1977 VFA season

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1977 VFA Premiership Season
Teams 20
Division 1
Teams 10
Premiers Port Melbourne
(12th premiership)
Minor premiers Port Melbourne
(11th minor premiership)
Division 2
Teams 10
Premiers Mordialloc
(1st D2 premiership)
Minor premiers Mordialloc
(1st D2 minor premiership)
Centenary Cup
Teams 20
Champions Port Melbourne
1976
1978

The 1977 Victorian Football Association season was the 96th season of the top division of the Australian rules football competition, and the 17th season of second division competition. The Division 1 premiership was won by the Port Melbourne Football Club, after it defeated Sandringham in the Grand Final on 25 September by 100 points; it was Port Melbourne's 12th Division 1 premiership, its second in a row, and the third of six premierships won by the club in nine seasons between 1974 and 1982. The Division 2 premiership was won by Mordialloc; it was the first and only Association premiership in either division ever won by the club.

During the season, the Association celebrated the centenary of its foundation in 1877. As part of these celebrations, the Association ran an additional competition called the Centenary Cup, which was a knock-out competition which ran concurrently with the premiership season and featured all twenty clubs from both divisions. The Centenary Cup was won by Port Melbourne.

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]

1977 VFA Division 1 Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA Pct PTS
1 Port Melbourne (P) 18 15 3 0 2325 1871 124.2 60
2 Sandringham 18 13 5 0 2231 2100 106.2 52
3 Coburg 18 11 7 0 2001 1821 109.8 44
4 Brunswick 18 11 7 0 2041 1991 102.5 44
5 Dandenong 18 10 8 0 2005 1734 115.6 40
6 Geelong West 18 10 8 0 2099 2042 102.7 40
7 Prahran 18 7 11 0 1893 2139 88.4 28
8 Caulfield 18 6 12 0 2131 2226 95.7 24
9 Preston 18 5 13 0 1993 2256 88.3 20
10 Williamstown 18 2 16 0 1696 2235 75.8 8
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, 4 September Coburg 27.11 (173) def. Brunswick 20.19 (139) St Kilda Cricket Ground (crowd: 7,496) [2]
Sunday, 11 September Port Melbourne 23.28 (166) def. Sandringham 18.7 (115) St Kilda Cricket Ground (crowd: 14,793) [3]
Preliminary Final
Sunday, 18 September Sandringham 15.23 (113) def. Coburg 16.6 (102) St Kilda Cricket Ground (crowd: 9,189) [4]


1977 VFA Division 1 Grand Final
Sunday, 25 September Port Melbourne def. Sandringham St Kilda Cricket Ground (crowd: 29,664) [5]
6.4 (40)
13.10 (88)
18.14 (122)
 23.19 (157)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
2.2 (14)
3.4 (22)
3.8 (26)
 7.15 (57)
Umpires: Graeme Marcy
Cook 9, Rasmussen 5, Christou 4, Holt 3, Clark 2 Goals Simms 2, Clark, Giles, Kennedy, Laube, Lyons

Awards[edit]

  • The leading goalkicker for the season was Fred Cook (Port Melbourne). Cook kicked a total of 155 goals in Association games during the year: 107 in home-and-away matches, 18 in two finals matches and 30 in four Centenary Cup matches. He also kicked twelve goals in two Ardath Cup matches for a senior total of 167 for the year.[1][5]
  • The J. J. Liston Trophy was won by Bill Thompson (Dandenong), who polled 56 votes. Thompson finished ahead of: Terry Wilkins (Sandringham), who finished second with 41 votes; Barry Nolan (Brunswick), who polled 27 votes but was ineligible after being suspended in the final round; and Graeme Austin (Prahran), Graeme Cliff (Caulfield) and Gary Davidson (Caulfield), who were equal third with 23 votes apiece.[6]
  • Sandringham won the seconds premiership. Sandringham 20.11 (131) defeated Coburg 15.17 (107) in the Grand Final, played as a stand-alone match on Saturday 17 September.[4]
  • Caulfield won the lightning premiership. Caulfield 4.7 (31) defeated Dandenong 4.3 (27) in the Grand Final, played as a curtain-raiser to the senior Grand Final on Sunday 25 September.[5]

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]

