Hawks win 1971 grand final: a ‘no-contest’ right through

By Richard Jones

Eaglehawk obliterated Golden Square in the 1971 grand final with the Hawks never allowing the Bulldogs the slightest of sniffs.

A no-contest from the opening bounce the Two Blues restricted the Dogs to just three goals for the entire day’s play.

Golden Square’s players uncharacteristically seldom challenged the Hawks’ ball carriers leading one commentator to describe them as ‘gentlemen footballers’.

Inexperience was offered up as one excuse by Square officials post-match

The Two Blues controlled play all afternoon. They had champion full-forward Greg Kennedy in superb touch in front of the big sticks right through the grand final.

He finished the day with 9.9 beside his name with eight of the nine goals lodged beside his name in the first half.

But Kennedy’s accuracy deserted him in the second half with the Advertiser match reporter commenting Kennedy should have finished with 14 or 15 goals, not nine.

Going into the grand final Advertiser and 3BO commentators had remarked that pace would be Square’s greatest weapon.

But Borough players made them look slow and they outshone their opposition from the half-back line right through the midfield, where ruckmen Mike Hammond and Bryan Clements were unbeatable, and then into the forward zone.

Two Blues rover Geoff Brown proved one of the real finds of the 1971 season.

Brown was great in both the second semi-final and the grand final and on the big day he collected 27 kicks and took nine marks.

Brown teamed superbly with pacy Neil ‘Darby’ Monro around the packs with playing coach John Ledwidge in fine touch in his key position.

Bespectacled Ian Williams was a lively midfielder, along with Brendan ‘Herbie’ Keane and Alan ‘Bruiser’ Williams.

One Square player who could hold his head high after an excellent finals series was midfielder Wayne Garner.

“He never gave up trying and was the Bulldogs’ most outstanding player in the finals series,” the Monday Addy reported.

The only other Square players the Advertiser could include in their post-grand final best were Les Holt, Peter Scarrott and Ray Byrne.

Final scores: Eaglehawk 15.21 (111) def. G. Square 3.10 (28).

Researching back through my own and old Advertiser files, the 1971 no-contest got me thinking: what one-sided grannies have I reported on.

There’s a few which stand out. In 1979 Square thrashed Hurst 21.14 to 8.15 while just two seasons later the Dragons scored a memorable 16.19 to Castlemaine’s 6.10 in a one-sided 1981 decider.

Then in 1997 Kyneton thrashed Square 18.15 to 7.14 and a few seasons on in 2011 Golden Square pummeled the hapless Two Blues side: 25.18 (168) to 5.3 (33).

Of course I’ve reported on some beauties as well: the one which stands out is the three-point 2012 grand final between Square and Gisborne.

Noted long-kicking Gardiner Reserve Bulldog Rodney Sharp, who’d been great all day, had an after-the-siren shot where a goal would have won the match for Gisborne.

Uncharacteristically Sharp’s shot ended its trajectory in the goal square where Square’s big men punched the ball clear --- and they’d won: 16.10 (106) to Gisborne’s 14.19 (103).

Back in 1978 it was another three-pointer. Spearheaded by prolific ball-winning mids brothers Mick and Denis Lenaghan Sandhurst downed Golden Square: 19.10 (124) to Golden Square’s 18.13 (121).

And although it wasn’t as close as that pair Castlemaine’s two-goal 2000 win over Kangaroo Flat also resonates with me.

The Roos were consistently inconsistent most of the afternoon.

Despite holding Hall of Famer Steven Oliver goalless they were very inaccurate as the Magpies won: 12.11 (83) to the Flat’s 9.17 (71).

They had won by a kick in 1996 but golden year 2000 –-- the start of the 21st century --- wasn’t to be the season the Roos took home their second flag in five years.

Four years before their dismal 2011 grand final loss to Golden Square the Two Blues resonated with a two-point thriller over Gisborne in the 2007 decider.

Ageless playing coach, 400-plus gamer Derrick Filo, kicked the vital last quarter major to ensure Eaglehawk won the ’07 flag.

There were still 11 minutes left on the clock when Filo sank what turned out to be the ‘sealer’ with the Bulldogs’ Richard White missing from 48 metres out --- and Gisborne never went into attack for the rest of the grannie.

Just four last stanza goals in total were landed as Eaglehawk won: 12.12 (84) to the Gardiner Reserve Dogs 12.10 (82).

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