1966 and all that: Round 14 – St. Kilda v North Melbourne


Battle of blunders


Saturday 30 July




Back at home in Round 14, St. Kilda coasted to a 38 point victory over North Melbourne by making slightly fewer mistakes than their opponents in a game described by The Age football reporter Nigel Balfe as a “battle of blunders”.


St. Kilda made six changes to their side following the loss to Carlton. Injuries to Ross Smith, Jim Read, Verdun Howell and Carl Ditterich provided opportunities for a group of young Saints players.


Eighteen year old rover Graham Croft from Warragul made his VFL debut replacing Ross Smith. Croft joined an elite ‘club’ by scoring a goal with his first kick in league football. The Football Record (6.8.66) noted that he “played a very tenacious game for the Saints and a very impressive one.Unfortunately for Croft it would be his one and only senior game for the Saints as roving opportunities dried up with the return of Ross Smith from injury in Round 15.


The third quarter effort by both sides had everyone baffled, as St. Kilda added 1.10 and North 0.1. Half way through the last quarter, North’s score read: 1.16 (22). A late flurry of goals from both sides could not save the game from a perplexed press review.


Ian Stewart was again best on ground and firming as favourite for the Brownlow Medal. ‘Cowboy’ Neale, Graham Croft, Darrel Baldock and Ian Rowland each contributed two goals to a low scoring ten goal to four victory by the Saints.


Richmond climbed to the top position on the ladder while Essendon reminded everyone that they were still a force to be reckoned with in ’66 by defeating Collingwood at Victoria Park in a brilliant exhibition of fast, play-on football.





St. Kilda                      3.5 (23)          5.5 (35)          6.15 (51)       10.18 (78)

North Melbourne      1.4 (10)          1.10 (16)       1.11 (17)       4.16 (40)


Goals: St. Kilda – Neale 2, Rowland 2, Croft 2, Baldock 2, Morrow, Mynott

North Melbourne – Goode 2, Carr, Allison


Best: St. Kilda – Stewart (best on ground), Murray, Head, Baldock, Synman, Griffiths, Cooper

North Melbourne – Waddington, Dugdale, Teasdale, Allison, McAuliffe, Gaudion, Dwyer


Ian Stewart and Ian Cooper topped the disposals for the Saints. For North Melbourne the main offenders in front of goal were Tom Allison and Noel Teasdale, both kicking five behinds. It was not a day for the ruckmen at Moorabbin, with a total of only 63 hit outs recorded.


Injuries: St. Kilda – Moran (bruised calf), Sierakowski (bruised hip)

North Melbourne – Gaudion (calf), McAuliffe (knee)


Umpire: Sheales                                Crowd: 20 530


Reserves: St. Kilda 9.13 (67) defeated North Melbourne 8.14 (62)

Under 19’s: St. Kilda 15.23 9113) defeated North Melbourne 3.7 (25)


Around the grounds

At the MCG – Richmond 14.13 (97) defeated Melbourne 10.12 (72)

At Victoria Park – Essendon 18.9 (117) defeated Collingwood 7.10 (52)

At Princes Park – Carlton 12.15 (87) defeated Fitzroy 9.6 (60)

At the Western Oval – Geelong 10.11 (71) defeated Footscray 7. 9 (51)

At Glenferrie Oval – South Melbourne 14.17 (101) defeated Hawthorn 10.16 (76)



The Ladder – the top 6 contenders for the ’66 finals

                                    W        L          Pts      %

*Richmond                 11       2          46       129.5

Collingwood               11       3          44       146.3

St. Kilda                      11       3          44       140.9

Geelong                      10       4          40       129.4


Essendon                   10       4          40       111.2

Carlton                       8          6          32       113.6

* one draw


Highlights of the round


Essendon’s full forward Ted Fordham booted 10 goals in his team’s 65 point victory over the Magpies. While it rained goals for Essendon (18) it showered beer cans (dozens) for the umpire at Victoria Park in round 14. Collingwood fans were not happy with umpire Perkins when he gave Des Tuddenham a 15 yard penalty following an incident with Jack Clarke and responded with a spontaneous shower of drinking vessels.

In the Carlton v Fitzroy game at Princes Park the VFL trialled the ‘restricted zone’ limiting the number of players to eight at centre bounces. Coaches and players generally responded in favour of the experimental rule.



Round 14- Monday 1st August


Read The Age, Monday 1st August 1966, for coverage of all matches HERE.



Country Footy


In the Latrobe Valley League, *Morwell defeated Graham Croft’s home club Warragul while Alan Morrow’s former team Sale were narrowly defeated by Heyfield. In other games Moe scraped home against Yallourn, Bairnsdale had a solid win over Maffra and Traralgon were too strong for Trafalgar.


*Morwell won the 1966 premiership of the league.


Before country zoning, a contingent of Latrobe Valley – Gippsland region players gravitated to St. Kilda. Preceeding Alan Morrow on the journey from Sale to St. Kilda, was Bill Stephenson who played 88 games for the Saints between 1957 and 1963. Bill Young, dubbed ‘the slender superstar’, from Stratford in the Gippsland League became a St. Kilda goal kicking great in his 94 game career between 1956 and 1961. Jim Guyatt, from Maffra, was a star ruck rover for St. Kilda (1957-64) until his VFL career was cut short by a serious knee injury in 1964.


Other 1966 VFL players who came from the Latrobe Valley included: Essendon’s Alan Noonan from Warragul; Carlton’s Ian Collins from Sale and Bryan Quirk from Morwell.




Meanwhile …


On that Saturday at Wembley England defeated West Germany 4-2 to win the World Cup. Joyous fans celebrated their country’s first World Cup victory by splashing in the fountains at Trafalgar Square and dancing in Piccadilly Circus.


In the music world, the cover version of “Wild Thing” by English band, the Troggs, rose to number one mirroring the ascension of the Tigers.



Read more of Peter Clark’s weekly reviews of  St Kilda’s triumphant 1966 footy season HERE




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About Peter Clark

is a lifetime Geelong supporter. Hailing from the Riverina, he is now entrenched on the NSW South Coast. His passion for footy was ignited by attending Ovens and Murray League matches in the 1960's with his father. After years of watching, playing and coaching, now it is time for some serious writing about his favourite subjects… footy, especially country footy, and cricket.


  1. Dr Rocket says

    Thanks again for triggering a wonderful memory Peter.
    We went to this game!
    As I recall Cowboy kicked 2.7
    The Doc fed him all game.
    As Allan Jeans said, when Baldock played well at CHF we never lost.

    BTW, Jimmy Guyall mostly played on a half-back flank.
    This is the position he played when he represented Victoria.

    Fancy Richmond on top of the ladder after round 14 ano not making the finals? But then again Tommy Hafey was in his first season as a VFL coach after coaching Shep

  2. Graham Croft,one game,two goals. Not a bad career record. St Kilda’s 1126th player.

    There was a fellow with Carlton who’s name isn’t coming to mind who played one game ,with three goals, in the mid 1980’s.

    I’m looking forward to this book on all the one gamers. I’m sure there’d be some yarns to tell.


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