee was outclassed by Collingwood’s Jack Hamilton who was simply too physically strong. (5) The Maroons battled on by playing hard ‘crash through’ football (6) but had too many errors in their game as opposed to the slick Magpies. (7)

    The charity game raised almost £3,000 for the St. Vincent’s Hospital building appeal (8) and despite the quality of the game the lighting left a lot to be desired. Bentley stated that he thought that the lighting did not come up to daylight standard (9) whilst The Argus found that it was not all that easy to follow the play. (10) The Sun’s Kevin Hogan said that the game, the first night match played for over 20 years, was full of movement and heavy clashes and the standard of the spectacle was not much below that of a Saturday afternoon game. (11) Hogan also said that the crowd was quieter than that at a Saturday game, probably because they found that the players numbers did not show up well under the lights and they did not always know who had the ball. (12)

    Magpie’s skipper Lou Richards did not play as he was recovering from a thigh injury. (13) He was replaced by Barry Taylor, who was best and fairest for Collingwood’s reserves team in 1952. (14)

    Score

    Team

    1st Quarter

    2nd Quarter

    3rd Quarter

    Final

    Collingwood

    1.3.9

    3.6.24

    8.9.57

    8.13.67

    Fitzroy

    1.4.10

    3.7.25

    3.11.30

    4.19.43

    Goal Kickers

    Bill Twomey

    Collingwood – W. Twomey 6, L. Richards, B. Rose, Tebble

    Fitzroy – Streader, Gervasoni, Ruthven, Simpson

    Best

    Collingwood – B. Twomey, Hamilton, Tuck, Tebble, Mann, Parker

    Fitzroy – Furness, Stevens, Coates, MacGregor, Ruthven, Williams

    In Other News

    Magpies’ patron John Wren put up a £100 purse to whoever won the match. (14) As a result both teams played most of their best players (15) which would have consequences for Collingwood as their full-forward Bill Twomey would miss the next few matches with an injury sustained in this match.

    A goal-kicking contest was staged at three-quarter time between Essendon’s John Coleman and Williamstown’s Johnny Walker, to determine whether the VFL or VFA’s leading goal kicker was the best. (16) Coleman proved to be the most accurate. (17)

    There was also an athletics relay event that pitted the VFL’s fastest players against those from the VFA. (18)

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Footnotes

    1. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
    2. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
    3. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
    4. The Argus – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 30
    5. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
    6. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
    7. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
    8. The Argus – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 30
    9. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
    10. The Argus – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 30
    11. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
    12. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
    13. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
    14. Hogan, K – The Sun, Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 24
    15. Hesse. F – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday April 22, 1953 – page 12
    16. Hesse. F – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday April 22, 1953 – page 12
    17. Hesse. F – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday April 22, 1953 – page 12
    18. Bentley, P – The Age – Saturday April 25, 1953 – page 7
    19. Hesse. F – The Sporting Globe – Wednesday April 22, 1953 – page 12

    The Opposition – South Melbourne

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    Ron Clegg

    1953 was an OK year for South Melbourne with the Swans finishing the season in 8th place on the VFL ladder. They would have 9 wins and 9 loses for the season, with their biggest scalp being a 43 point victory over Geelong in round 17 at the Lake Oval. They also defeated Footscray in round 9 at the Western Oval by 29 points and Essendon by 10 points at the Lake Oval in round 2. The only finalist that they did not beat in 1953 was Collingwood who easily defeated South both times that they met.

    in 1953 South were coached by Laurie Nash. Nash who was a member of the Swans’ 1933 premiership team and captained the club in 1937, was appointed coach for the 1953 season. Nash also played test cricket matches for Australia in the 1930s. In 1954 he would be replaced by former team-mate and captain Herbie Matthews.

