1981 VFA season

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1981 VFA Premiership Season
Teams20
Division 1
Teams10
PremiersPort Melbourne
(14th premiership)
Minor premiersPort Melbourne
(13th minor premiership)
Division 2
Teams10
PremiersCamberwell
(2nd D2 premiership)
Minor premiersCamberwell
(2nd D2 minor premiership)
1980
1982

The 1981 Victorian Football Association season was the 100th season of the top division of the Australian rules football competition, and the 21st season of second division competition. The Division 1 premiership was won by the Port Melbourne Football Club, after it defeated Preston in the Grand Final on 20 September by 113 points; it was Port Melbourne's 14th Division 1 premiership, the second of three premierships won in a row between 1980 and 1982, and the fifth of six premierships won in nine seasons from 1974 until 1982. The Division 2 premiership was won by Camberwell; it was the club's second Division 2 premiership, and it was the last premiership ever won by the club.

Rule changes[edit]

After trialling it during the 1980 finals series, two field umpires were used during all Division 1 matches in 1981. Division 2 continued to be officiated by a single field umpire during the home-and-away season, and by two field umpires during finals.[1]

One consequence of this was that the Liston Trophy voting procedure changed. Previously, in both the Liston Trophy and Field Medal, the field umpire and each of the two goal umpires had independently awarded votes to the best two players on the ground on a 2–1 basis. This year in Division 1, each field umpire but neither of the goal umpires awarded Liston Trophy votes on the same 2–1 basis as before; in Division 2, Field Medal voting procedures were unchanged.[1]

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 Junction Oval.

Ladder[edit]

1981 VFA Division 1 Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA Pct PTS
1 Port Melbourne (P) 18 16 2 0 2833 1751 161.7 64
2 Preston 18 12 6 0 2373 1804 131.5 48
3 Sandringham 18 10 8 0 1954 1927 101.4 40
4 Frankston 18 10 8 0 2005 2089 95.9 40
5 Prahran 18 10 8 0 2032 2159 94.1 40
6 Coburg 18 9 9 0 2172 1832 118.5 36
7 Geelong West 18 8 10 0 1870 2201 84.9 32
8 Dandenong 18 7 11 0 1878 2085 88.6 28
9 Caulfield 18 5 13 0 2035 2451 83.0 20
10 Brunswick 18 3 15 0 1607 2430 66.1 12
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pct = Percentage; (P) = Premiers, PTS = Premiership points Source[2]

Finals[edit]

Semi Finals
Sunday, 30 August Sandringham 14.16 (100) def. Frankston 13.5 (83) Junction Oval (crowd: 7,785) [3]
Sunday, 6 September Port Melbourne 22.25 (157) def. Preston 12.14 (86) Junction Oval (crowd: 10,021) [4]
Preliminary Final
Sunday, 13 September Preston 28.7 (175) def. Sandringham 26.12 (168) Junction Oval (crowd: 7,171) [5]


1981 VFA Division 1 Grand Final
Sunday, 20 September Port Melbourne def. Preston Junction Oval (crowd: 20,180) [6]
6.6 (42)
9.9 (63)
19.14 (128)
 32.19 (211)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
2.1 (13)
9.4 (58)
11.8 (74)
 15.8 (98)
Umpires: Roy Groom, Barry Fitzpatrick
Cook 8, Anderson 5, Jim Christou 4, O'Riley 4, Evans 3, Goss 3, Davies 2, Ebeyer 2, Swan Goals Halas 5, Box 2, Boden, Brine, Cooper, Heard, McEwan, McGaw, Marks, Vann

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]

