1966 and all that: Round 5 – South Melbourne v St Kilda



Griffiths steps up


Saturday 21 May 1966

The Lakeside Oval


In Round 5 the Saints were opposed to the in-form South Melbourne side at the Lakeside Oval, in what was traditionally known as the Lakeside Premiership, and were attempting to make it six wins in a row against the Swans. At the selection table, the Saints reshuffled their half back line by moving Barry Breen to centre half back. Ray Cross came into the team replacing the injured John Bingley on a half back flank. Regular centre half back Ian Synman was moved to the other half back flank position. The changes allowed Daryl Griffiths to move into attack. Bob Murray returned to the team replacing the injured Verdun Howell.


Again it was St. Kilda’s big man dominance and the brilliance of the other ‘Darrel/Daryl’ that was telling.  On this occasion it was D. Griffiths, not D. Baldock, who played an outstanding game, gaining possessions at will and making the most of them with precision passing to his team mates. Griffiths relished the freedom of playing in the forward line, bobbing up everywhere and slotting holes in the Swans defence.


The Saints ran away with it in the final quarter, kicking five goals to one, but up until three quarter time it was a tense struggle with South drawing to within three points late in the third term. A hand injury to Bob Skilton in the second quarter hampered the champion South Melbourne rover, but he still managed 28 disposals. The broken bone in Skilton’s hand would result in him missing the next five games and derail South’s season. In Skilton’s absence, the Swans lost four of the next five matches.


The selection of Barry Breen in defence backfired as his opponent, Graham John, was judged best on ground. At the other end, South’s Jeff Bray held Darrel Baldock in check for three quarters, but St. Kilda found other avenues to goal.


An unusual sight that afternoon was St. Kilda wingman Ross Oakley playing for about five minutes with only one boot as a trainer hurriedly made foot leather repairs on the boundary line.


The Age football reporter Percy Beames noted the improved versatility of the Saints and their ability to score heavily, despite the slippery ground conditions, as key factors in their winning ways. Victories such as this one were giving Saints players and supporters great belief in their team’s ability to power over the opposition in the last quarter, which would be vital for success in September.






St. Kilda                     2.1 (13)          7.6 (48)          8.8 (56)          13.17 (95)

South Melbourne     1.2 (8)          4.3 (27)          6.9 (45)          7.11 (53)


Goals – St. Kilda: Neale 3, Smith 2, Baldock 2, Ditterich 2, Morrow, Roberts, Griffiths, Rowland

South Melbourne: John 2, Davison 2, Lambert, Sarich, Robertson


Best – St. Kilda: Griffiths, Mynott, Stewart, Ditterich, Smith, Baldock, Murray

South Melbourne: John (best on ground), Papley, Bray, Way, Skilton, Sudholz


Ian Stewart, Carl Ditterich and Daryl Griffiths led St. Kilda’s disposals while Bob Skilton and Max Papley topped South’s disposals count.


Injuries: St. Kilda – R. Oakley (bruised ankle) South Melbourne – B. Skilton (broken hand)


Reports: A. Dunn (South Melbourne) for deliberately striking D. Griffiths (St. Kilda)


Umpire: Brewer                    Crowd: 32 294


Reserves:        South Melbourne 15.15 (105) def. St. Kilda 6.7 (43)

Under 19s:    South Melbourne 6.15 (51) def. St. Kilda 5.12 (42)



Defender Ian Synman played his 100th game for the Saints in round five. Before the match, he declared his ambition: “To play in a premiership team. After that, to reach 150 games.” (Footy Record May 21 ,1966) Essendon’s champion centre half forward, Ken Fraser, reached the 150 game milestone in the match against Fitzroy.


