Round 4, 1904
Essendon vs Melbourne
Saturday 28 May
Melbourne win by 32 points
Goalkickers: Vin Coutie 3, Frank Langley 3, Jim Conquest 1, Jack Gardiner 1, Ted Leach 1
After three losses in a row to start the season, Melbourne played in their first ever VFL match at the SCG and in their inaugural interstate match for premiership points. They did what they couldn't do in Victoria and won.
Driving rain before the game hampered the VFL's attempts to sell the sport to cynical northerners, but by the time the match started the rain had cleared and left behind a slippery ground but a small crowd.
In front of the visiting Governor-General and Governor of New South Wales, Essendon quickly scored the first goal of the match and two more not long after. With the prospect of their interstate trip turning into a debacle Melbourne then steadied, and Gardner got their first. They had another before the bell, and just before quarter time Essendon lost one of their number to a knee injury.
Essendon had the better of the game early in the second quarter, but couldn't score and conceded two goals in a row which saw them fall behind at the long break. They got the first of the third quarter to reduce the margin and reduced the margin to two points before a late goal and a pair of behinds gave them the lead.
Melbourne got the first goal of the last quarter immediately from the bounce after Moodie passed to Langley, and a second goal to Conquest shortly after gave Melbourne an 18 point lead. Essendon dragged one back, but with darkness falling on the ground their opponents added three more to make the match safe.
It was the first time Melbourne players wore numbers in a match, but they were not official and for the benefit of the spectators only.
Back Row: Ted Leach, Horrie Drane, Jack Strong, George Moodie, Amos Norcott, Ernie Tout, Ernie Vollugi, Syd Dalrymple, Billy Bremner
Middle Row: Paddy Mills, Jack Gardiner, Syd Anderson, Frank Langley, Bill McClelland, Harry Parkin, Joe Pearce, Charlie Young
Front Row: Vin Coutie, Jim Conquest, Arthur Sowden, Henri Jeanneret