1981 VFA Division 2 Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA Pct PTS
1 Camberwell (P) 18 14 4 0 2417 1504 160.7 56
2 Waverley 18 13 5 0 2444 1423 171.7 52
3 Mordialloc 18 13 5 0 2139 1504 142.2 52
4 Werribee 18 12 5 1 2209 1624 136.0 50
5 Oakleigh 18 11 7 0 2271 1726 131.5 44
6 Northcote 18 11 7 0 2040 1738 117.3 44
7 Williamstown 18 9 8 1 2114 2030 104.1 38
8 Yarraville 18 4 14 0 1688 2359 71.5 16
9 Box Hill 18 2 16 0 1568 2777 56.4 8
10 Sunshine 18 0 18 0 1136 3341 34.0 0
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, 16 August Mordialloc 16.20 (116) def. Werribee 13.8 (86) Toorak Park (crowd: 3,580) [8]
Sunday, 23 August Camberwell 30.15 (195) def. Waverley 13.13 (91) Toorak Park (crowd: 5,298) [2]
Preliminary Final
Sunday, 30 August Waverley 20.15 (135) def. Mordialloc 13.16 (94) Toorak Park (crowd: 2,700) [3]


1981 VFA Division 2 Grand Final
Sunday, 6 September Camberwell def. Waverley Toorak Park (crowd: 8,250) [4]
2.3 (15)
7.10 (52)
12.11 (83)
 15.16 (106)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
1.3 (9)
3.4 (22)
8.7 (55)
 11.8 (74)
Umpires: Bill Torney, Frank Vergona
Stevenson 5, Hammond 4, Cook, Chamberlain, Davidson, Hirst, Neilson, Oliver Goals Angelis 2, Davies 2, Styles 2, Venville 2, Beddoe, Brick, Plummer

Awards[edit]

  • The leading goalkicker for the Division 2 was Peter Stevenson (Camberwell), who kicked 106 goals in the home-and-away season and 119 goals overall.[4][7]
  • The J. Field Medal was won by Brian Matthey (Oakleigh), who polled 36 votes. Matthey finished ahead of Neil Peart (Northcote), who polled 33 votes, and Adrian McClure (Waverley), who polled 29 votes.[1]
  • Camberwell won the Seconds premiership. Camberwell 18.12 (120) defeated Oakleigh 17.14 (116) in the Grand Final, played as a curtain-raiser to the senior Grand Final on 6 September.[4]

Notable events[edit]

Interleague matches[edit]

For the first time, the Association named separate representative teams for Division 1 and Division 2. The Division 1 team played a match against the Greater Northern Football League, which was a short-lived amalgamation between the Launceston-based Northern Tasmanian Football Association and the north-west coastal North Western Football Union. Division 2 played against the South Australian Football Association, a second-tier senior competition which had been formed in Adelaide in 1978.

1981 Interleague Matches
Sunday, 7 June G.N.F.L. 15.20 (110) def. V.F.A. First Division 15.10 (100) Devonport Oval [9]
Sunday, 12 July S.A.F.A. 6.3 (39) def. by V.F.A. Second Division 6.8 (44) Thebarton Oval [10]

Other notable events[edit]

