Carlton d Collingwood by 20 pts - MCG. Three in a row for the Pies! Doull wins Norm Smith

Grand Final, 1981

Venue: M.C.G.
Date: Saturday September 26, 1981 Result: Win by 20 points
Umpires: Ian Robinson, Mike DyeCrowd: 112,964
Goalkickers: Ashman 3, Maclure 2, McKay 2, Sheldon 2, Johnston, Buckley Harmes

Best: Doull, Fitzpatrick, Hunter, Marcou, Maylin, English, Howell, Harmes, Perovic, Glascott
Reports: Nil
Injuries: G.Southby replaced by S.Howell in selected side, R. Waddell replaced by R.Ashman in selected side,
V.Perovic (broken rib), D.English (bruised shoulder)

Game Review

In a great era for football - one of hard, open play, one of champions across the lines, and at the end of the Victorian era - the Blues would win their second premiership in 3 years. In Collingwood's third successive grand final, Carlton would come from behind against the 'Pies to rack up our lucky 13th Premiership in wet conditions although not as muddy as our previous grand final meeting in 1979. Half of the team were playing in their first Grand Final for Carlton which is a remarkable feat considering that it was only two years ago that they played off and won the 1979 premiership.

The era of champions in which this game was played cannot be underestimated. In the Coaches Box was Parkin v Hafey. Across the lines we had Fitzpatrick, Hunter, Doull, McKay and the mosquito fleet of Buckley, Sheldon, Ashman, Marcou, Glascott and Harmes. The key match-ups were Scott Howell on Peter Moore; Peter McConville on Rene Kink, Ken Hunter on Peter Daicos and Billy Picken manning Mark Maclure.

The first tap out of the game was won by Mike Fitzpatrick, and snaffled by Ken Sheldon. In a tight opening stanza, the Blues would score first through the Buzz after a nice 1-handed mark from Maclure, but it would be the Pies who would kick the first major through a Mark Williams snap at the 5 minute mark. Fitzy continued to kill them in the ruck and around in the ground in the traditional ruck role, but bodies all over the ground were throwing themselves into it; none less to than Rene Kink who knocked over the Dominator and Scott Howell against Moore. Our first goal would come from David McKay at full forward from a beautiful pass from Jim Buckley on the wing. The Pies goaled through Barham to to move to 10 points up, before Maclure goaled late in the quarter. In the end the margin was only 2 behinds the Pies way as the teams switched ends.

As was his style - and also one of the stories of the day - Fitzy smashed the opening bounce forward, making its way deep in the forward line. Ashman made his way back on to the ground after going off with injury in the opening stanza, and had immediate impact with a goal from a superb rove off a contested mark situation 20 metres out. The original kick had come from 'Marcel' Marcou after he'd been taken over the shoulder by Twomey. Two strong marks to Peter Moore within 20 metres of goal - the first where he outmarked Howell and Perovic and the second over Howell and Fitzpatrick, created 1 goal 1 as Moore missed an easy shot but the Pies again retook the lead. The lead was extended after a magic running goal by Pies Legend Peter Daicos 40 metres out on his left. The Blues mosquito fleet of Ashman, Maylin and Wells would all work well down the wing to find Sheldon out from goal, who converted, and the game was again tied up. The goal for goal continued with The Dominator snagging a great left foot leg-spinning goal to put us up by 4, before again the Pies countered. The pressure was immense at both ends of the ground, and perhaps the easiest shot on goal for the game was missed by Phil Maylin unpressured 20 metres out on the run. At the end of the first half, the Blues were up by a single point.

The third quarter again began with a huge Fitzy punch, and shortly after the Blues moved ahead with a superb bounce, place and 50 metre running shot from Harmes. Harmes, now on Kink, followed his great goal up with a brilliant mark over Mark Williams in what the commentators described as the "Mark of the Day", if not one of the "Marks of the Year"! It was pretty good, but perhaps the excitement of the contest had us all gulping for air and clutching at straws, if only a little. The Blues strong early start to the second half was unlucky not to lead to a good running snap goal by Wells but it was touched on the line. The Blues were 6.11.47 to the Pies 5.10.40 and it seemed as though we were in control, with Bruce Doull in particular stunning as the defensive leader.