1977 VFA Division 2 Ladder
TEAM P W L D PF PA Pct PTS
1 Mordialloc (P) 18 14 4 0 2362 1698 139.1 56
2 Yarraville 18 14 4 0 2269 1634 138.8 56
3 Camberwell 18 14 4 0 2265 1819 124.5 56
4 Oakleigh 18 13 5 0 2354 1934 121.7 52
5 Frankston 18 11 7 0 2388 2061 113.4 44
6 Northcote 18 8 10 0 2060 1927 106.9 32
7 Werribee 18 6 12 0 1851 2247 82.3 24
8 Sunshine 18 5 13 0 1902 2204 86.2 20
9 Waverley 18 5 13 0 1769 2234 80.3 20
10 Box Hill 18 0 18 0 1450 2289 50.1 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, 21 August Camberwell 25.12 (162) def. Oakleigh 11.13 (79) Toorak Park (crowd: 8,735) [8]
Sunday, 28 August Mordialloc 15.15 (105) def. by Yarraville 19.20 (134) Toorak Park (crowd: 8,616) [1]
Preliminary Final
Sunday, 4 September Mordialloc 16.9 (105) def. Camberwell 12.15 (87) Toorak Park (crowd: 5,432) [2]


1977 VFA Division 2 Grand Final
Sunday, 11 September Yarraville def. by Mordialloc Toorak Park (crowd: 7,300) [9]
5.2 (32)
10.6 (66)
11.9 (75)
 14.11 (95)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
5.5 (35)
10.11 (71)
12.14 (86)
 19.19 (133)
Umpires: Bill Torney
Gibson 4, Bisset 3, Grandin 3, Wellington 2, Lowe, Sait Goals Neville 8, Deaton 4, Norris 2, Scott 2, Bloomfield, Guy, Johnston

Awards[edit]

  • The leading goalkicker for Division 2 was Garry Hammond (Camberwell) who kicked 129 goals across the entire season, including finals and Centenary Cup matches.[2][7][8]
  • The J. Field Medal was won by Derek King (Oakleigh), who polled 67 votes. King's 67 votes in just eighteen games, at a huge average of 3.7 votes per game, was a new record for an Association best and fairest award, beating Des Fothergill's 62 votes for the Recorder Cup and Association Medal in 1941; and, it was King's second best and fairest award in three years, having won the J. J. Liston Trophy in 1975 and placed second for it by one vote in 1976. King polled more than double the votes of Kevin Sait (Yarraville), who finished second with 30 votes, and Gary Guy (Frankston), who finished third with 27 votes.
  • Yarraville won the Seconds premiership. Yarraville 22.22 (154) defeated Sunshine 14.19 (103) in the Grand Final played as a stand-alone match on Saturday, 17 September at Northcote Park.[4]

Centenary Cup[edit]

As part of celebrations of the centenary of the Association's foundation in 1877, the Association held a special once-off tournament called the Centenary Cup. The competition was a knock-out tournament featuring all twenty clubs from both divisions, and it was held concurrently with the premiership season. To accommodate the competition, the VFA season began in March, its earliest start ever.[10] The competition was scheduled as follows:

  • The qualification round featured the bottom eight clubs from Division 2, based on 1976 finishing results. This round was held on Sunday 27 March, prior to the start of the season.[10]
  • The round of sixteen, featuring the four Division 2 qualifiers and the remaining twelve clubs, was held on Sunday 22 May, in a designated week's break in both divisions' premiership schedules.[11]
  • The quarter finals were scheduled to be played Sunday 3 July, which was a week's break in the Division 1 season but not the Division 2 season.[12] Frankston was the only Division 2 club to progress to the quarter-finals, and its match was moved to the following Wednesday night.[13]
  • The semi-finals were played on successive Wednesday nights with no interruption to the premiership season. The matches were held at the South Melbourne Cricket Ground which, other than the VFL-owned VFL Park which had only just been upgraded with light towers and to which the Association did not have access, was still Melbourne's premier night football venue.[14]
  • The Grand Final was played on Sunday, 14 August in a week's break in Division 1 premiership matches.[7]

Port Melbourne won the competition, giving it a double of the premiership and Centenary Cup for the season. It was a comfortable 71-point winner against Caulfield in the Grand Final. An official best-on-ground award was presented in the Grand Final to Fred Cook, who kicked 12.4 in Port Melbourne's dominant victory.

