Crio’s Question: Defining Finals Moments

It won’t go away!

That free kick paid on Friday joins a legion of defining finals moments.

Just to further irk Cats fans, I’ll kick off with Colby’s “mark not paid”.


  1. On Saturday at Aurora Stadium in atrociously wet conditions a free kick was paid to a Fingal Player half way through the third quarter.

    The opposition players and supporters (Old Scotch) went cranky as it was not a push in the back.
    It was not a push in the back.
    It was not a push in the back.
    It was not a push in the back.
    No way was it a bloody push in the back.

    The Fingal player lined up for a shot at goal from about 20 metres out. He hit the point post on the full. Justice.

    The significance of this sequence of events was manifested about an hour later when the final siren sounded, with out controversy and quite audibly, and Old Scotch had won their second straight grand final. 9.14 (68) to 0.0 (0)

  2. Libba’s point.

  3. John Butler says

    1995 GF- Spalding’s smother (just to tweak the Cats once more)

  4. John Butler says

    1970 GF- Tuddy and McKenna collide just before half time.

  5. Deliberate out of bounds call against Fitzroy…ruining their finals and the Club never recovered.

  6. JB #3

    Trent Dennis-Lane’s tackle on Dennis Armfield 2010.

  7. Half time 1970 GF

  8. Peter Barry’s shorts

  9. Ricky Graham taking the downfield free kick instead of Sharrock

  10. Canterbury’s Martin Bella knocking the ball on directly from the GF kick off — almost as defining for what followed as Harmison’s wide to 2nd slip.

  11. David Downer says

    Angry, Bound for Glory, the Batmobile

    Maroochy Barambah

  12. Carman’s suspension

    Harry Caspar

  13. Micky Conlen’s goal

  14. Andrew Fithall says

    Sumich after-the-siren point in 1990 qualifying final.

  15. Great call Andrew…Eagles reckon it cost them, Dons claim the extra week off killed them, Pies fans can’t see the fuss winners can laugh, losers can please themselves, I guess.

  16. Toe Poke

  17. Fraser Brown’s tackle on Dean Wallis, Prelim.(is that right?)

  18. #17 Spot on Crio

    Defensive kick could have gone to Wallis or Fletcher. It went to Wallis, who took on Fras.

    Proof there may be a God after all.

  19. #6 Phantom

    I think that’s a good call. Both the tackle and the subsequent shot were definite entries for the young bloke’s scrapbook.

    Fair return of serve. :)

  20. PF

    You are a goldmine of the obscure. #8 & #9

    Or am I displaying my ignorance?

  21. JB,

    In 1962, Carlton and Geelong played out a drawn Preliminary Final.
    In the last few seconds of the replay and with Geelong down by 5 points, Doug Wade marked directly in front of goal but was deemed to have interfered with Peter Barry in the marking contest by grabbing hold of his shorts. Barry got the free kick for ‘holding the man’.

    Late in the last quarter of the 1967 GF, Geelong’s Colin Eales was knocked over and Geelong were awarded a free kick down the field. The kick should have gone to John Sharrock (the nearest player and a great kick for goal). The kick went to Ricky Graham instead who sprayed it way to the left.



  22. Always an education PF

  23. and sometimes illuminating.

  24. Helen D’Amico

  25. JB #19,

    I only just got that back over the net. I am still in pain from that [email protected]#&%!g game and had almost forgotten that act of bastardry by young Earl. Thanks for reminding me.

    Peter #20

    The Fred Swift mark, that was so far behind the goal line that he was nearly run over by a taxi in Punt Road, being paid in the ’67 GF was significant as well.

  26. That was a bit of good luck there for Freddy (to confuse a later Dyerism).

  27. Damian Watson says

    Wanganeen’s poster in 1996 for the Bombers resulting in a one point loss to the Lions at the Gabba.

    Twiggy Dunne and Arnold Breidis in the 77′ Grand Final?

  28. Damian Watson says

    Also Anthony Rocca’s so called ‘goal’ which was adjudged a behind late in the 2002 Grand Final.

  29. Bob Pratt was a star performer for South Melbourne, and in 1935 kicked 103 goals, for the third season in a row being the VFL Leading Goalkicker.

    Following a convincing win in the second-semi final against Collingwood, when Pratt kicked six goals, South Melbourne were again considred favourite to win the premiership. However, Pratt missed the 1935 VFL Grand Final through bizarre circumestances. On the Thursday night prior to the Grand Final he was clipped by a truck carrying five tonnes of bricks moments after he stepped off a tram on High Street, Prahran. Pratt injured an ankle and lacerated both legs due to the accident and was unable to play.

    In response to the accident, the South Melbourne Record wrote:

    “The initial attack on the inhabitants of Adowa by Benito Mussolini’s invading army upon Emperor Haile Selassie, is no greater shock than that received by SMFC officials when they learned on Thursday afternoon, through the press, that Bob Pratt had been involved in a collision with a motor truck.”

