Carlton beat Collingwood by 5 points in front of 113,545 at the MCG. Wayne Harmes. Forward pocket.

Grand Final, 1979

Carlton 0.4 4 5.7 37 10.12 72 11.16 82
Collingwood 2.2 14 5.6 36 7.9 51 11.11 77
Venue: M.C.G
Date: September 29, 1979 Result: Win by 5 points
Umpires: Deller, Smith Crowd: 113,545
Goalkickers: K.Sheldon 3, M.Maclure 2, J.Buckley 2, P. Jones, W.Harmes, M.Young, P.Francis
Best: Johnston, Harmes, Doull, Francis, Fitzpatrick, Buckley, Armstrong
Reports: Trevor Keogh (jumping into Russell Ohlsen) - Reprimand, Rene Kink (spitting on Alex Jesaulenko) - 6 matches
Injuries: Nil
Inaugural Norm Smith Medallist: Wayne Harmes

Game Review

The mud and the rain I remember it very well from my comfortable vantage point against the cyclone fence underneath the cold Northern Stand. For the princely sum of 60 cents I had purchased a Junior Standing Room ticket not bad for a 17 year old HSC student, I watched the game looking over those who had been 'scalped' close to $200 for seats getting drenched in the pouring rain.

This was the Grand Final to make up for the many bitter disappointments of the curiously unproductive mid 70s where we were dubbed "The Professionals" by Lou Richards and almost always had the best team on paper but just couldn't go on and produce the results in the finals or just missed the finals altogher.

This was the Grand Final where as Jesaulenko (the last man to successfully Captain-Coach as side to a Premiership) said in his famous interview with Ron Casey on World of Sport the day after this epic encounter "I gave the boys jobs and they went out and did them".

Jezza had the courage to move himself out of the centre and swing a young pocket battleship in Wayne Harmes into the middle and where it looked like we would finish the first half of that game without a goal he created the spark which created 5 goals from the 19 minute mark of the second quarter for us to actually steal the lead at half-time.

But our man Wayne Harmes was not done there, in the last quarter with the game still in the balance he chased down his errant kick from the half forward line and in the immortal words of Peter Landy "he was almost as quick as the kick" he dived at the ball and according to Eddie McGuire's memory of it slapped it back into play from the foyer of the Hilton Hotel in Wellington Parade, to the waiting arms of Ken Sheldon in the goals square who popped it through.

As I recall the players were so muddy I thought that it was a Collingwood defender who actually rushed it through for a behind until my cousin who was with me yelled into my ear "Sheldon goaled, Sheldon goaled". In fact, this is remembered as one of the most controversial on-field events in our history; a theme explored in a Blueseum exclusive article available here.

Some people (mainly Collingwood supporters) unfairly thought that Harmes was awarded the Norm Smith based on the knock-on to Sheldon, as well as the fact being a descendant of the great man Norm Smith. Harmes was the catalyst in the second quarter that stung the Blues back into action and, if not for this role he played in the second quarter the game may have been well and truly over for Carlton at half time.

There was one last drama to unfold as McConville was not paid a mark late in the game and Allan Edwards (who played for 3 clubs but whose son would be drafted by Carlton 26 years later) swooped on the ball and goaled, with only a kick in it at that stage I was sure we were going to lose it and the misery of those unproductive years through the 70s came back to haunt me. But I needn't have worried as the siren went not long after and I recalled the euphoria which was heightened by the 2 bottles of champagne we managed to smuggle in was something I have never forgotten.

Not bad really a 17 year old getting into the Grand Final at the MCG on an Junior Ticket indulging in a post match bottle of champagne.

It was yet another victory over arch rivals Collingwood by less than a kick, to take them to just one premiership behind. President George Harris remarked during the post-match celebrations that the only thing better than beating Collingwood by 10 goals was beating them by 5 points!


B: 37 Wayne Harmes 20 Geoff Southby 43 David McKay
HB: 33 Peter McConville 11 Bruce Doull 22 Robbert Klomp
C: 47 Peter Francis 25 Alex Jesaulenko (cc) 19 Michael Young
HF: 7 Wayne Johnston 36 Mark Maclure (dvc) 8 Trevor Keogh
F: 3 Mike Fitzpatrick 41 Peter Brown 5 Ken Sheldon
Ruck: 28 Peter Jones (vc) 12 Barry Armstrong 16 Jim Buckley
Int: 21 Rod Austin 34 Alex Marcou
Coach: Alex Jesaulenko

Wayne Harmes taps ball back from boundary


Inaugural Norm Smith Medallist: Wayne Harmes
Last game (Retirement): Peter Jones who would retire to become Coach of the Blues in Season 1980
Last game (For Carlton): Alex Jesaulenko
Score Records: This was only the second game all year in which Carlton did not hit 100 points
Rivalries: This was the fifth grand final between these great foes; and Carlton's fourth of 5 consecutive Grand Final wins - to this day - over Collingwood


Listen to 3KZ's call of the 1979 Grand Final

Blues celebrate 1979 Premiership.

Semi Final | 1980
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Page last modified on Sunday 14 of April, 2019 20:58:10 AEST by Bombasheldon.

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