1916 – Melbourne defeat Fitzroy in final game to steal the pennant

The 1916 season was ended abruptly after confusion whether a final four was to be played at the end of the regular season. The decision arrived at the annual general meeting earlier in the year was found to be unconstitutional, however it was decided that despite this, the decision would stand and the minor premier would declared the winner of the pennant. By virtue of Melbourne’s splendid defeat of 1st placed Fitzroy in the final round of games, Melbourne won the 1916 pennant.


From the Argus, 28th August 1916:




As a result of their defeat by Melbourne, Fitzroy drop from first to third place in the list, Hawthorn occupying second and Collingwood fourth position.

Fitzroy were outclassed in all departments against Melbourne. The maroon players appeared over-anxious, and made too many mistakes in the field. The veteran pitcher C. Lansdown did not show to advantage, as he hit five batters with pitched balls, and gave away six free passages, while 11 hits were made off him. Seven errors are debited against Fitzroy.

Mullett had splendid control, and completely baffled his opponents, seven of whom were struck out by him. Vaughan returned to batting form, and Ransford who reappeared after an absence of a couple of months, played one of the finest fielding and throwing games ever seen at short stop, seven runners being cut off by him at first base. He also made two hits and scored three runs. Crighton got a couple of nice hits, and made only one mistake in his 19 chances at first. Others to perform well were Simmonds, Purvis, and Tait. The pick of Fitzroy’s players were Bannister, Cant, Ramsden, and Owen.


Melbourne, 14 runs; Fitzroy, 4.