    The Swans best player of the early 1950s was Ron ‘Smokey’ Clegg. He was a brilliant key position player at either centre half-forward or centre half-back who won the Brownlow Medal in 1949. He also won South Melbourne’s best and fairest award three times in 1948, 49 & 51. Clegg played 231 games for the Swans between 1945 & 1960 and was considered one of the greatest players to put on a Swans guernsey. He was a superb mark and a driving kick.

    In 1953 the Swans’ best and fairest award went to Jim Taylor. Taylor played for South between 1949 and 1954, before going to South Australia to play with Norwood. He returned to the Lake Oval in 1956 and again won the Swans’ best and fairest award. He was also fourth in the Brownlow Medal count of that year. He was a very versatile footballer who play as a dashing ruckman or centre-half-back. He won a second best & fairest award in 1957. He also worked part-time as a male model who helped promote cigarettes.

    Stringly built ruckman Ian Gillett was South Melbourne’s leading goalkicker in 1953, scoring 34 goals for the season. He played 135 games for South between 1951 & 58 and won their best and fairest award in 1955. His best haul of goals was 5 in a losing side against Collingwood at the Lake Oval. He was a great protector of South’s rovers and captained the team in 1956.

    Fred Goldsmith played his third VFL season in 1953. He only played 8 matches for the 53 season and could not really cement his spot in the team. In 1954 South moved him from the half-forward-flank to full-back which turned his career around. In 1955 he won the Brownlow Medal by 1 vote to Essendon’s Bill Hutchison. He was a spectacular mark and a long drop kick, in 1956 he won the Simpson Medal as Victoria’s best player.

    Bill Gunn was a brilliant forward who played 104 games for South Melbourne between 1952 and 1959. He was a fast and clever footballer with good instincts who represented Victoria in 1952, 1954, 1956 and 1959. He was selected to play in the 1953 ANFC carnival in Adelaide but had to withdraw due to work commitments. Gunn was a quick and active centre-half-forward who kicked 101 goals in his career; he captained the Swans in 1955.

    Keith Schaefer was a consistent centreman who played 102 games for the Swans between 1947 and 1953. He had a fine turn of speed, was an excellent mark and an accurate stab pass. He won South’s best and fairest award in 1953.

    Mick Sibum who kicked 4 goals in the opening round against Collingwood ended up kicking 20 goals for the season, with those 4 goals being his best haul for the year. He played 111 games for South in 6 seasons from 1950, kicking 88 goals throughout his career. He was a dashing rover who was appointed vice captain in 1955.

    Round 1 – Collingwood Vs South Melbourne

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    Bill Twomey kicked nine goals against the Swans

    April 18, 1953

    Collingwood played South Melbourne in the opening round of the 1953 VFL season at Victoria Park, and won convincingly by 41 points, with Bill Twomey kicking 9 of the teams’ 17 goals.

    Former Magpie great Harold Rumney summed up the game for the Sun by saying the Magpie’s won through an aggressive ‘battering-ram‘ attack, supported by a tough and resilient defence. (1) He went on to say that Collingwood had splendid teamwork and outstanding defence with the teams’ fleet of rucks and rovers in command throughout the day. (2) Ron Richards caught Rumney’s eye as he singled captain Lou Richards‘ brother out as being particularly impressive with his crumbing of the ball and breaking the packs which kept the South Melbourne forwards starved of opportunities. (3) In the Argus Hugh Buggy said that Collingwood’s smooth, calculated, and relentless football totally bewildered the hapless Swans. (4)

    Rumney thought that Collingwood had improved in its’ overall strength since 1952. (5) He was impressed by Bill Twomey’s tenacious and clever ball-handling in front of goal and even apologised for his previous criticism of Twomey’s perceived lack of efficiency. (6) Hugh Buggy called Twomey the ‘dashing D’Artagnan’ of league football, who could enable the Magpies to be a shattering force in 1953. (7) In fact Buggy said that everything that Twomey did was touched by an elegance and artistry that made the game a delight to watch. (8) Buggy was also impressed with Twomey’s ‘panther-like’ leads and classic marking. (9)

