Grand Final 1960

Grand Final, 1960
Melbourne vs Collingwood
Saturday 24 September
Venue: MCG
Attendance: 97,457

Match Statistics

Melbourne win by 48 points

Goalkickers: Frank Adams 2, Ron Barassi 2, Hassa Mann 2, Alan Rowarth 1, Geoff Tunbridge 1

Last Game
John Beckwith


Once more the Demons finished top, this time in front of the Fitzroy side coached by Norm Smith's brother. The brothers faced off in the Semi Final but Len received no favours with his side thumped by 62 points. The Lions then lost the Preliminary Final by five points and it was Melbourne vs Collingwood again.

Melbourne's only fitness concern was Ron Barassi, who had been troubled by a groin injury in his last two matches. He was rested from training during the week and passed fit to play.

The Demons went into the match as overwhelming favourites, especially after the Pies had been forced to play their preliminary final in terrible conditions the week before. Grand Final day was no better, heavy rain had lashed Melbourne for two days and the ground was in atrocious state. There was no overconfidence in the Demon camp, with fresh memories of the shock loss to the Pies in the 1958 Grand Final

Bryan Kenneally had made the side despite issues with an infected heel which had troubled him during the week, and selectors stuck with the same side who had delivered them the 10 goal victory a fortnight earlier. Injury victims Ian Ridley (strained ankle), Tassie Johnson (bruised thighs) and Alan Rowarth (bruised groin) were all passed fit.

With thunderstorms and heavy rain in the lead up to the game, some thought the conditions might be a leveller like 1958, but from the start Melbourne gave the Pies no chance. Collingwood won the toss, but there was no wind advantage. Melbourne the first quarter with perfect wet weather football, opening a 27-0 lead, matchwinning in the heavy conditions. after Robert B Johnson got the first goal for Melbourne, the centre of the ground was in such poor condition that the umpire had to search to find where to accurately bounce the ball.

The Pies had their opportunities in the opening term, but every forward thrust was parried by Melbourne's defence. The Demons went down the other end for three more goals, two to Hassa Mann, and another late to Tunbridge. Collingwood showed some life early in the second quarter when a Tassie Johnson fumble allowed them in for their first goal. That lifted them but they were unable to capitalise and score again. Melbourne put on 1.2 to extend their lead.

Everything was going right for the Demons, they opened the third quarter with a fluke goal after a Clyde Laidlaw miskick landed in the arms of Frank Adams They continued to attack, further increasing the marign to 42 points. Collingwood's second - and last - goal came from a shot that barely made the distance from 45 yards - and even that was disputed by the Demons who believed it had been touched on the line.

Determined not to be sucked into fights like they were in the 1958 Grand Final the Demons kept their cool. Even when Ron Barassi was punched in the face at a boundary throw-in they didn't retaliate. In 2003 Barassi revealed that he still suffered pain from the blow more than 40 years later because of nerve damage. During the third quarter Frank Adams was involved in a scuffle with opponent Burns that led to their teammates joining in, but there was no repeat of the 1958 violence. Umpire Irving provided plenty of warnings and paid free kicks for sly punches but didn't lay any reports.

Destroyed by Melbourne's constant pressure, Collingwood had just six shots on goal for the day and registered the lowest Grand Final score ever. Richmond had one goal in 1927, but that was not a Grand Final as the Pies had right of challenge if they were beaten. Ten minutes into the final term the Pies had already run out of time to challenge, but were officially put away when Alan Rowarth kicked his side's first of the term.

After Norm Smith passed away in 1973 a story was told that he was abusing field umpire Jack Irving, and when Irving gave him the thumbs up Smith said: "I want him reported to the league. Umpires shouldn't do that". On the day he said "Our win was the result of a great team effort. It was a case of 18 footballers all playing their part."

Best were Lord, Mithen and Dixon. Leahy and Nilsson replaced Thorogood and Adams respectively during the last quarter.

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B: John Beckwith, Tassie Johnson, Trevor Johnson
HB: Geoff Case, John Lord, Ian Thorogood
C: Brian Dixon, Laurie Mithen, Bryan Kenneally
HF: Geoff Tunbridge, Clyde Laidlaw, Hassa Mann
F: Bob Johnson, Alan Rowarth, Frank Adams
R: Len Mann, Ron Barassi (c), Ian Ridley
Res: Brian Leahy, Ray Nilsson
EM: Milner, Pinfold, Jones
Coach: Norm Smith

Mann 2.0, Adams 2.1, R. Johnson 2.3, Tunbridge 1.2, Trev Johnson 0.2, Laidlaw 0.1, Ridley 0.2, Rowarth 1.2, Rushed 0.1


Scoreless first quarters

Age - 21/09/1960
Age - 23/09/1960
Age - 24/09/1960
Sporting Globe - 24/09/1960
Age - 26/09/1960
Age - 26/09/1960
Age - 31/07/1973
Herald Sun - 19/05/2003

1960 Premiership
Ticket image courtesy of grandoldflag.net

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Sunday 24 September 2023 21:37:01 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 17)

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