  • Former Frankston president Alan Wickes became president of the Association at the annual general meeting in March 1981, challenging and defeating Cr Alex Gillon by a majority of 26–15. Gillon had served as president of the Association for 27 years since his election in 1954, and it was the first time since his election that anybody had opposed him for the office.[11] Wickes, like Gillon, was determined to prevent the Victorian Football League from playing football on Sundays in Victoria, but said he believed the Association had not done enough in recent years under Gillon to justify the state government's continuing support on the matter.[12][13]
  • On 5 April, the first round of Division 2 matches for the season, Waverley 52.31 (343) defeated Sunshine 8.5 (53).[14] Waverley's score set a new record for the highest score in Association history, breaking the previous record of 43.29 (287) set by Port Melbourne in 1941.[15] Waverley full-forward Paul Angelis kicked 23 goals in the match, the highest by any player since George Gough (Northcote) kicked 25 goals in a match in 1924.[16]
  • Geelong West's financial position deteriorated dramatically in the lead-up to the 1981 season, and early in the year a number of high-profile senior players – including full-forward Joe Radojevic and former Association representative players Tony Gilmore, Ivan Russell and Seve Woolfe – went on strike seeking payments owed from 1980.[17] The club was able to get itself out of immediate financial hardship and end the strike during the year.[18]
  • On 12 May, Caulfield rover Mark Crocker was suspended until the start of the 1983 season for spitting in field umpire Ray Groom's face.[19] Crocker maintained that he had not spit at Groom, and merely made a noise with his lips; he was still appealing the suspension as late as the beginning of the 1982 season, but the full suspension was upheld.[20]
  • On 21 June, Fred Cook (Port Melbourne) kicked his 934th career senior Association goal, passing Bob Bonnett (Port Melbourne, 933 goals) to become the leading goalkicker in Association history. Cook still holds this title as of 2018. The record-breaking goal was witnessed by 12,000 fans, the Association's highest home-and-away crowd since the mid 1970s.[21]
  • In a high-scoring and remarkable Division 1 preliminary final, Preston 28.7 (175) defeated Sandringham 26.12 (168). Preston had led the game by 65 points after twelve minutes of the third quarter, but Sandringham fought back from this huge deficit – helped in large part by Rex Hunt, who kicked seven goals in the final quarter – and took the lead late in the final quarter, before Preston steadied to win by seven points. Preston was helped by its goal-kicking accuracy, kicking 13.0 after half time.[5] Sandringham's score is one of the highest losing scores, in a final or otherwise, in top level senior football.[22]
  • Despite leading by only five points at half-time, Port Melbourne recorded the highest ever score and winning margin in a Division 1 Grand Final, 32.19 (211) and 113 points respectively.[6]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Marc Fiddian (27 August 1981). "Aanensen wins his second Liston". The Age. Melbourne. pp. 28, 27.
  2. ^ a b c Marc Fiddian (23 August 1981). "Port coasts past premiership rival". The Age. Melbourne. p. 28.
  3. ^ a b Marc Fiddian (31 August 1981). "Dolphins are sunk". The Age. Melbourne. p. 27.
  4. ^ a b c d Marc Fiddian (7 September 1981). "Bullants' bluff no match for Boroughs' brilliance". The Age. Melbourne. p. 25.
  5. ^ a b Marc Fiddian (14 September 1981). "Preston defies gallant Zebras". The Age. Melbourne. p. 33.
  6. ^ a b c d Marc Fiddian (21 September 1981). "Port storms to Grand Final record". The Age. Melbourne. p. 29.
  7. ^ a b Marc Fiddian (10 August 1981). "Tough run in for Prahran". The Age. Melbourne. p. 29.
  8. ^ Marc Fiddian (17 August 1981). "Prahran kicks on for fifth straight victory". The Age. Melbourne. p. 25.
  9. ^ "League statistics". The Age. Melbourne. 8 June 1981. p. 22.
  10. ^ David Eastman. "Other VFA representative teams – 2nd Division". Archived from the original on 15 June 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  11. ^ Santo Caruso; Marc Fiddian; Jim Main (2002), Football Grounds of Melbourne, Essendon North, VIC: Pennon Publishing, p. 21
  12. ^ Marc Fiddian (7 March 1981). "Wickes new VFA chief". The Age. Melbourne. p. 40.
  13. ^ Marc Fiddian (28 March 1981). "VFA firm on Sunday stand". The Age. Melbourne. p. 36.
  14. ^ Marc Fiddian (6 April 1981). "Vintage port drowns the Zebras". The Age. Melbourne. p. 27.
  15. ^ "none". The Age. Melbourne. 8 April 1981. p. 30.
  16. ^ Old Boy (1 September 1924). "Football – Fourth place struggle". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 13.
  17. ^ Marc Fiddian (24 April 1981). "Seven Roosters strike over pay". The Age. Melbourne. p. 22.
  18. ^ Marc Fiddian (8 September 1981). "Oakleigh potential fails to sway VFA". The Age. Melbourne. p. 45.
  19. ^ Marc Fiddian (13 May 1981). "Rover out until 1983". The Age. Melbourne. p. 30.
  20. ^ Marc Fiddian (31 March 1982). "Pledger gets 4". The Age. Melbourne. p. 34.
  21. ^ Marc Fiddian (22 June 1981). "Cook makes history as Port coasts". The Age. Melbourne. p. 25.
  22. ^ James Hothersall. "Australian Football Facts & Feats". Retrieved 14 June 2014.