Around the grounds


At the Western Oval – Footscray 10.10 (70) d. Hawthorn 4.10 (34)

At Kardinia Park – Richmond 15.8 (98) d. Geelong 12.8 (80)

At Brunswick St – Essendon 17.11 (113) d. Fitzroy 9.10 (64)

At the M.C.G. – Carlton 11.13 (79) d.  Melbourne 3.14 (32)

At Arden St – Collingwood 11.15 (81) d. North Melbourne 7.4 (46)


Leading goalkickers

  1. McKenna (Collingwood) 17
  2. Goode (North Melbourne) 16
  3. Baldock (St. Kilda) 15
  4. Robertson (South Melbourne) 14
  5. Guinane (Richmond) 12
  6. Swift (Richmond) 10
  7. Rowland (St. Kilda) 9
  8. Fordham (Essendon) 9
  9. Neale (St. Kilda) 9
  10. Skilton (South Melbourne) 9



Highlights of the round:


Carlton won the ‘Ronald Dale Barassi perpetual trophy’ which was awarded to the victor of games played between Carlton and Melbourne. Ronald Dale Barassi himself had a big say in the outcome of the match, leading his team brilliantly to an eight goal win. Essendon full forward Ted Fordham booted six goals in his side’s convincing win over Fitzroy. Geelong captain ‘Polly’ Farmer may have contributed to his team’s loss to the Tigers even before the first bounce. After winning the toss he chose to kick against a strong breeze. Richmond took full advantage scoring nine goals in the first quarter setting up their first win at Kardinia Park for nine years.


Read The Age, Monday 23rd May 1966, for coverage of all matches HERE.



Next round:


Match of the day – Richmond v South Melbourne at the M.C.G.

St. Kilda v Fitzroy at home



Country Footy:


The Hampden League has historically been one of the premier country football leagues in Victoria and has enjoyed success in the VCFL Championships. In the final of the 1965/66 series on 9th July 1966, played at Wangaratta, the Hampden League was victorious over the Ovens and Murray League by three points in a match described as one of the finest in country championships history.


Two St. Kilda players from the premiership winning 1966 team hailed from the Hampden League – Kevin Neale from South Warrnambool and Daryl Griffiths from Terang. It was Daryl Griffiths who captured the headlines in St. Kilda’s win against South Melbourne in round five, so let’s see how his home club fared that Saturday:


Final scores: Terang 15.18 (108) defeated Koroit 6.8 (44).


Kevin Neale’s former club, South Warrnambool, defeated Warrnambool by 12 points, while other winners that afternoon were: Colac, Coragulac and Mortlake.



Meanwhile …


A second maritime disaster in two years off Jervis Bay, NSW, claimed the lives of 13 crew members from the dredge W.D. Atlas which sank in a wild storm. There were only four survivors of the tragedy. Two years earlier the HMAS Voyager sank off Jervis Bay killing 82 after a collision with the HMAS Melbourne.


Melbourne’s ‘bread war’, between unions and bakers, concerning illegal weekend baking of bread, erupted into acts of violence as picketing of bakeries continued.


In golf news, Australia’s Bruce Devlin won the Colonial Invitation golf tournament at Fort Worth Texas. It was one of eight PGA Tour wins Devlin achieved in his golfing career.



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



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  1. Saints still undefeated.

    The Age coverage features a photo which oozes brutality! What was Polly Farmer thinking? And there’s mention of Charlie Griffiths.

    Loving these.

  2. Roseville Rocket says

    Loving these too!
    Another St Kilda victory!!!

    Daryl Griffiths was such a fine player– – badly missed in 1971…
    Max Papley was such a good player – won South’s B & F in 1966.
    Then went to Williamstown as capt-coach the next year.
    Austin Robertson only kicked one goal that day, on Bob Murray.
    Kicked 60 in 1966.
    In-coming coach Allan Miller discarded him for the next season.
    He went back to Subi and kicked 100s of goals!
    Norm Smith would have loved both of them when he took over….

    Piece on 1966 St Kilda coach Allan Jeans with NSW touch:

  3. Peter Clark says

    Thanks Rocket. Players often have a habit of making coaches look foolish.

  4. Roseville Rocket says

    Sure was the case with Allan Miller!

    Not so with Allan Jeans & Norm Smith.

    Although it has to be said that after Ian Stewart left St Kilda as captain in 1970,
    he won a Brownlow with Richmond.

    And as for Gary Ablett Snr…
    but Hawthorn bt Geelong in 1989 despite Ablett’s heroics

  5. I notice Greg Lambert kicked a goal for South that day.

    A Corowa boy. I’m pretty sure his father was a teacher at the high school.


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