July 1859 match vs South Yarra

Saturday 9 July and Saturday 23 July - MCG
Crowd: 2000 (9 July), 2000 (23 July)

Melbourne 3
South Yarra 0

Melbourne win by 3 goals

Goalkickers: Thomas Wray 2, James Thompson 1

Melbourne's first match against another club (as distinct from the intra-club games they had been playing since May) was delayed several times due to disputes over the rules played by the two clubs. South Yarra eventually agreed to the match after amended rules were released stipulating that a free kick (mark) was only allowed when the ball was caught directly from the foot of an opposition player.

It was the first football match on the MCG itself and the two teams were made up of 25 a side. South Yarra played in blue and Melbourne in white. The field was rectangular.

A heavy shower fell during the afternoon and Melbourne kicked off into the wind after losing the toss. South Yarra went with their opponents for the first 15 minutes but superior fitness and their one man disadvantage saw Melbourne eventually take over.

Wray scored for the "Whites" with the first goal ever scored on the MCG proper, and it was the only score of the afternoon. Ends were changed after the goal, giving Melbourne the use of the breeze and only stout defending by South Yarra allowed them to avoid conceding another goal.

With the rules stating teams must score two goals to win the game was resumed two weeks later. More rain fell on July 23 and Melbourne scored the winning goal through Wray again within an hour. With the rest of the afternoon left to play the suggestion was put by South Yarra that the match be extended to best of five goals, but it was against scored by Melbourne - this time by JB Thompson.

Henry Harrison, Tom Wills, Alex Bruce, Thomas Smith, James Thompson, Thomas Butterworth, William Hammersley (c), R. Petrie, Robert Morrison, James Byrne, J. Russell, Sidney Woolley, Richard Wardill, Kenworthy, W. Webb, Thomas Wray, A. McPherson, McKenzie, Ogilvie, Charles Grut, J. Henderson, May, Shephard, Jacomb, Alexander McCrae

Cameron, Montgomery, Murray, Abbott and Sewell were invited to be on hand in case another player couldn't make the match.

Some sources suggest the "best of five" extension was actually a separate scratch match.

Argus - 05/07/1859
Argus - 07/07/1859
Argus - 11/07/1859
Bell's Life - 16/07/1859
Argus - 25/07/1859
Bell's Life - 30/07/1859

Created by supermercado. Last Modification: Thursday 25 February 2021 00:26:46 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 13)

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