Qualification round
Sunday, 27 March Yarraville 23.16 (154) def. Northcote 3.2 (20) Note Yarraville Oval [15]
Sunday, 27 March Camberwell 25.12 (162) def. Waverley 11.11 (77) Camberwell Sports Ground [15]
Sunday, 27 March Frankston 12.22 (94) def. Sunshine 10.19 (79) Frankston Park [15]
Sunday, 27 March Werribee 19.17 (131) def. Box Hill 10.10 (70) Chirnside Park [15]
Round of sixteen
Sunday, 22 May Preston 18.10 (118) def. by Caulfield 18.11 (119) Note Preston City Oval [16]
Sunday, 22 May Oakleigh 10.12 (72) def. by Brunswick 16.24 (120) Oakleigh Cricket Ground [16]
Sunday, 22 May Geelong West 17.16 (118) def. Mordialloc 16.20 (106) Western Oval [16]
Sunday, 22 May Port Melbourne 22.32 (164) def. Werribee 7.19 (61) North Port Oval [16]
Sunday, 22 May Dandenong 20.19 (139) def. Camberwell 13.12 (90) Shepley Oval [16]
Sunday, 22 May Frankston 21.22 (148) def. Sandringham 19.13 (127) Frankston Park [16]
Sunday, 22 May Yarraville 15.12 (102) def. by Prahran 18.9 (117) Yarraville Oval [16]
Sunday, 22 May Coburg 23.19 (157) def. Williamstown 15.7 (97) Coburg City Oval [16]
Quarter finals
Sunday, 3 July Brunswick 8.10 (58) def. by Dandenong 10.9 (69) Gillon Oval (crowd: 1,500) [13]
Sunday, 3 July Caulfield 17.14 (116) def. Geelong West 15.16 (106) Princes Park (crowd: 1,250) [13]
Sunday, 3 July Port Melbourne 13.9 (87) def. Coburg 9.12 (66) North Port Oval (crowd: 4,500) [13]
Wednesday, 6 July (7:30pm) Prahran 31.13 (199) def. Frankston 11.13 (79) Toorak Park (crowd: 500) [17]
Semi finals
Wednesday, 3 August (7:45pm) Port Melbourne 20.17 (137) def. Prahran 7.9 (51) South Melbourne Cricket Ground (crowd: 1,954) [18]
Wednesday, 10 August (7:45pm) Caulfield 18.15 (123) def. Dandenong 13.8 (86) South Melbourne Cricket Ground (crowd: 982) [19]


1977 VFA Centenary Cup Grand Final
Sunday, 14 August Port Melbourne def. Caulfield Toorak Park (crowd: 3,000) [7]
6.6 (42)
13.10 (88)
21.11 (137)
 26.16 (172)
Q1
Q2
Q3
 Final
3.2 (20)
6.4 (40)
8.8 (56)
 15.11 (101)
Umpires: Stabb
Best on ground: Fred Cook
Cook 12, Holt 5, Christou 4, Bond 2, Anderson, Critch, Evans Goals O'Sullivan 7, Haywood 2, Milner 2, Sutherland 2, Booth, Einsiedel

Notable events[edit]

NFL Night Series[edit]

In 1977, the NFL Night Series competition, known as the Ardath Cup, was to have been contested by clubs from the VFL, SANFL and WANFL, and state representative teams from the minor states – with the competition again running mostly on Tuesday nights, and in a knock-out form. However, plans were disrupted when the VFL opted to withdraw its clubs from the competition and establish its own rival night series. To make up the shortfall of teams, the NFL invited the top four Association clubs from 1976 – Port Melbourne, Dandenong, Preston and Caulfield – to participate in the competition. It was the first time that the Association had participated in an ANFC/NFL competition in any capacity since 1969, when a clearance dispute between the Association and the League led to the Association's expulsion from the council.[20] As was normal for interleague matches, the Association clubs were forced to play under the national standard 18-a-side rules in these matches.[10]

Port Melbourne progressed the furthest in the competition, reaching the quarter finals. The Association clubs results were:

Interleague matches[edit]

The Association played one interleague representative match during the season, on Queen's Birthday weekend against Queensland – the same state that Port Melbourne had earlier beaten in Ardath Cup competition.[28] Midway through the third quarter of the match, the Association held a comfortable 41-point lead, Association 12.14 (86) vs Queensland 6.9 (45); but, Queensland recovered to kick eight of the last nine goals of the match, and won the match by seven points.[29]

1977 Interleague Matches
Sunday, 12 June Queensland 14.18 (102) def. V.F.A. 13.17 (95) Gabba [29]

Other notable events[edit]

