Much of Dunolly’s history has been spent in the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football League, in which it first competed in 1919, when the competition went by the name of the Maryborough District Football League. After contesting a losing grand final in 1924 the side broke through for its first flag six years later thanks to a 5 goal grand final victory over Clunes. A second premiership followed in 1932 when Bealiba was overcome on grand final day by 24 points, 15.7 (97) to 10.13 (73).
The 1950s and 1960s were easily the most successful decades in Dunolly’s history to date. Between 1956 and 1969 the senior team qualified for a total of ten grand finals and won half a dozen of them. Three of the flags were claimed in succession between 1961 and 1963.
The 1982 season saw the Eagles commencing in the Lexton Football League, finishing fourth on debut, and then reaching the grand final in their second season. However, it proved to be a nightmare experience as they went down to Lexton by the soul-destroying margin of 124 points. Dunolly’s only other senior grade grand final appearance in the LFL came in 1997 and resulted in a 16 point loss to Avoca.
In 2001 the club transferred to the Loddon Valley Football League where it spent three seasons before resuming in the MCDFL. The seniors’ performances were initially undistinguished, but in 2009 they finally qualified for the finals and ultimately made it as far as a losing grand final clash with Newstead. Since then the Eagles' fortunes have taken a turn for the worse as exemplified by successive wooden spoons in 2014 and 2015 and another pair in 2017 and 2018. The 2019 season was only marginally better as the Eagles won just once all year to finish above only Campbells Creek on the 14 team premiership ladder.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications