Grand Final 1959

Grand Final, 1959
Melbourne vs Essendon
Saturday 26 September
Venue: MCG
Attendance: 103,506

Match Statistics

Melbourne win by 37 points

Goalkickers: Ron Barassi 4, Alan Rowarth 4, Frank Adams 3, Robert C Johnson 3, Hassa Mann 1, Ian Ridley 1, Geoff Tunbridge 1

Last Game
Peter Brenchley
Dick Fenton-Smith

50 Games
Dick Fenton-Smith

Stung by their loss in the 1958 Grand Final, the Demons struck back to finish on top of the ladder for the fifth straight year. Essendon had been fourth, and when the Demons thrashed Carlton by 44 points in the Semi Final they confirmed themselves as red hot premiership favourites.

Ron Barassi had been the only concern with a thigh injury which had forced him off late in the semi, but he had been passed fit. Peter Brenchley was called up to the team at the expense of Neil Crompton. Don Williams had been dropped to the bench when the club discovered he was negotiating for a move to West Perth. It was his last game for the club until 1964.

The first quarter gave no indication that the Bombers were going to lie down, they used their pace to dominant procedings but kicked poorly and only led by 13 points. Norm Smith, realising that his side was in danger of being burnt off by their pacy opponents, instructed his players to hit their opponents hard and often. It took them some time to get on top, but eventually Melbourne's physical superiority and finals experience won out.

With the Bombers leading just minutes before half-time it was Ron Barassi who dragged his side back into the match with three goals. The first was a miracle snap before two strong marks put his side in front at the long break. The momentum had seemingly swung their way. Essendon weren't ready to go away though, they stayed in touch and then took the lead. It was only two time-on goals by Bob Johnson that let Melbourne take a six point lead into the last term.

By then Essendon had run themselves into the ground. Smith had gambled on the Bombers fading and had protected John Lord and Bob Johnson for the whole day - with their introduction into the ruck the last quarter was a procession. Dick Fenton-Smith was given the instruction to run himself into the ground with his final spell for the club before giving way to Don Williams, and the play worked to perfection.

1959 saw the Premiership Cup introduced for the first time, giving John Beckwith the honour of being the first captain to ever do a lap of honour with the cup.

Best were Barassi, McLean and Johnson. In addition to Fenton-Smith being replaced by Williams, Rowarth (bruised thigh) was replaced by Brenchley in the last quarter.


B: John Beckwith (c), Tassie Johnson, John Lord
HB: Geoff Case, Dennis Jones, Ian Thorogood
C: Ian McLean, Laurie Mithen, Brian Dixon
HF: Geoff Tunbridge, Clyde Laidlaw, Hassa Mann
F: Ron Barassi, Alan Rowarth, Ian Ridley
R: Bob Johnson, Dick Fenton-Smith, Frank Adams
S: Don Williams, Peter Brenchley
Coach: Norm Smith

Age - 23/09/1959
Age - 28/09/1959
Age - 28/09/1959
Football Record 1959 Grand Final

1959 Premiership

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Tuesday 10 December 2019 12:16:50 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 18)

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