    The truck driver, a South Melbourne supporter, offered Pratt a packet of cigarettes as a way of apology.

    In Pratt’s absence Collingwood won the Grand Final by 20 points.

  30. Crio.

    Whilst in recent time he’s better known as Dane’s dad, Billy Swans tackle on David Fisher just before time on in the 1980 GF is my fondest finals memory.

    Fisher had been Coburg’s match winner 12 months earlier when his brilliant chip, chase & goal ended their 51 year flag drought. Port had come from 4 goals down early in the final term and thanks to goals my their small forwards Christou (2), Evans & Ebeyer looked like they’d pinched the game.

    Fisher running into an open goal was set to repeat his magic of a year earlier was brought down in a perfect tackle in the goal square by Swan, Port cleared the ball and hung on. Good times.

    I’m feeling extremely old.

  31. Mic,
    Didn’t Billy Swan also kick an impossible goal against a gale to win another final?

  32. Crio

    Yes – 1990 GF Williamstown v Springvale. Willy were miles behind going into last quarter but stage a massive comeback which includes long goals from Ian Rickman to get them within striking distance. Swan marks on the “alleged” 50M arc and duly slots home what turns out to be the winner.

    A vastly superior GF moment, in my opinion, involving the dual Liston winner was his smother, gather and goal against Preston in 1982. PM had no right winning that one. Glad we did as it’s the last time the Borough saluted. 28 years is a long time !

  33. Andrew Fithall says

    Mic – I think you are showing your bias. The Williamstown goal by Swan was all the more remarkable given that an ex-Borough player was actually playing for Williamstown. As I have heard Bobby Skilton say – Port hate Williamstown.

  34. Mic, As an aside,Tom and I went down to Port on Sunday. What a great day. Wet, boggy, a send-off…this was classic suburban VFA footy. Poor crowd again unfortunately. Ayers gave one of his fantastic, stirring addresses and Port so nearly got there. Arguably they could have got a free on the siren for a shot at extra time. Port barrackers were in fine form. They’ve had a good year but popular opinion is that with the GF at Etihad they will forever struggle away from their comfort zone at North Port. Willy and the Roosters look the benchmarks.

  35. And I have seen Skilts under siege down at Willy…with Barry Round and Freddy Goldsmith alongside in a cracking shout. I swear I heard “Triple” tell them that the first one (Brownlow) doesn’t count!

  36. Andrew #33 – Quite true, I’d never attempt to hide my bias as I’d fail miserably. The fact Swan slotted the 1990 goal from 40/45/50 was a remarkable effort considering the pressure he was under.

    Crio #34 – With the benefit of a few days to reflect, I’m couldn’t be more rapt concerning the boys effort on Sunday. Just outstanding. Could’ve got that free in the pocket, went in with a number of first choice players ( I counted half a dozen) on the sidelines & Ayres’ 3/4 time speech was stirring, but ultimately another year passes without breaking the drought. The best two teams in Nth Ballarat & W’Town will fight it out in 11 days time – probably. Box Hill and Preston not without a chance, both of those teams will keep the favourites honest.

    Skilton came close to winning a Liston in 1972 when he was runner-up to Don McKenzie.

  37. Andrew Fithall says

    Chris – sorry to digress. I see the AFLPA has voted the MCG surface the best playing surface. Can we give Collingwood some credit here? While they play a large number of games at this venue, their propensity to stick close to the boundary has allowed the surface proper to be still in very good nick as the finals progress.

  38. Peter Flynn says

    Crio #29,

    Superb tale. I remember Pratt talking about it on WOS when I was a kid.

    Phantom #25,

    The Swift mark you mention was taken from a Goggin snap at goal. It looks to be taken over the line. Richmond led by 10 points at the time. After marking the ball, Swift played on along the Southern Stand pocket and kicked it to the half-back flank. The ball was gathered by Polinelli who kicked a point on the run. The siren then sounds.

    I reckon the Swift mark had no effect on the result. There were however other decisions that make the last quarter one of the more interesting in GF history.

  39. Peter,

    I was there as a 12 year old. Late in the last quarter Doug Wade was denied a mark that he held for so long that his hair had turned grey by the time the umpire had called play on.

    His goal and the Goggin one and the Cats win.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    I think Bill Ryan was poorly treated in the mark department as well.

    We really won by about five or six.

    I was also at the ’79 GF. From my seat in the Northern Stand I had a clear view of that out of bounds incident as I was looking directly down the line. About half a metre I would say.

  40. Peter Flynn says


    You are spot on re the contentious Doug Wade non-mark. He clearly marked it on the third bite of the cherry. Sheales did not pay it.

  41. Peter Flynn says

    A link to the 1967 GF. Last 4 minutes.

    Wade’s non-mark occurs at about 2:30.