  • ^ In the final quarter of its Centenary Cup qualification match on 27 March, Northcote brought a replacement player onto the ground while the injured David Wall was still on the arena, albeit on a stretcher. Yarraville then called for a head count, leaving Northcote with too many men on the ground; as a result, Northcote's progress score of 12.17 (89) was cancelled. Yarraville, which had been leading by a few goals and was already looking likely to win the game, ultimately recorded a very lop-sided 134-point win as a result of the penalty.[15][30]
  • ^ In their Centenary Cup match on 22 May, Caulfield and Preston were tied on 18.10 (118) apiece at the end of regulation time. Play continued under sudden death extra time, until a behind by Lou Milner secured victory for Caulfield.[16]
  • On 24 July, three separate Division 1 games were decided by one-point margins: Port Melbourne 20.22 (142) d. Prahran 21.15 (141); Sandringham 16.15 (111) d. Preston 16.14 (110); and Dandenong 11.9 (75) d. Williamstown 10.14 (74).[31]
  • In the final round of the Division 2 home-and-away season, the match between Oakleigh and Frankston directly determined which club finished fourth. To reach the finals, Frankston need to win by a large margin to overcome a percentage gap, and it started well, leading 9.5 (59) to 1.3 (9) by fifty points at quarter time to sit provisionally in the top four; but Oakleigh recovered strongly to win the game by 52 points and hold fourth place.[7]
  • Mordialloc won the Division 2 minor premiership from Yarraville by the narrow margin of only 0.3%pts; in real terms, four extra behinds during the season would have delivered Yarraville the minor premiership.[7]
  • For the second time in five seasons, Box Hill was winless in Division 2. Box Hill lost all twenty matches it played across the premiership season, Centenary Cup and lightning premiership.[7][8]
  • In the Division 1 preliminary final, Sandringham held a comfortable 57-point lead during the third quarter, 13.20 (98) vs 6.5 (41) before Coburg mounted a strong comeback in the final quarter. Coburg closed the margin to four points with ten of the next eleven goals, but Sandringham kicked the final goal and held on for a 11-point win.[4]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Marc Fiddian (29 August 1977). "Brunswick's first final in 21 years". The Age. Melbourne. p. 25. 
  2. ^ a b c Marc Fiddian (5 September 1977). "21-year wait – then out". The Age. Melbourne. p. 28. 
  3. ^ Marc Fiddian (12 September 1977). "Port takes the trophy". The Age. Melbourne. p. 33. 
  4. ^ a b c d Marc Fiddian (19 September 1977). "Lion-hearted finish fails". The Age. Melbourne. p. 28. 
  5. ^ a b c Marc Fiddian (26 September 1977). "Port's cup full". The Age. Melbourne. p. 31. 
  6. ^ Marc Fiddian (1 September 1977). "Bill runs away with Liston". The Age. Melbourne. p. 26. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Marc Fiddian (15 August 1977). "Cook kicks 12.4 to thrash Bears". The Age. Melbourne. p. 31. 
  8. ^ a b c Marc Fiddian (22 August 1977). "Cobras clean up first semi". The Age. Melbourne. p. 25. 
  9. ^ Marc Fiddian (12 September 1977). "Mordialloc's first flag". The Age. Melbourne. p. 33. 
  10. ^ a b c Marc Fiddian (26 March 1977). "Wingman drawback for VFA". The Age. Melbourne. p. 33. 
  11. ^ Marc Fiddian (20 May 1977). "Zebras extend coaches reign". The Age. Melbourne. p. 29. 
  12. ^ Marc Fiddian (2 July 1977). "Football one up on golf". The Age. Melbourne. p. 33. 
  13. ^ a b c d Marc Fiddian (4 July 1977). "Bears get a Centenary Cup berth". The Age. Melbourne. p. 31. 
  14. ^ Marc Fiddian (15 July 1977). "VFA at South". The Age. Melbourne. p. 27. 
  15. ^ a b c d e Marc Fiddian (28 March 1977). "VFA details". The Age. Melbourne. p. 26. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i Marc Fiddian (23 May 1977). "Frankston left to fly flag". The Age. Melbourne. p. 35. 
  17. ^ "Prahran's night out". The Age. Melbourne. 7 July 1977. p. 28. 
  18. ^ "Port by 86 points". The Age. Melbourne. 4 August 1977. p. 30. 
  19. ^ "Bears in Cup final". The Age. Melbourne. 11 August 1977. p. 28. 
  20. ^ Ken Knox (1 March 1977). "NFL chief hits VFL". The Age. Melbourne. p. 34. 
  21. ^ "Port by 31 points". The Age. Melbourne. 18 May 1977. p. 30. 
  22. ^ "Norwood easily". The Age. Melbourne. 22 June 1977. p. 28. 
  23. ^ Marc Fiddian (28 March 1977). "Just Dandy in the rain". The Age. Melbourne. p. 28. 
  24. ^ "Dandy done". The Age. Melbourne. 8 June 1977. p. 32. 
  25. ^ "Marshall fires Bullants". The Age. Melbourne. 6 April 1977. p. 32. 
  26. ^ "Preston thrashed". The Age. Melbourne. 25 May 1977. p. 31. 
  27. ^ "Caulfield downed in VFL game". The Age. Melbourne. 20 April 1977. p. 30. 
  28. ^ Marc Fiddian (11 June 1977). "VFA faces harder task this time". The Age. Melbourne. p. 33. 
  29. ^ a b "Queensland's sunniest hour". The Age. Melbourne. 13 June 1977. p. 29. 
  30. ^ Fiddian, Marc (2004), The VFA: a history of the Victorian Football Association, 1877–1995, p. 41 
  31. ^ Marc Fiddian (25 July 1977). "Thrills for VFA fans". The Age. Melbourne. p. 31.