    Collingwood’s small men were confident and aggressive (10) and baffled the opposition with their uncanny handball which continually disorganised the South defence. (11)

    Buggy also praised Collingwood’s tactics, saying they were the masters of cool, high quality, ‘chessboard’ football (12) and played with a common purpose and determination that would have worn any opposition down. (13

    ) The Magpie ‘machine’ was fully geared up and in devastating form. (14)

     

    Teams

    1st Quarter

    2nd Quarter

    3rd Quarter

    Final Score

    Collingwood

    5.5.35

    10.8.68

    16.14.110

    17.16.118

    South Melbourne

    1.1.7

    5.4.34

    8.6.54

    11.11.77

    The Magpies outnumber the Swans here 5-1

    Goals

    Collingwood – B. Twomey 9, L. Richards 3, R. Richards 2, B. Rose 2, Batchelor

    South Melbourne – Sibun 4, McPherson 3, Lane, Gunn, Deagan, Gillett

    Best

    Collingwood – Hams, Mann, Hamilton, Fincke, Lucas, B Twomey, Tuck, R. Richards, Healey, P Twomey

    South Melbourne – Dorgan, Clegg

    In Other Magpie News

    Collingwood sold 3300 memberships at the game on Saturday and is confident that they will break the 10,000 member mark for the first time in their history. (15)

    In Other Games

    Geelong defeated Hawthorn by 49 points, Essendon beat Fitzroy by 23 points with Coleman kicking 10 goals. Footscray scraped home over Carlton by just 5 points.

    Ladder after round 1

    Team

    Win

    Draw

    Lose

    Points For

    Points Against

    Percentage

    Premiership Points

    Geelong

    1

    0

    0

    87

    38

    228.9

    4

    North Melbourne

    1

    0

    0 105

    57

    184.1

    4

    Collingwood

    1

    0

    0 118

    77

    153.2

    4

    Essendon

    1

    0

    0

    111

    88 126.1

    4

    Richmond

    1

    0

    0 73 67 108.9 4

    Footscray

    1

    0

    0 65

    60

    108.3 4

    Carlton

    0

    0

    1

    60

    65

    92.3 0

    Melbourne

    0

    0

    1

    67

    73

    91.7

    0

    Fitzroy

    0

    0

    1

    88

    111

    79.2

    0

    South Melbourne

    0

    0

    1

    77

    118

    65.2

    0

    St Kilda

    0

    0

    1

    57

    105

    54.2

    0

    Hawthorn

    0

    0

    1

    38

    87

    43.6

    0

    1953 Leading Goal Kickers

    J. Coleman (Essendon) – 10
    B. Twomey (Collingwood) – 9
    G. Sibun (South Melbourne) – 4
    G. Goninon (Geelong) – 4
    N. Trezise (Geelong) – 4
    A. Aylett (North Melbourne) – 4

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    Footnotes

    1. Rumney. H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    2. Rumney. H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    3. Rumney. H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    4. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    5. Rumney, H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    6. Rumney, H – The Sun, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 28
    7. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    8. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    9. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    10. The Age – Monday April 20, 1953 – page 8
    11. The Age – Monday April 20, 1953 – page 8
    12. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    13. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    14. Buggy. H – The Argus, Monday April 20, 1953 – page 10
    15. The Sun – Monday April 20, 1953 – page 29

    1953 Preseason

    with 2 comments

    Jack Hamilton (wearing Richmond colours) and 'Mocha' Dunstan compete during the Magpies' final practice game

    The big news of Collingwood’s 1953 preseason was the unexpected dropping of Harvey Stevens from the Magpies’ list. Stevens played 54 games with Collingwood, including their 1952 Grand Final defeat.

