It’s AFL Grand Final week, and 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the greatest decider of them all – the Hawthorn-Geelong epic of ’89 – so we’re taking you back to that extraordinary clash for Throwback Thursday.
The 1989 VFL Grand Final was marked by its brilliant goals, high score, physicality and courage. Hawthorn star Dermot Brereton suffered broken ribs and internal bleeding during the opening stages, but recovered to kick the Hawks’ opening goal and finish with three majors in one of the code’s most heroic efforts.
Geelong legend Gary Ablett was the standout player, however, kicking nine goals – equalling Gordon Coventry’s 61-year-old Grand Final record – and collecting the Norm Smith Medal, just one of four times the prestigious award has gone to a player on the losing side.
Hawthorn led by 36 points at the final change, but the Cats kicked eight fourth-quarter goals in a withering fight-back. The Hawks held on to secure their second straight flag, prevailing 21.18 (144) to 21.12 (138).
The Hawks are looking to emulate that great side of 1988-89 by snaring back-to-back premierships with a win over the Sydney Swans (and former Hawthorn favourite son Buddy Franklin) at the MCG on Saturday.
Many moments from this incredible Grand Final have passed into Australian Rules folklore, so if you want to delve into one of the most famous matches of all time a little further, check out this wonderful documentary released last year, which features accounts from Brereton, Robert Dipierdomenico, Malcolm Blight, Mark Yeates and the late Allan Jeans.
Follow Commentary Box Sports on Social Media!