1972 VFA season

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1972 VFA Premiership season
Division 1
Teams 10
Premiers Oakleigh
(6th premiership)
Minor premiers Oakleigh
(4th minor premiership)
Division 2
Teams 10
Premiers Geelong West
(3rd D2 premiership)
Minor premiers Geelong West
(1st D2 minor premiership)
1971
1973

The 1972 Victorian Football Association season was the 91st season of the top division of the Australian rules football competition, and the twelfth season of second division competition. The Division 1 premiership was won by the Oakleigh Football Club, after it defeated Dandenong in the Grand Final on 24 September by 44 points; it was Oakleigh's sixth and final Division 1 premiership. The Division 2 premiership was won by Geelong West, which went undefeated through the season with an overall record of 20–0, becoming the first team since North Melbourne in 1918 to complete a perfect season; overall, it was the club's third Division 2 premiership.

Division 1[edit]

The Division 1 home-and-away season was played over 18 rounds; the top four then contested the finals under the Page–McIntyre system. The finals were played at the St Kilda Cricket Ground.

Ladder[edit]

1972 VFA Division 1 Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA Pct PTS
1 Oakleigh (P) 18 13 5 0 2315 1942 119.2 52
2 Dandenong 18 11 6 1 2039 1963 103.8 46
3 Williamstown 18 11 7 0 2022 1821 111.0 44
4 Preston 18 11 7 0 2050 1929 106.2 44
5 Port Melbourne 18 10 7 1 2076 1902 109.1 42
6 Sunshine 18 8 10 0 2051 1969 104.2 32
7 Sandringham 18 8 10 0 1941 2043 95.0 32
8 Coburg 18 6 12 0 1895 2082 91.0 24
9 Prahran 18 6 12 0 1849 2134 86.6 24
10 Waverley 18 5 13 0 1764 2217 79.5 20
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pct = Percentage; (P) = Premiers, PTS = Premiership points Source[1]

Finals[edit]

Semi Finals
Sunday, 3 September Williamstown 22.19 (151) def. Preston 19.17 (131) St Kilda Cricket Ground (crowd: 15,000) [2]
Sunday, 10 September Oakleigh 27.15 (177) def. Dandenong 16.19 (115) St Kilda Cricket Ground (crowd: 13,000) [3]
Preliminary Final
Sunday, 17 September Dandenong 22.14 (146) def. Williamstown 11.16 (82) St Kilda Cricket Ground (crowd: 10,000) [4]


1972 VFA Division 1 Grand Final
Sunday, 24 September Oakleigh def. Dandenong St Kilda Cricket Ground (crowd: 22,400) [5]
4.6 (30)
11.12 (78)
15.13 (103)
 25.17 (167)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
2.6 (18)
8.8 (56)
13.14 (92)
 18.15 (123)
Umpires: Hayes
Murnane 7, Johnson 5, Taylor 4, Barrot 2, Carr 2, J. Lilley 2, Colcott, Ford, Robbins Goals Miller 9, Flaherty 4, Hibbert 2, Davies, Ellis, Shinners
Wenn, for striking Miller in the first quarter
West, for striking Miller in the first quarter
West, for striking Ellis in the third quarter
Reports Miller, for striking Wenn in the first quarter

Awards[edit]

Division 2[edit]

The Division 2 home-and-away season was played over eighteen rounds; the top four then contested the finals under the Page–McIntyre system; all finals were played on Sundays at Toorak Park.

Ladder[edit]

1972 VFA Division 2 Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA Pct PTS
1 Geelong West (P) 18 18 0 0 2696 1517 177.7 72
2 Caulfield 18 15 3 0 2377 1694 140.3 60
3 Brunswick 18 11 7 0 1940 1938 100.1 44
4 Yarraville 18 9 8 1 2087 1989 104.9 38
5 Northcote 18 9 9 0 1846 1973 93.5 36
6 Camberwell 18 7 11 0 2081 2197 94.7 36
7 Box Hill 18 6 12 0 1969 2099 93.8 24
8 Mordialloc 18 6 12 0 1547 2371 65.2 24
9 Frankston 18 5 13 0 2018 2141 94.2 20
10 Werribee 18 3 14 1 1783 2425 73.5 12
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pct = Percentage; (P) = Premiers, PTS = Premiership points Source[7]

