1982 Escort Championships

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The 1982 Escort Championships (also known as the Escort Cup) was an Australian rules football knock out tournament held between March and July 1982. The tournament was organised by Australian Football Championships, and was contested by teams from the Victorian Football League, South Australian National Football League and West Australian Football League. The tournament was won by the SwansN 1, who defeated North Melbourne in the Grand Final.


The 1982 Escort Championships was the sixth season of the national night premiership competition. The size of the competition was reduced to 18 teams in 1982, after 34 teams had competed in each of 1980 and 1981.[1] The competing teams were all twelve VFL teams, and three teams each from the SANFL and WAFL, who qualified based on their league finishing positions in 1981.

The format for the competition was a simple knock-out tournament. The twelve VFL clubs and the 1981 premiers from both the SANFL and WAFL qualified directly for the round of sixteen; the remaining four qualifiers from the SANFL and WAFL started from the preceding elimination round. With the exception of the initial elimination round, all matches were played at VFL Park on Tuesday nights. Matches were televised. The tournament was mostly played concurrently with the premiership season, although some early matches were played during the preseason.


Elimination Round[edit]

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
Swan Districts 21.14 (140) Glenelg 15.12 (102) Subiaco Oval Saturday, 13 March [2]
Norwood 10.12 (72) South Fremantle 18.16 (124) Football Park Saturday, 13 March [3]

Round of sixteen[edit]

Winning team Winning team score Losing team Losing team score Ground Crowd Date
Fitzroy 12.13 (85) Geelong 7.8 (50) VFL Park Tuesday, 9 March [4]
Carlton 14.16 (100) Port Adelaide 5.6 (36) VFL Park 6,220 Tuesday, 16 March [5]
Melbourne 12.12 (84) Hawthorn 6.5 (41) VFL Park 6,859 Tuesday, 23 March [6]
North Melbourne 18.13 (121) Claremont 11.11 (77) VFL Park 4,552 Tuesday, 6 April [7]
Swan Districts 13.9 (87) Collingwood 11.11 (77) VFL Park 6,504 Tuesday, 20 April [8]
Richmond 10.6 (66) Essendon 2.6 (18) VFL Park 6,958 Tuesday, 27 April [9]
St Kilda 16.14 (110) Footscray 6.11 (47) VFL Park 4,628 Tuesday, 4 May [10]
South MelbourneN 1 24.16 (160) South Fremantle 6.9 (45) VFL Park 4,752 Tuesday, 11 May [11]

Quarter Finals[edit]

Winning team Winning team score Losing team Losing team score Ground Crowd Date
Carlton 12.14 (86) Fitzroy 12.8 (80) VFL Park 7,063 Tuesday, 25 May [12]
North Melbourne 11.16 (82) Melbourne 10.10 (70) VFL Park 4,228 Tuesday, 1 June [13]
The SwansN 1 8.11 (59) St Kilda 7.9 (51) VFL Park 4,761 Tuesday, 8 June [14]
Richmond 33.16 (214) Swan Districts 4.4 (28) VFL Park 2,688 Tuesday, 22 June [15]

Semi Finals[edit]

Winning team Winning team score Losing team Losing team score Ground Crowd Date
North Melbourne 13.12 (90) Carlton 8.13 (61) VFL Park 5,642 Tuesday, 29 June [16]
The SwansN 1 13.17 (95) Richmond 6.6 (42) VFL Park 4,955 Tuesday, 6 July [17]


Winning team Winning team score Losing team Losing team score Ground Crowd Date
The SwansN 1 13.12 (90) North Melbourne 8.10 (58) VFL Park 20,028 Tuesday, 20 July [18]

Notable events[edit]

Swan Districts controversy[edit]

The WAFL's Swan Districts Football Club generated controversy when it sent a team of reserves and colts players to contest its quarter-final against Richmond in protest at the rescheduling of the match. The match had already been pushed back from 1 June to 8 June to accommodate an interstate match between South Australia and Victoria on Monday 17 May. Then, after South Melbourne and St Kilda both qualified for the quarter-finals, it happened that those teams would be playing two televised matches against each other inside three days: a league match on Sunday 20 June in Sydney, then the Escort Cup match on Tuesday 22 June. This was unfavourable for the teams; and in a time when few football matches were broadcast live, it was also unfavourable for the television sponsors. As such, the AFC moved the Swans-St Kilda match to 8 June and the Swan Districts-Richmond match to 22 June.[19]

