1966 and all that: Round 9 – Richmond v St Kilda


First loss for the Saints


Saturday, June 18



Saints skipper Darrel Baldock was quoted in the Melbourne press during the week leading up to Round 9 as saying that his team had a “good chance of going through the season undefeated.” No VFL team had ever accomplished that feat.


St. Kilda were without Ian Cooper who was named in the Reserves as a precautionary measure after he suffered an eyebrow injury against the Bombers. At Punt Road, the Tigers brought in three players and named promising Kyabram recruit Dick Clay at full forward, a move which edged Paddy Guinane into the forward pocket in the selected side.


With only a five-day break after the tight game against Essendon, together with lingering injury concerns by several key players, St. Kilda looked vulnerable for the match against Richmond at the MCG. As so often happens in football a let down follows a highly sought after win. The Saints were listless and jaded against the more determined Tigers who ‘out paced, out thought, out marked, out bumped and out rucked’ their St. Kilda opponents according to The Age columnist in his match report on Monday 20th June. The homework by Hafey’s men on St. Kilda’s game against Essendon the previous week paid dividends.


The enthusiastic Tigers were irrepressible in everything they did and had winners everywhere. Mike Perry, Roger Dean, Mike Patterson, Ross Warner, Paddy Guinane and Frank Dimattina shone brightest in a very even performance by Richmond across all lines. Richmond set up their win by fierce tackling and quick movement of the ball by hand and foot.


That afternoon at the MCG, Richmond served up a foretaste of what was to follow in the next few years under coach Tom Hafey – 1967 and 1969 in particular!


Brian Mynott and Alan Morrow kicked three goals apiece and Ian Rowland snapped two, while defender Rodger Head was best for the Saints.


Despite the 35 point loss, St. Kilda remained on top of the ladder, but only on percentage, with next week’s opponents Collingwood hard on their heels in second place.



The VFL won the ANFC championships at Hobart by defeating Western Australia. Two St. Kilda players who came from the Apple Isle contributed strongly to the victory. Darrel Baldock kicked five goals and Ian Stewart was named best on ground.





Richmond       4.5 (29)          11.8 (74)       12.11 (83)     16.13 (109)

St. Kilda          3.2 (20)          6.2 (38)          9.6 (60)       11.8 (74)




Richmond: Guinane 5, Northey 2, Hogan 2, Dimattina 2, Moore, Richardson, Warner, Clay, Patterson

St. Kilda: Mynott 3, Morrow 3, Rowland 2, Howell, Neale, Moran




Richmond: M. Perry (best on ground), Deane, Guinane, Patterson, Strang, Richardson, Northey, Brown

St. Kilda: Head, Mynott, Baker, Morrow, Read, Neale




St. Kilda: Murray (cut chin), Synman (bruised ankle), Neale (bruised knee)

Richmond: Hogan (bruised ribs)


Reports – Alan Morrow (St. Kilda) for striking Ross Warner (Richmond) with a clenched fist. Tony Jewell (Richmond) for unduly rough play.


Umpire:    Sleeth


Crowd:      55 426


Reserves:        Richmond 13.10 (88) d. St. Kilda 8.15 (63)


Under 19s:    St. Kilda 11.9 (75) d.. Richmond 5.8 (38)





Collingwood big man Ray Gabelich played his 150th game while Essendon veteran Jack Clarke reached the 250 game milestone. In the game at the MCG, Richmond big man Mike Patterson played his 100th game.


St. Kilda rover Ian (‘Doggy’) Rowland played his 100th game in round nine but had a quiet day with only six disposals, although two of his kicks were goals. He was recruited by St. Kilda in 1960 at a time when the club had not finished in the top four for two decades, but that did not concern Rowland as joining the Saints would reunite him with a player he admired – Lance Oswald. The pair had been teammates at Wangaratta and in fact once lived in the same street. When asked about the Saints chances of a premiership in 1966, he said…”We have a very good show if we can win either first or second place. We are a more matured side than last season and every player is dedicated to winning the premiership.” (Football Record 25/6/66)



Around the grounds


At Glenferrie Oval – Hawthorn 9.13 (67) d. Carlton 9.9 (63)

At The Lake Oval – Collingwood 13.20 (98) d. South Melbourne 11.7 (73)

At Windy Hill – Essendon 9.17 (71) d. Footscray 4.13 (37)

At Kardinia Park – Geelong 20.24 (144) d. Fitzroy 5.1 (31)

At Arden Street – North Melbourne 9.11 (65) d. Melbourne 4.12 (36)



Read The Age, Monday 20 Jun 1966, for coverage of all matches   HERE.