Finals[edit]

Semi Finals
Sunday, 20 August Brunswick 14.19 (103) def. by Yarraville 15.16 (106) Toorak Park [8]
Sunday, 27 August Geelong West 17.18 (120) def. Caulfield 17.13 (115) Toorak Park (crowd: 9,000) [1]
Preliminary Final
Sunday, 3 September Caulfield 31.23 (209) def. Yarraville 16.11 (107) Toorak Park (crowd: 5,000) [2]


1972 VFA Division 2 Grand Final
Sunday, 10 September Geelong West def. Caulfield Toorak Park (crowd: 10,000) [3]
4.1 (25)
7.10 (52)
10.13 (73)
 14.16 (100)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
2.5 (17)
3.5 (23)
13.7 (85)
 14.10 (94)
Umpires: Torney
McLean 3, M. Browne 2, R. Browne 2, Harris 2, Colley, Gilles, Irvin, Linke, Manson Goals Williams 5, R. Brown 2, Guinane 2, Baker, Cliff, Hamblin, Hocking, Logan
Reports Renownden, for striking Manson in the first quarter
Hocking, for striking Deeath in the second quarter

Awards[edit]

  • The leading goalkicker for Division 2 was Graeme McLean (Geelong West) who kicked 129 goals in the home-and-away season,[9] and 137 goals overall.[1][3] McLean's total was the highest by any player in a season since Ron Todd kicked 188 goals in 1945.
  • The J. Field Medal was won by Wayne Schimmelbusch (Brunswick), who polled 39 votes. Schimmelbusch finished ahead of Ron Brown (Yarraville), who finished second with 36 votes, and John Knott (Yarraville), who finished third with 27 votes.[10]
  • Brunswick won the Seconds premiership for the second consecutive season. Brunswick 19.14 (128) defeated Frankston 12.16 (88) in the Grand Final,[11] held as a stand-alone match on Saturday 9 September at Northcote Park.[1]

Notable events[edit]

Geelong West's perfect season[edit]

Geelong West won all twenty games it played during the 1972 season, becoming the third team to complete a perfect season in Association history. It was the first time the feat had been achieved since North Melbourne in 1918, and the last time it was achieved until Port Melbourne in 2011. Geelong West entered the season after being relegated from Division 1 at the end of 1971, although it was not disgraced during that season, as its win-loss record of 6–12 was at the time the best ever for a wooden-spooner.[12] Geelong West's Thirds team was also unbeaten during the 1972 season.[13]

Geelong West's unbeaten record hides the fact that it was very evenly matched with runners-up Caulfield; three of Geelong West's four wins against Caulfield, including both finals, were by a goal or less:

  • In the home-and-away match on 11 June, which attracted a ground record crowd estimated to be between 10,000 and 12,000 to Geelong's Western Oval, Geelong West 17.10 (112) d. Caulfield 15.18 (108) after Brown for Caulfield missed a set shot for goal on or after the final siren.[14][15]
  • In the second semi-final, Caulfield led Geelong West by one point at the very end of the game. Geelong West ruckman Alex Andjelkovic, who had come on in the final quarter as the 17th man, marked 25-35 yards from goal with seconds remaining; his kick after the siren, an ugly kick with which he also accidentally took a divot out of the ground, just went through for a goal to give Geelong West a five-point victory, Geelong West 17.18 (120) d. Caulfield 17.13 (115).[16]
  • In the Grand Final, Geelong West led by 29 points at half time. Caulfield came from behind, scored ten goals to three in the third quarter, with John Williams kicking the first four of those from his first four kicks of the quarter, to lead by 12 points at three-quarter time, but Geelong West fought back in the final quarter to take a six-point lead. Ernie Baker had the chance to tie the game for Caulfield and force a replay, when he was awarded a free kick from 35yds out on an angle in the 32nd minute; his kick was accurate but fell short to be marked in the goal-square, and the siren sounded soon after; Geelong West 14.16 (100) d. Caulfield 14.10 (94).[3]

Lightning premiership[edit]

