North Adelaide's Finest Hour
1972 Club Championship of Aust. Final: Nth Adelaide v Carlton
This page comprises a selection of contemporary match reports and reviews of the above game derived from the following sources:
- SANFL Annual Report 1972
- VFL Annual Report 1972
- SA Football Record Year Book 1973
- 'Inside Football's' Football Close-up 1973
- Football in South Australia 1907-1972
All match reports are reproduced verbatim. At the bottom of the page you will find a Match Summary.
From The South Australian National Football League Annual Report 1972
At the conclusion of seasons 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971 the Premier Teams of the Victorian and South Australian Leagues played off at Adelaide Oval for the title of 'CHAMPIONS OF AUSTRALIA'. This competition was extended in 1972 to include the Premier Teams of Western Australia and Tasmania. The matches were delayed because of a 'draw' in the Victorian Football League Major Round, but a successful Championship Series was played on 14th and 15th October, 1972, although the weather was unkind on the second day (a Sunday).
After a tremendous struggle in the Final, NORTH ADELAIDE covered itself with glory and brought great distinction to South Australian Football by defeating the Victorian Premiers, Carlton, by one point. North Adelaide had previously defeated City-South (of Tasmania) and Carlton had beaten East Perth (of Western Australia).
The North Adelaide victory triggered a tremendous demonstration by thousands of spectators, the players being surrounded by overjoyed supporters. The handsome CHAMPIONSHIP CUP (presented jointly by the Victorian and South Australian Leagues) was presented to North Adelaide Acting Captain, Bob Hammond, by the Deputy Premier of South Australia, the Honourable J.D. Corcoran M.P. While the League hopes that presentations of this nature will always be carried out in a circumspect fashion, it realises, of course, that this particular occasion was rather special.
From The Victorian Football League 76th Annual Report 1972
As a natural progression from the matches which have been played annually since 1968 between the Premiership teams of the Victorian and South Australian Leagues, a knock-out series between the Premier teams of the four major football States, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, was played in Adelaide on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th October.
The series was originally set down for decision on Saturday 7th and Monday 9th (a Public holiday in Adelaide) but was delayed for one week following the draw in the VFL Semi Final match between Richmond and Carlton. The compulsory change in programme dates meant that the competing teams were faced with playing matches on successive days.
North Adelaide (S.A.N.F.L.) won the title as 'Australia's Champion Team' by defeating Carlton (V.F.L.) by one point in a tense and exciting game. After appearing to be in a winning position at the last interval, Carlton tired badly and failed to take advantage of a strong wind advantage.
North Adelaide thoroughly deserved their victory, but may have been fortunate to meet a Carlton which had lost many players through injury after a strenuous match against East Perth (W.A.N.F. L.) on the previous days (sic.).
Prize money was divided as follows:
North Adelaide (winners) $10,000
Carlton (runner up) $3,000
East Perth (3rd) $2,000
City-South (4th) $1,000
Attendances were somewhat disappointing although heavy rain on the final day greatly reduced the numbers of patrons attending the all-important final match between North Adelaide and Carlton.
From South Australian Football Record Year Book 1973
North Adelaide shocked the football world when it toppled Carlton by a point (10.13 to 10.12) in the Australian club championship final at Adelaide Oval.
It was an historic victory, being the first time that a major match had been held in SA on a Sunday.
Trailing by five points at three-quarter time, North seemed in a hopeless position when it headed for home into a five-goal wind.
The odds of victory lengthened when Carlton goaled in the first five minutes to widen the gap to 11 points. To the crowd of 23,213 it just seemed a matter of time.
But a minute later North battled against the elements to goal through Dennis Sachse. That was the spark that the SA premiers needed.
Displaying tremendous fighting spirit, and with reserves of stamina, North scored again through Darryl Webb in the 17th minute to hit the front.
Play fluctuated from end to end, but that was the final score after magnificent defence by North led (by) Bohdan Jaworskyj, Bob Hammond and John Spry.
There were other factors in North's great win - the dynamic ruckwork of Gary Sporn (pictured, top), the brilliance of centreman Barrie Robran and wingman Barry Stringer, the evasion in attack of Adrian Rebbeck and the solidity at centre half-forward of Neil Sachse.
In addition, there was the battering that Carlton had taken a day earlier against WA premiers East Perth - a tough match that had caused a Carlton reshuffle for the final through injuries and had left many other players stiff and sore.
From 'Inside Football's' Football Close-up 1973
North Adelaide, coached by former Richmond stalwart Mike Patterson, came from behind into a five goal wind to beat Carlton by a solitary point.
Carlton was depleted, no doubt - and with its six missing grand final stars in the team probably would've beaten North by a couple of goals. But the way North swamped the Blues in that torrid last quarter (it held Carlton scoreless for the last 12 minutes), showed that SA was capable of pressure football. Even if it took an ex-Victorian to make the point.
Patterson, who played 167 games for Richmond, says that (Barrie) Robran is the best player he's ever seen. Jesaulenko is reputed to have stood and clapped after a piece of Robran wizardry during (this) match.
A dual Magarey Medallist and winner of just about every award, Robran is not vaguely interested in playing VFL football.
From Football in South Australia 1907-1972
Hard, skilled, well coached, full of courage and deserving. No praise can be too big for the North Adelaide team that contested Carlton to determine the Club Champions of Australia.
North, it seemed, had booted away its chances with some appalling kicking for goal in the third quarter.
At the last change North was down five points. Carlton goaled at the 5 minute mark, but North refused to give way.
Dennis Sachse replied with a goal, and, 12 minutes later, Darryl Webb ran into an open goal and North were 1 point up.
The North Adelaide backmen defended in a fanatical manner, refusing to allow Carlton to score again.
The crowd of 23,213 were hysterical as the siren sounded, showing North 1 point in front, and Club Champions of Australia.
|North Adelaide||3.5||5.6||8.12||10.13 73|
North Adelaide: B.Robran, Sporn, Rebbeck, Stringer, N.Sachse, Webb
Carlton: Crane, Keogh, Nicholls, Jackson, O'Connell, Jones
North Adelaide: Rebbeck 4.6; Plummer 2.0; D.Sachse 1.3; Webb 1.1; Marsh, B.Robran 1.0; Hearl, N.Sachse, Von Bertouch 0.1
Carlton: Walls 3.2; Kennedy 2.1; Jackson, Worden 1.2; Crane, Keogh 1.1; Nicholls 1.0; Jesaulenko 0.1; rushed 0.2
ATTENDANCE: 23,213 at the Adelaide Oval
UMPIRE: Bill Deller (VFL)
Highlights of North Adelaide's win can be seen here.