But we weren't. The Magpies came at Carlton at a rate of knots and slammed on 5 goals in a short space of time to move to 10.10.70 and 21 points up late in the third. First Michael Taylor goaled, both Ray and Tony Shaw, an admittedly brilliant smother and goal to Mark Williams a la Earl Spalding (1995 Grand Final) and the last to Barham. The Blues were under pressure and needed to respond.

Late in the third, the Blues would strike back with 2 goals to two different Carlton legends - first Ashman would peg one back after a near spectactular mark to Johnston and then Buckley would kick his first for the day on the run from 40 metres out. The Blues had regained some momentum and entered the last only 9 points down. In the stats to the time, the difference in game plans was brought out - Carlton were winning the ruck with 36 hit-outs to 21, but from there, we had 55 marks to their 33 and they had more than double our handballs. The Blues were supreme in the air, no doubt about it.

The most deliberate Out of Bounds ever was not paid to Carlton in the opening minutes to the last quarter, but at least it was deep in our forward line and the pressure of the Blues continued to sharpen. Sheldon snapped truly to get us within 4 points, and only a few minutes later, a Wayne Johnston clearance saw Ashman rove and kick his 3rd. The Blues were up, but it didn't stop there. Fitzy delivered another super punch, and the ball stayed in our forward line (even if it went into Collingwood's forward half Doull would be there to stop it) as we peppered the goals with shots. Maclure marked and goaled from another superb Ashman rove and kick, before Swan McKay kicked another from a mark and we were 3 goals up - we could almost taste victory. The Buzz almost nailed a spectacular snap, and Collingwood's last ditch efforts to reverse the flow were met with great marking resistance from Doull, McConville and Harmes. The pressure remained relentless as the Blues continually surged forward. A few more misses on goal came through but as the siren sounded, the Blues were up by 20, and the Premiership was ours.

When Carlton's dynamic Wayne Harmes burst through the centre of the field and kicked a long goal on the run, I wonder if the Magpies had flashbacks to the 1979 Grand Final. That was when Harmes scooped the ball from the boundary line to the goal square with great desperation to enable a team-mate to goal and put Carlton back in front in the dying moments in the game. Harmes goal on the run last Saturday was exciting stuff and so reminsiscent of this 1979 effort. - Kevin Sheedy Inside Football.

I admired the Carlton defence during the Grand Final. As usual it was efficient and obviously well trained. We see so many players punch the ball from a pack but it travels only five metres and in no definite direction. But the Blues seem to have made an art of punching the ball effectively, particularily in defence. Take a player like Bruce Doull, whose concentration is great - when he punches the ball he makes sure it travels 15 - 20 metres and to his side's advantage. And don't forget captain Mike Fitzpatrick who on two occassions during the Grand Final thumped the ball about 30 or 40 metres into attack from centre bounces. Obviously a well-rehearsed skill at Carlton. - Kevin Sheedy Inside Football.

''Class not heart wins flags.
Carlton coach David Parkin said it all immediately after the Blues Grand Final win over Collingwood on Saturday. Parkin said that it had been a long, long time since the better team had lost a Grand Final and he had no doubt that Carlton was a better side than Collingwood on Saurday. Carlton deserved to win the Grand Final and there can be no excuses from Collingwood.

The Blues not only finished on top of the home and away ladder, but also were undefeated in the finals. Collingwood had four tough matches and won two by the skin of its teeth and went down by a sizeable margins twice. There was a lot of talk duirng the week that Collingwood would win because it was "their year" and that the players would never give in.

But everyone following the black and white conveniently forgot that there is no such thing as an edge in desperation and determination in a Grand Final. Any team not 100 per cent would not even make the Grand Final. And given that, Carlton and Collingwood fought out the premiership on skill and ability, with the Blues clear winners.

