Footy History: Round 3, 1968


Mention was made during last night’s game that Essendon had not failed to kick a goal in the first half of any game since 1968.


I was at that game in 1968, which was at Prince’s Park, and in fact both teams went goal-less to the oranges.  Essendon kicked about seven goals in the second half, which was more than enough for Carlton’s 1.11 for the day.


There was a northerly of enormous strength all day, enough to blow several sheets of tin off the old cantilevered stand (and it was a stand – no seats at all there) on the southern wing.  What damage they did in the car park I have no idea – it would have been mass murder if they’d come into the crowd.


To begin with, neither side had any idea of how to play in a crosswind like that and half time was three or four behinds each.  Second half, Essendon slotted them from all angles – Geoff Blethyn in what must have been one of his first games kicked a goal across the body from what seemed like 50 yards out (no lines drawn in those days to tell you how far).  My most vivid memory, however, is of Gags Gallagher (not a reliable kick for goal at the best of times) lining up a set shot from reasonably close and pretty much straight in front.  The wind must have caught the ball between hand and boot, the resultant spiral effect perfectly matching the hurricane from the north.  The ball blew over the boundary on the full (no free for that in those days either) further from Garton Street than where he’d kicked from.


It was a dismal day for Blues supporters, but come the Grand Final (which I personally fixed, but that’s another story) Carlton turned the tables on Essendon.  Two years later we kicked 2.12 at Victoria Park, and everyone remembers the result of that Grand Final.


Round 3, 1968

Match report from Blueseum



  1. Jim, the 1968 Carlton-Essendon game you describe seems a lot like yesterday’s North Melbourne-West Coast match in Hobart in terms of the gusty wind.
    In terms of goalless first halves by Essendon, the commentators overlooked the Round 17, 1984, game, when both the Bombers and Bulldogs were locked at 0.7 apiece at half-time.
    The Dogs were goalless at three-quarter-time that day, but fell just two points short at the finish.

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