  42. Why did you make me watch that?

  43. Correction Gigs #3 “Libbas Goal”….

  44. There seem to be a lot of “defining” moments from the 1967 Grand Final, mostly from the “we wuz robbed” brigade. Perhaps the otherwise unheralded John Ronaldson’s two breathtaking last quarter goals from the boundary line (one a drop kick, if ya don’t mind) might also rate a mention as “defining” moments from this great game.

    And, just for a bit of objectivity:

    Leon Baker’s blind turn and goal in 1984
    Darren Millane on the siren in 1990
    Peter Matera’s 60 metre running goal to put the Eagles in front in 1992
    Alistair Lynch evading a hapless Rhys Shaw and slotting a goal from the boundary in 2003
    Stewart Dew in either 2004 or 2008

  45. I can still go back to the brainspace at the ’94 game v Geelong. Last centre bounce. Only Buddha could hurt us here. Brownless has taken all of the plaudits, but how the hell the Scrays didn’t sit on Hocking still irks me. Key clearance!

  46. Stainless,

    I thought one of Ronadlson’s goals was a torpedo in the second quarter. It was certainly a long way out and from the boundary near the members.

    That Royce Hart mark was really a push in the back to Peter Walker.

  47. #46 Crio,

    I was just watching that on a Cat’s highlights dvd a few weeks ago.

    There was a little skinny chicken legs bloke in a thirty something number running around in that game. Ended up being alright for 300 odd games.

  48. Phil Manassa’s run and goal in the 1977 Grand Final is one of the best things I’ve seen.

  49. very true Dips, though the game was shot.

    SOS’ lunge on the line was critical. Adjudged a goal, the Dons then got on top.

  50. Andrew Fithall says

    #45 Chris. I watched that Dogs/Cats 1994 qualifying final the other evening while in text communication with one of the Dogs participants, Mark Hunter. I spoke to him again yesterday and he specifically mentioned that last centre bounce. It was so skewiff that Geelong (the actual ruck tap is not shown clearly on the TV) got a simple clearance. It was interesting to note the contrasting approach to defence. These days it would be everyone into one half of the ground, but back then it was still one-one-one. There was an insipid effort by a Dogs player at Centre Half Back and then Brownless’ mark was uncontested. The reason I spoke to Mark was that on reflection I might have been a bit disrespectful in some of my comments without realising the significance and the eventual outcome. Mark, after assuring me that he hadn’t been offended, said they were not really up to it that year. They got thrashed the following week and were therefore out.

    Mark hadn’t watched the game prior to the other night. Why would you? He recalled that he thought he did his hamstring in the warm-up, which is why his first kick was with his left foot. Funny to see the young Johnno and also Rohan Smith in their early days. I coach Rohan’s daughter in basketball and caught up with him on Tuesday at training. He left last Saturday’s game early because of a Collingwood suppporter sitting behind him giving it to Johnno, the “supporter” even ignoring his mates’ attempts to quieten him down. Rather than end up in the news, Rohan and family left.

  51. Peter Flynn says


    Correct re Ronaldson. The drop kick from the Smoker’s Stand flank was such a great kick, I rated it a mention in my ’09 GF report.


  52. Andrew,
    I’m not really in a position to bag Bubba for leaving early but it is sad when you have aggressive fans about…it is another of the problems of seating that you lose mobility. The alternative, blocking off supporters, is also very unsatisfactory. It was funny having Williamstown Pies supporters behind us on Saturday night. They seemed to support Collingwood and Cal Ward!

  53. Andrew Fithall says

    Cal’s mum taught three of my kids (last year I think) which is why they might have been supporting him. Living in Williamstown, you cannot avoid the Bulldogs connections everywhere. Someone should have a word to young Grant. On your feet in the TAB at the Rifle Club Hotel for four or five hours on a Saturday afternoon is not good preparation for a game of football.

  54. Jason Cloke being reported in the Prelim in 2002 and missing the Grand Final.

    The lack of his fist cost the Pies the flag.

  55. Sydney Malakellis says

    Geelong going the knuckle in the first quarter of the 89 GF.

  56. The Yates / Brereton incident in the ’89 GF was a delayed action from the last time they played.

    I have it on very good authority (ABC commentary at the time)that Mr Yates was rather crudely dealt with by Mr Brereton behind play in the third quarter when the Cats were a fair way in front.

    I hope teams go the bash against the Cats this year. That would be the season decider.

  57. Sidebottom missing the bus

  58. Nick Davis’ goal (in fact his whole last quarter) against Geelong at SCG in 05 Prelim.

    Leo Barry a week later

    Royce Hart being flattened in 1969 Grand Final (SANFL)

  59. Glenelg underachieving is an altogether different tragedy!
    BTW, they missed the minor premiership by about one percent and, with Centrals getting the break, take on the Redlegs in the Qualifying Final this weekend.

  60. Strangely, Modra’s injury, at the time seemingly fatal for his club, seems, in retrospect, to have rearranged their structures to allow two flags!!!
    I may well have cold sweats about shane Ellen again tonight!!!

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