AAMI Footy Flashbacks – 1985 SANFL Grand Final

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North Adelaide looked set to cruise to a comfortable victory against Glenelg in the 1985 SANFL Grand Final.

Midway through the second quarter, the Roosters had opened up a 29-point lead after restricting the Tigers to just two goals.

But then, in one moment, the momentum of the match shifted dramatically.

”It was as if someone flicked the switch and it all turned,” first-year Glenelg coach Graham Cornes recalled.

North speedster David Robertson, who booted the first goal of the game and was having a major impact, fumbled the ball as he dashed down the outer flank at Football Park.

The Bays swooped on the loose ball and ran it with precision to the northern end on the back of swift movement and gut-running from Peter Maynard, who not only helped set up the play, but finished it with a goal.

It sparked a match-defining period in which Cornes’ charges piled on five goals in six minutes to end the second stanza.

Almost in the blink of an eye, Glenelg had suddenly transformed a five-goal deficit into a 12-point lead at half-time.

And when star rover Tony McGuinness nailed the eighth in succession just 16 seconds into the third term, Glenelg was well on its way to securing its first flag since 1973.

Superstar forward Stephen Kernahan – in his last game for the club – awoke during the second stanza blitz, booting two of his seven majors for the afternoon en route to securing the Jack Oatey Medal with a series of stunning marks.

Maynard, McGuinness and Chris McDermott were tough and desperate in the centre square, making the most of captain Peter Carey taking control in the ruck while skillful pair Tony Symonds and David Marshall added plenty of polish.

The man dubbed ”Mr Cool” in Ross Gibbs was superb in his back pocket, starting the party with three minutes to play when he booted an old-fashioned drop kick when bringing the ball back into play after a North behind.

1985 SANFL Grand Final

Saturday October 5

Glenelg  2.2  9.7  14.10  21.15 (141)

North  4.4  7.7  9.10  12.12 (84)

BEST – Glenelg: S. Kernahan, McDermott, Gibbs, McGuiness, Marshall, Maynard, Symonds.

GOALS – Glenelg: S. Kernahan 7, Garton 4, Copping 3, McGuinness 2, McDermott, Maynard, Symonds, Hall, Henwood.

JACK OATEY MEDAL – Stephen Kernahan (Glenelg)

CROWD – 50,289

1985 Glenelg Premiership Team

F: Carey (C), Garton, McGuinness

HF: Copping, S. Kernahan, Marshall

C: D. Kernahan, A. Stringer, Symonds

HB: W. Stringer, Seebohm, Hall

B: Murphy, Duthy, Gibbs


R: Henwood, Maynard, McDermott

INT: Kidney, Salisbury

COACH: Graham Cornes