The Blues had superb players in Mike Fitzpatrick, Bruce Doull, Rod Ashman and Alex Marcou. Collingwood had several fine performers including Ricky Barham and Bill Picken, but they did not have enough class to match Carlton. And it is about time Collingwood realised that heart alone does not win premierships. Parkin wasn't joking when he said that several players not in Carlton's final 20 would have won guernseys in the Collingwood team. Parkin mentioned Geoff Southby, Barry Armstrong, Robbert Klomp, Rod Austin and others. And he was right, Collingwood being desperately short of genuine football class.

However to Collingwood's credit the Magpies really made Carlton fight for the premiership and at one stage looked like carrying off football's biggest prize. Collingwood did well to get to the Grand Final, but as many critics point out, they weren't even the second best side in the competition. I believe that Collingwood's vast experience got it through against better sides in Fitzroy and Geelong, both the Lions and the Cats making late mistakes to allow the Magpies ro steal two finals matches.

But Carlton has been there, done that and there was no mistaking its intention from the time Fitzpatrick got the players to crash through the team banner together. Jim Main Inside Football. ''

Captain Fitzy the Greatest
Popular Carlton defender Bruce Doull was a deserving Norm Smith Medalist as best player on the ground on Saturday. Doull was magnificent in the heart of the Blues defence and put Craig Davis right out of business. Doull also broke Collingwood hearts twice when he roared down on Ricky Barham to sweep the ball away abd leave the Magpie winger groping at thin air. It was inspirational football, just when Carlton needed it.

However, my man of the match was skipper Mike Fitzpatrick, who played one of the greatest Captain's game in any VFL Grand Final. Fitzpatrick led by example and did not flinch one issue. He controlled the rucks and thumped the Blues back into action in their darkest moments in the third quarter. Collingwood was leading by 21 points and Fitzpatrick simply gritted his teeth and banged the ball forward at the centre bounces.

His example in the centre showed that Carlton was not about to throw in the towel. His Carlton teammates got the message and Collingwood where gone from there. Carlton owes Fitzpatrick a huge debt for his great game and Parkin was one of the first to recognise that. Parkin said immediately after the match that Fitzpatrick had given him as much as Don Scott had ever given him at Hawthorn. And that says a lot. - Jim Main Inside Football.

Bruce Doull won the Norm Smith Medal, with great support through a stunning team of Champions.


B: 27 Des English 40 Scott Howell 15 Val Perovic
HB: 9 Ken Hunter 11 Bruce Doull 37 Wayne Harmes
C: 13 Phil Maylin 1 Greg Wells 32 David Glascott
HF: 4 Peter Bosustow 36 Mark Maclure 7 Wayne Johnston
F: 43 David McKay 33 Peter McConville 16 Jim Buckley
Ruck: 3 Mike Fitzpatrick (c) 5 Ken Sheldon 14 Rod Ashman
Int: 34 Alex Marcou 6 Mario Bortolotto
Coach: David Parkin



1981 Grand Final Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGMSXVGEjRg
The Final Story - 1981 Grand Final: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsG1ZNp4vQ4
1981 Grand Final - David Parkin Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwCXdumo0bY
1981 Grand Final Presentations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb5TuSWppfk
1981 Grand Final - 4 minutes to go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdTSyYM-OP4
1981 Grand Final - Channel 7 coverage Intro.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfD0Q9Jpl8M - voice over introduction by Don Rainsford
Channel 7 Bruce Doull Interview on World of Sport: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzAqqk2u6y0


Norm Smith Medal: Bruce Doull
Last game: David McKay
Rivalries: This was the sixth grand final between these great foes; and Carlton's 5th consecutive Grand Final win - to this day - over Collingwood

Semi Final | 1982
Contributors to this page: blueycarlton , Bombasheldon , Jarusa , PatsFitztrick , molsey , sideshow_bob , AGRO , BlueWorld , WillowBlue , steve , stretfordblue and admin .
Page last modified on Friday 01 of January, 2021 07:44:39 AEDT by blueycarlton.

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