Highlights of the round


Did Richmond’s Frank Dimattina invent the ‘banana kick’ for goal? The Age reported that from a position near the boundary line in front of the Grey Smith Stand, Dimattina seemed to deliberately drop the ball onto the right side of his boot putting a clockwise spin on the ball which carried through for a goal.


Geelong’s ‘Polly’ Farmer had a massive 43 disposals in the game against Fitzroy. Of those, 25 were handballs. He also clocked up 33 hit outs and kicked a goal. Not a bad afternoon’s work!



Next round:


Match of the day – Collingwood v St. Kilda at Victoria Park



Country Footy


In the Bendigo League, Rochester defeated traditional rivals Echuca for the second time in 1966. Final scores: Rochester 15.14 (104) defeated Echuca 12.13 (85). In other games that day Eaglehawk defeated Golden Square, Sandhurst took the points against South Bendigo, and Kyneton had a big win against Castlemaine. 1966 was to be Kyneton’s year. And it was the first season since 1957 that Rochester had not been in the Bendigo League grand final (claiming four flags in that period).


The Rochester Football Club was formed in 1874 and immediately stated its intention: “… of soon playing and beating Echuca”. The Echuca press had its doubts about Rochester’s chances: “Tall talk – we shall see.” (The Riverine Herald, 3 June 1874).


146 years later the rivalry between Echuca and Rochester continues with the combatants playing in the Goulburn Valley League. Rochester are now called the Tigers while Echuca are known as the Murray Bombers. The last time the clubs met, in the 2019 semi-finals, Echuca 9.10 (64) defeated Rochester 5.8 (38).


There is a long and colourful history of incidents that have fanned the flames of rivalry between Rochester and Echuca. Perhaps the first shot was fired by Rochester upon its formation in 1874 when the club clearly stated its intentions. Early incidents include disputed results, a walk-off protest against a violent on-field clash, a premiership pennant not presented and the stand-off that followed. No doubt many more incidents on and off the football ground have kept the rivalry between the neighbouring towns alive, like it has across all codes and leagues since football was first played.



Meanwhile …


Nine Asian and Pacific nations agreed to the formation of a regional association (ASPAC) for co-operation in economic, political and other non-military fields.


The Australian Customs Department announced an immediate ban on the importation of the American drug LSD.



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



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  1. Stainless says

    It’s interesting to speculate what might have been. This was the only time Richmond met St Kilda in 1966. The Tigers finished the season strongly but narrowly missed the finals. Had the two teams met again in September I wonder what the result might have been? Given the Tigers outstanding finals record under Tom Hafey, it’s fair to suggest they would have acquitted themselves well.

    Enjoying this series, thanks Peter.

  2. Rochy Rocket says

    No Baldock, No St Kilda.
    Thus, it was this day in 1966.

    ALWAYS good to read about Rochester wins over Echuca!
    As you point out Peter, Rochy had a run of eight grand finals in a row, winning four in this period.
    But as break-through premiership coach Noel McMahen proudly proclaims, “Echuca never beat us on my watch”. He knew how much it meant to everyone in the town and district.

    That recent loss in the 2019 finals was preceded from 2008-2018 by wins over Echuca. They were all celebrated like premierships!

  3. Ta Peter.

    Both Richmond and St Kilda had a good run from the mid 60’s until the mid 70’s though i only recall them meeting twice in the finals; 1971, then 1973, both winning one each.

    The 1971 preliminary final was played on quite a wet day,though the skills and scores belied the weather. The ground was slippery not heavy, as St Kilda won a crack at their second flag beating Richmond 16.12.108 to 12.6.78. Alan Davis kicked a lazy 6 for the victors, though only managed a sole goal the following week. That goal was one more than he managed in the 1966 grand final.


  4. Roseville Rocket says

    Too right Glen!

    Not always one-way traffic in favour of Richmond.

    Alan Davis’s role in the 1966 grand final was to stay deep in the forward pocket and keep his opponent Ian Montgomery from taking The Doc out of action…
    many Saints fans were dissappointed that Doggie Rowlands dis not make the premiership team.
    But Rossie Smith could rove all day.

    When Lindsay Fox flew the 1966 team over to see The Doc after he had the stroke – Doggie was in the touring party. Very popular.

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