Welcome to the first of our series about Grand Final scoreboards. This week we feature Grand Finals from 1977 (the Victorian Football League, now the AFL), 1986 (Western Australian Football League), 1990 (the Tasmanian Football League) and 1998 (the Victorian Football League, formerly the VFA) .
1977 Victorian Football League, Melbourne Cricket Ground
There have only been three drawn Grand Finals in VFL/AFL history – 1948, 1977 and 2010. Artist and football lover Jim Pavlidis says of this etching: “My feeling for that 1977 scoreboard is it’s utilitarian nature. Its essentially a cricket scoreboard, but unlike the home and away matches where the board would show results from other games and horse racing, this one is concerned only with the scores of the reserves and seniors Grand Final. And the fact that the teams’ names are abbreviated is very evocative for me. No bells and whistles needed, the occasion itself is enough to create the atmosphere, unlike today where the endless promotions and noise suggest we need to be whipped up into a frenzy to appreciate the occasion.”
The old MCG scoreboard is now at Manuka Oval, Canberra.
1986 Western Australian Football League, Subiaco Oval
The 1986 WAFL grand final signalled the end of an era in WA footy. In 1987 the Eagles joined the VFL and the WAFL became a second tier competition.
In 1985 East Fremantle beat Subiaco by five points and the same teams fronted up in 1986. The Sharks went the thump but the Lions got the jump and it was all over by half time.
The Subiaco team included future West Coast premiership players Dwayne Lamb and Karl Langdon and VRC handicapper Greg Carpenter while East Fremantle had Chris Mainwaring, Gerard Neesham, Michael Brennan and Peter Wilson. It was the 316th game for Peter Featherby (Subiaco) and the 303rd for Brian Peake (East Fremantle).
Subiaco 19.16 (130) East Fremantle 8.13 (61).
Premiership coach: Haydn Bunton. Simpson Medal: Mark Zanotti (S).
1990 Tasmanian Football League, North Hobart
Hobart defeated North Launceston by nearly ten goals, with the final scores – though hard to read – being 19.16 (130) to 10.12 (72). Note that the clock must be in the midst of re-winding (unless the TFL had a mercy rule with ten minutes left to play). The dodgy lights in the scoreboard have since been replaced.
1998 Victorian Football League (Reserves), Port Melbourne
Photo courtesy of North Ballarat Football Club
North Ballarat reserves defeated Frankston 14.9 (93) to 6.4 (40) on 20 September 1998, becoming the first country team to win a VFL flag. The victorious Roosters were skippered by Shaun Holloway and coached by John Vallance. The Roosters’ senior team went on to win a hat-trick of VFL flags in 2008-09-10.