Swan Districts was unhappy with the way the reschedule occurred. The club was not consulted prior to the AFC announcing the reschedule, and it affected arrangements that the club had already made for a social club function on the night of 8 June. Additionally, the 8 June timing was located between league matches against the WAFL's bottom two teams; but, the 22 June timing was located between league matches against the second- and third-placed teams – and, being placed first at the time, Swan Districts was worried about the effect of a mid-week match in Melbourne upon its WAFL premiership aspirations.[19] More generally, Swan Districts coach John Todd was already a vocal critic of the dominance of Victorian influence in the administration of the game at a national level, and he was unhappy at seeing his club treated in a way in which he did not believe a Victorian club would have been treated.[20]

When the reschedule was first announced on 19 May, Swan Districts considered forfeiting the match.[19] On 1 June, the club announced that it had decided that it would send a full-strength team to the match.[21] But, two days before the match, it reneged on this promise, and sent an inexperienced team of reserves and colts players, only two of which had played seniors the previous weekend, and which had a total of 69 senior games' experience across its 21 members.[22] Unsurprisingly, the inexperienced team was completely uncompetitive against Richmond – which was at that time on top of the VFL ladder – and lost the match by 186 points.

The following month, the AFC banned Swan Districts from competing in the Escort Championships until 1985 as punishment for the controversy.[23]

Other notable events[edit]

  • Due to a guernsey clash, Collingwood wore a white guernsey with a black yoke instead of its normal white and black stripes in its match against Swan Districts.[8]
  • The quarter-final between the Swans and St Kilda was played in a heavy fog. Swans coach Ricky Quade was unable to see the action from the coaches' box, and visibility on the field was reportedly only about six metres. The ground developed frost as the game went on, also affecting handling skills.[14]
  • For the first time in Escort Cup history, a championship flag was awarded to the winning team in addition to a trophy.[24]

See also[edit]


1.^ During 1982, the South Melbourne Football Club was in transition as it moved to Sydney to become the Sydney Swans. Although it played all of its premiership season home games in Sydney in 1982, the club was still known as South Melbourne until 2 June, after which it was known as simply the Swans.[25] It formally became the Sydney Swans prior to the 1983 season.


  1. ^ Rodgers, Stephen (1992), Every Game Ever Played: VFL/AFL Results, 1897–1991 (3rd ed.), Ringwood, VIC: Viking O'Neil, pp. 629, 641, 653 
  2. ^ Young, Doug (15 March 1982). "Swans link up neatly". The West Australian. Perth. p. 95. 
  3. ^ "Speedy South down Norwood". The West Australian. Perth. 15 March 1982. p. 95. 
  4. ^ Matthews, Bruce (10 March 1982). "Lions draw first blood!". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 
  5. ^ Doran, Michael (17 March 1982). "True blue win!". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 
  6. ^ Simunovich, Peter (24 March 1982). "Demon night burst". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). Melbourne. 
  7. ^ "Phil shows North the way". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 7 April 1982. 
  8. ^ a b "The Pies crash". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 21 April 1982. 
  9. ^ Simunovich, Peter (28 April 1982). "Bombers in nose-dive". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 
  10. ^ Matthews, Bruce (5 May 1982). "Bulldogs crushed". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 
  11. ^ "Swans on a goal spree". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 12 May 1982. 
  12. ^ Horan, Michael (26 May 1982). "Five umps report Walls". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 
  13. ^ Matthews, Bruce (2 June 1982). "Roos ride out a late night fright". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 
  14. ^ a b Simunovich, Peter (9 June 1982). "Swans home in fog". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 
  15. ^ Davis, Michael (23 June 1982). "Aylett blast for WA club". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 68. 
  16. ^ Horan, Michael (30 June 1982). "Goodnight Blues!". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). Melbourne. pp. 72 & 69. 
  17. ^ Matthews, Bruce (7 July 1982). "Swans crush Tigers". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). Melbourne. p. 84. 
  18. ^ Davis, Michael (21 July 1982). "Swans are home!". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). Melbourne. p. 80. 
  19. ^ a b c Simunovich, Peter (20 May 1982). "WA club's cup anger". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). p. 70. 
  20. ^ Prior, Tom (16 July 1982). "WA's hot gospeller Toddy..". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). p. 70. 
  21. ^ Matthews, Bruce (2 June 1982). "Swan Districts 'yes' to match". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). p. 79. 
  22. ^ Davis, Michael (23 June 1982). "A night farce!". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). p. 76. 
  23. ^ Prior, Tom (22 July 1982). "Banished... to the West". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). p. 63. 
  24. ^ Prior, Tom (22 July 1982). "A flag to fly in Sydney". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.). Melbourne, VIC. p. 62. 
  25. ^ Simunovich, Peter (3 June 1982). "The Swans – officially". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 67.