1930 VFA season

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1930 VFA premiership season
Teams 12
Premiers Oakleigh
(1st premiership)
Minor premiers Oakleigh
(1st minor premiership)
← 1929
1931 →

The 1930 Victorian Football Association season was the 52nd season of the Australian rules football competition. The premiership was won by the Oakleigh Football Club, after it defeated Northcote by nine points in the Final on 27 September – a match which was notorious for several violent clashes instigated by Northcote players. It was the club's first VFA premiership, achieved in only its second season of senior competition.


In 1929, the Association had accommodated its expansion to twelve clubs by extending the home-and-home season to twenty-two games. In 1930, the Association opted to play its home-and-home season in two sections:[1]

  • All twelve teams played the first section of eighteen matches, with the unbalanced fixture seeing teams play some teams twice and others once.
  • After eighteen matches, the bottom four teams were eliminated and the top eight played a further two home-and-home matches.
    • In the first week, first played second, third played fourth, fifth played sixth and seventh played eighth.
    • In the second week, the winners from the first week played against the other winners, and the losers from the first week played against the other losers.
    • If the teams had played each other only once, then the match was played at the home ground of the away team from the previous fixture; if they had played twice, the home venue was selected at random.
  • Then, the top four clubs based on the results from all twenty matches contested a finals series under the amended Argus system to determine the premiers for the season.

The Association abandoned the practice of playing finals on different neutral Association grounds in 1930, and secured the North Melbourne Recreation Reserve, home of the League's North Melbourne Football Club, for all finals. The move was unpopular with the city councils of Port Melbourne, Brunswick and Coburg, which had spent a lot of money bringing their grounds up to the necessary standards for finals football, and attendances at North Melbourne were ultimately poor compared with previous seasons; so, in 1931 the Association reverted to staging finals at different Association venues.[2] The incident was a prelude to the massive dispute between the Association and the councils which erupted in 1934 over the use of Olympic Park as a central ground.


1930 VFA Ladder
1 Oakleigh (P) 20 16 4 0 1846 1396 75.6 64
2 Northcote 20 15 5 0 1992 1383 69.4 60
3 Williamstown 20 13 7 0 1766 1549 87.7 52
4 Yarraville 20 12 8 0 1701 1474 86.7 48
5 Port Melbourne 20 10 9 1 1560 1557 99.8 42
6 Preston 20 10 9 1 1629 1672 102.6 42
7 Brighton 20 10 10 0 1792 1698 94.8 40
8 Coburg 20 9 9 2 1616 1544 95.5 40
9 Brunswick 18 7 11 0 1375 1521 110.6 28
10 Prahran 18 6 12 0 1345 1691 132.4 24
11 Camberwell 18 5 13 0 1345 1605 119.3 20
12 Sandringham 18 1 17 0 1386 2195 158.4 4
Key: P = Played, W = Won, L = Lost, D = Drawn, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pct = Percentage; (P) = Premiers, PTS = Premiership points Source[3]


Semi Finals
Saturday, 13 September Northcote 9.11 (65) def. Yarraville 5.11 (41) North Melbourne Recreation Reserve (crowd: 7,000) [4]
Saturday, 20 September Oakleigh 11.10 (76) def. Williamstown 6.15 (51) North Melbourne Recreation Reserve (crowd: 12,000) [5]

1930 VFA final[edit]

The final match, played in rainy conditions, was marred by a number of violent onfield incidents which culminated in a pitch invasion. Many players, mostly from Northcote, took an unduly rough approach to the match, and regularly kicked, punched and elbowed opponents. Nott of Oakleigh was kicked in the face in the second quarter, and fistfights broke out on the ground in the third quarter. In the final quarter, a Northcote player knocked out an Oakleigh opponent with his elbow; the trainers who came to the Oakleigh player's aid was punched by another Northcote player. This was the trigger for several hundred spectators to invade the field and engage in a melee, delaying the game by several minutes.[6] Only two players were reported on the day, both Northcote players for incidents in the final quarter.[7]

At the next general meeting in October, the Oakleigh club delegate told the Association that he believed almost the entire Northcote team should have been reported, and that it was the roughest game he had ever seen. Other delegates agreed that the on-field conduct of its players had disgraced the Northcote Football Club and the Association, and that it was one of the worst exhibitions of football they had seen; Oakleigh players were also lauded for their restraint during the match. Northcote president, Mr F. Traynor, agreed that his players' actions were unseemly, but told the Association that his players' motivation for the violence was in retribution to violence they had received from Oakleigh players in the clubs' previous match.[8] Following an inquiry, the Association suspended Milne (Northcote) for the entire 1931 season; advised that it would not re-appoint any of the five match umpires (field umpire McKinnon, and the two goal umpires and boundary umpires) nor the seven members of the umpires' committee who were present at the match for the following season. Rowe (Northcote), Rudolph (Oakleigh) and some other club officials were also censured for their rough play.[9]

1930 VFA Final
Saturday, 27 September Oakleigh def. Northcote North Melbourne Recreation Reserve (crowd: 8,000) [7]
5.1 (31)
5.1 (31)
8.5 (53)
 9.6 (60)
1.1 (7)
5.4 (34)
6.5 (41)
 7.9 (51)
Umpires: McKinnon
Fraser 4, Withers 2, Goding, Dolan, Opray Goals Seymour 3, Briggs 2, Brown, Stockdale
Goding (concussion), Nott (broken nose), Dolan (tooth), O'Neill (tooth), Wiltshire (torn leg muscle) Injuries
Reports Wilson, for elbowing Goding in the final quarter
Milne, for unseemly conduct in the final quarter
  • Had Northcote won, minor premiers Oakleigh would have been entitled to a rematch the following Saturday to decide the premiership.


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Rover (25 August 1930). "Association – End of first round". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 15.
  2. ^ "Association finals". The Argus. Melbourne. 3 October 1930. p. 12.
  3. ^ a b Rover (8 September 1930). "Association – Oakleigh minor premiers". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 13.
  4. ^ a b c Rover (15 September 1930). "Association semi-final". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 13.
  5. ^ Rover (22 September 1930). "Association – Williamstown's mistakes". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 15.
  6. ^ "Disgraceful football – Oakleigh v. Northcote". The Argus. Melbourne. 29 September 1930. p. 9.
  7. ^ a b Rover (29 September 1930). "Association Final – Oakleigh premiers". The Argus. Melbourne. p. 15.
  8. ^ "Rough football – Association final match". The Argus. Melbourne. 14 October 1930. p. 9.
  9. ^ "Rough Football – severe penalties". The Argus. Melbourne. 18 November 1930. p. 10.
  10. ^ "Sporting results all over Australia". Referee. Sydney, NSW. 8 October 1930. p. 13.
  11. ^ "Today's Sport – Football". The Argus. Melbourne. 4 October 1930. p. 15.