Good Old Collingwood Forever

The Story of Collingwood's 1953 Premiership

Posts Tagged ‘North Melbourne Football Club

The Opposition – Hawthorn

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John Kennedy

Hawthorn had a dismal season in 1953. They finished last and won only 3 games. The 1950s were a bleak time for the team from Glenferrie spending much of the first half of the decade in the bottom 2 positions on the ladder. However by the end of the decade they started to taste success, reaching the finals in 1957 for the first time. In 1961 they would finally win their first premiership.

The Hawks’ coach for the 1953 season was Jack Hale. Hale made his name as a Carlton premiership player in the 1930s, and took over as coach of Hawthorn midway through the 1952 season after coaching South Melbourne in 1948 & 49. He remained at Hawthorn until 1960 when John Kennedy, took over. Kennedy often credited Hale as being the one who laid the foundations of the 61 premiership side.

Ted Fletcher

Ted Fletcher was the Hawks’ captain in 1953. A policeman from Dandenong Fletcher was a ruckman/defender who was a very good mark. In 1952 he represented Victoria and won the best & fairest award in 1953.

The most recognisable name on Hawthorn’s list in 1953 would be John ‘Kanga’ Kennedy. He started in 1950 and won the Hawks’ best & fairest award in his first season. He was not the most stylish football but he was extremely clever, and a fine team player who brought others into the game. He captained the club from 1955 until his retirement as a player in 1959, and won the best and fairest award four times. In 1960 he took over from Hale as the Hawks’ coach and lead them to the premiership in 1961 and a Grand Final in 1963. In 1964 he stood down from coaching due to work commitments but returned in 1967. He then coached Hawthorn to premierships in 1971 and 76, as well as runners up in the 1975 Grand Final. His son John Jr. went on to play in four premierships for Hawthorn in the 1980s, while his grandson Josh currently plays for the Sydney Swans.

John O' Mahoney

John ‘Bones’ O’Mahoney played with the Hawks from 1952 to 1960, amassing 112 games and kicking 28 goals. He was a clever centreman who both marked and kicked well. He was an unselfish footballer and creative team man.

Kevin ‘Skeeter’ Coghlan was the Hawks’ biggest goal scorer in 1953. He was dumped by Collingwood with Harvey Stevens a before the start of the season and picked up by Hawthorn where he kicked 19 goals. He topped the Hawks’ goal kicking in 1954 & 55 also. He was a classy rover who was the smallest player of his era.

Pat Cash Sr. played as a forward for the Hawks. He only played 8 games in 1953 due to injury, kicking 9 goals, but he did top the Hawks’ goalkicking list in 1951 with 26. He is the father of 1987 Wimbledon tennis champion Pat Cash Jr.

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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

    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

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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