In 1972, the Association established a post-season lightning premiership, contested by the twelve teams which did not reach the finals (six from each division). Matches were played as curtain-raisers to senior finals matches on Sundays, and were played at half the length of a normal match over two periods of play. The format of the competition was knock-out, and was arranged such that the Division 1 teams competed separately to the Division 2 teams up to the semi-final stage; then, the semi-final stage was contested by three Division 1 teams and one Division 2 team. The post-season lightning premiership was contested from 1972 until 1979.[17]

Other notable events[edit]

  • Prior to the season, Port Melbourne recruited two of the greatest players in the history of Australian rules football: Bob Skilton and Ron Barassi.[18] Both players were later among the twelve inaugural Legends inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996, and Skilton was a three-time Brownlow Medallist in the Victorian Football League; so that both were playing alongside each other at Port Melbourne was a substantial recruiting coup for the Association. The two recruits had very different experiences at Port Melbourne: Skilton, 33 years old and recruited from South Melbourne, was still a top class player, and he finished third in the J. J. Liston Trophy voting, only six votes short of victory, despite playing only 11 of Port Melbourne's 18 games due to business commitments;[6] conversely, Barassi was 36 years old and had been a non-playing coach at Carlton for the previous 2½ years, and he managed only four games before a hamstring injury forced his retirement.[19]
  • On 9 July, Lyall Henriksen (Dandenong) was reported for assaulting field umpire Andrew Craig, striking him first in the back, then in the stomach as Craig approached to report him. He was suspended until the start of the 1974 season for the incident.[20]
  • Early in the final quarter of the game between Oakleigh and Port Melbourne on 20 August, Phil Fryer (Oakleigh) ran into the behind post and snapped it at its base. After a five-minute delay in which no viable repair strategy was developed, an Oakleigh official was assigned to stand on the boundary line and hold the broken post in position for the rest of the game.[8]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Geoffrey Fithall (28 August 1972). "And Port Melbourne misses 'four'". The Age. Melbourne. p. 21. 
  2. ^ a b c Geoffrey Fithall (4 September 1972). "Seagulls take sting out of Preston". The Age. Melbourne. p. 17. 
  3. ^ a b c d Geoffrey Fithall (11 September 1972). "Oakleigh beats Dandenong by 62 points". The Age. Melbourne. p. 22. 
  4. ^ a b Geoffrey Fithall (18 September 1972). "Seagulls not in the race". The Age. Melbourne. p. 25. 
  5. ^ a b Geoffrey Fithall (25 September 1972), "'Big Bob' retires as player", The Age, Melbourne, p. 25 
  6. ^ a b Jim Robb (31 August 1972). "Sunshine captain shock Liston winner". The Age. Melbourne. p. 25. 
  7. ^ Geoffrey Fithall (14 August 1972). "10 reports: umpires get tough". The Age. Melbourne. p. 23. 
  8. ^ a b Geoffrey Fithall (21 August 1972). "Loss keeps Port out of four once more". The Age. Melbourne. p. 17. 
  9. ^ Geoffrey Fithall (12 August 1972). "All eyes on Geelong West clash". The Age. Melbourne. p. 28. 
  10. ^ "Award to Brunswick". The Age. Melbourne. 17 August 1972. p. 28. 
  11. ^ Stephen Phillips (11 September 1972). "Record kicked in semi". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 50. 
  12. ^ Terry O'Halloran (30 August 1971). "Roosters win, but relegated". The Age. Melbourne. p. 21. 
  13. ^ ""Recruit" wins it for West". Geelong Advertiser. Melbourne. 12 June 1972. p. 12. 
  14. ^ "Caulfield go down by four". Southern Cross. Caulfield, VIC. 14 June 1972. p. 27. 
  15. ^ "Quarter fightback gives West a double". Geelong Advertiser. Melbourne. 11 September 1972. p. 12. 
  16. ^ "West sneaks into final". Geelong Advertiser. Geelong, VIC. 28 August 1972. p. 12. 
  17. ^ David Eastman (2013). "VFA – non-premiership matches". Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Zunneberg quits Lions to play with Preston". The Age. Melbourne. 21 April 1972. p. 26. 
  19. ^ Geoffrey Fithall (1 July 1972). "Still hope for Port". The Age. Melbourne. p. 27. 
  20. ^ Stephen Phillips (12 July 1972). "Player outed until 1974...". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 80.