    Stevens was omitted from the Collingwood list despite good form in practice games (1) and was expected to be a vital part of the Magpie’s machine in 1953. (2) He was dropped to Collingwood’s supplementary list in 1952 due to being overweight, but fought his way back into the senior side and was playing well at the end of the season. (3)

    Fortunately for Stevens he was picked up by Footscray where he had a stellar season, winning the Bulldogs best and fairest. In 1954 he would play a vital role in Footscray’s successful premiership campaign.

    Rover Kevin Coghlan was also dropped and subsequently recruited by Hawthorn, while Ken Aitken was also dropped a week out from round 1. (4)

    Going into the 1953 season some Magpies were under an injury cloud. Maurice ‘Mocha’ Dunstan had an injured ankle as did Pat Twomey.(5) George Hams had a knee injury while Keith Batchelor suffered from fibrosis. (6) Peter Lucas had a split eardrum (7), Thorold Merrett a bruised thigh (8) and Arthur Gooch a strained leg. (9) Brian Turner was also under treatment for neuritis in the hip. (10)

    Ron & Lou Richards and Ron's new bride Gladys. Ron & Gladys married in March.

    Prior to the match Collingwood coach Phonse Kyne wrote an article for the Argus stating his expectations for the 1953 season. He rued the amount of injuries that the club had suffered during the previous season and thought that a fully fit Magpie unit were not that far behind the Geelong side. (11) Kyne stated that Collingwood’s forward line was much improved over the one they had in 1952 with Bob Rose, Lou and Ron Richards, Maurice Dunstan and the Twomeys all being able to play in attack. (12) Kyne also expected a lot of Collingwood’s new recruit Dave Little, a mobile ruckman from Korrumburra, as a back-up for Neil Mann. (13) Jack Finck‘s return to the team would also mean that he could play at centre-half-back, allowing Mann to spend more time in the ruck. (14) Phonse considered the Magpie wings in Thorold Merrett and Des Healey and their half-back line of Fincke, Peter Lucas and Ron Kingston to be the finest in the league. (15)

    Because of all this Jack Dyer thought that both Collingwood and Geelong were the teams to beat in season 1953. Dyer was particularly looking forward to seeing Jack Hamilton, George Hams and Neil Mann in action. (16)

    As an aside at least one of the Collingwood players indulged in playing district cricket over the off-season. Des Healey played in Collingwood’s second XI in 1953 and won the team’s batting average and club championship. He top scored in the final match of the season with 92 runs against South Melbourne. (17) Thorold Merrett was another Collingwood player who played district cricket in 1953, donning the whites for the Magpie’s Third XI. Two years earlier both Healey and Merrett were team-mates in Collingwood’s 1951 Third XI team that won the cricket final against Prahran. They put on a 151 run partnership to set up their victory, with Healey scoring a century and Merrett making 51. (18)

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    Footnotes

    1. Hogan. K – The Sun – Monday April 13, 1953 – page 28
    2. Hogan. K – The Sun – Monday April 13, 1953 – page 28
    3. Hogan. K – The Sun – Monday April 13, 1953 – page 28
    4. Hogan. K – The Sun – Monday April 13, 1953 – page 28
    5. The Sun – Wednesday April 1, 1953 – page 26
    6. The Sun – Wednesday April 1, 1953 – page 26
    7. The Sun – Friday April 10, 1953 – page 25
    8. The Sun – Friday April 10, 1953 – page 25
    9. The Sun – Friday April 10, 1953 – page 25
    10. The Sun – Friday April 10, 1953 – page 25
    11. Kyne. P – The Argus – Friday April 17, 1953 – page 18
    12. Kyne. P – The Argus – Friday April 17, 1953 – page 18
    13. Kyne. P – The Argus – Friday April 17, 1953 – page 18
    14. Kyne. P – The Argus – Friday April 17, 1953 – page 18
    15. Kyne. P – The Argus – Friday April 17, 1953 – page 18
    16. The Sun – Saturday April 18, 1953 – page 32
    17. The Argus – Friday 16 October, 1953 – page 12
    18. The Argus – Monday April 2, 1951 – page 9