Preliminary Final 1982

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This match must surely rate as one of Glenelg's finest victories. Glenelg had a 38 point lead late in the second term and looked to have the match in hand. But then on came David Granger. Almost 20 years later, Granger was to allege that he was instructed to step outside the laws of the game in order to unsettle the Tigers. This came as no surprise to supporters at the match, who witnessed Granger go on a rampage that eventually resulted in the 8 match suspension that ended his career. And it almost worked for Port, with Glenelg just able to cling on for a 1 point win.

When the siren finally sounded, Glenelg coach John Halbert, normally poker faced, ran onto the ground and repeatedly punched the air in triumph. Granger was given a police escort from the ground and Port coach John Cahill was heckled by many angry supporters and actually grabbed by one angry woman.

This victory was sweet revenge for the defeat inflicted on Glenelg by Port in the 1981 grand final. The match report is extracted from "The Advertiser".

PRELIMINARY FINAL Sunday September 26, 1982.
Glenelg:   2.3 10.6 11.9 13.12 (90)
Port: 4.3 6.4 11.4 14.5 (89)


Glenelg - Kernahan 4.2, McGuiness 3.3, McInereny 2.1, Weston 2.0, Sewer 1.1, Carey 1.0, McDermott 0.3, Luniss 0.2.

Port - Evans 4.2, Huppatz 3.0, Cunningham 2.0, S. Williams, Aigus 1.1, R. Ebert, Johnston, Belton 1.0, rushed 0.1.


Glenelg - Carey, Cornes, McGuiness, Maynard, Marshall, Weston, Kernahan.

Port - Johnston, Belton, Cunningham, R. Ebert, Bradley.

Crowd: 32,339 at Football Park.

Match Report

Coach John Halbert (right), reserves coach Steve Hywood and fitness coach Mark Coombe celebrate after Glenelg defeat Port Adelaide by 1 point in the 1982 Preliminary Final.
Glenelg's David Frost tackles Port Adelaide rover Ray Huppatz. Peter Maynard awaits the outcome. 1982 preliminary final.
Port Adelaide full-forward Tim Evans marks ahead of Glenelg's David Frost in the 1982 preliminary final.
Stephen Kernahan takes a strong mark despite vigorous attention from Port Adelaide's Danny Hughes, 1982 preliminary final.

The following is extacted from the "The Advertiser" Monday September 27th, 1982.

By Alan Shiell.

It might just be the year of the Tiger after all. No longer is Glenelg a team to be damned and pitied in the finals. Consecutive major round wins against Central District, Sturt and Port Adelaide - victories stamped with the resolve of steel - have made Glenelg a worthy challenger to Norwood for the 1982 SA league football premiership.

The question to be answered now is: can John Halbert's men do it again on a Saturday, after only a six-day break and against a fresh, fit side that have enjoyed a fortnight's rest?

Winning four finals is a task that has not been performed since the introduction of the final five system in 1973. No team has gone top from third, fourth or fifth position. Norwood made the biggest climb - from fifth to second in 1980.

The only other instance of a team finishing outside the top three and playing in the grand final was in 1974 when Glenelg rose from fourth and lost the premiership to Sturt.

Port Adelaide joins Central District (1979) as the only sides since 1973 to win the minor premiership and miss playing in the grand final. Glenelg has won only two of its previous nine grand finals. It beat Port by nine points in 1934 and North Adelaide by seven points in 1973. But it lost to Norwood (by 47 points) in 1950, Sturt (71) in 1969, Sturt (21) in 1970, Sturt 15 in 1974, Norwood (12) in 1975, Port (8) in 1977 and Port (51) last year.

Glenelg captain Paul Weston said after the thrilling one point victory over Port in the preliminary final yesterday that it was "the best Glenelg win" in which he had played since his debut in 1974.

"It was another total effort in team work and dedication," Weston said. "Our aggressive attack on the ball was first-class throughout." Glenelg coach John Halbert said: "Our excellent second quarter won it for us. When it looked like we might get run over I thought the fight and determination not to let it slip was excellent."

Port coach John Cahill said: "Glenelg really kicked away in the second quarter. Our players put up a tremendous effort to get back. Glenelg will bve very hard to beat in the grand final."

Halbert taunted his players before yesterday's match by having copies of newspaper reports of the club's past failures stuck up around the dressing room.

But, based on what it has achieved and the way it has achieved it in the past three weeks, there can only be admiration for Glenelg. The preliminary final looked all but over when Glenelg led by 38 points - 10.6 to 4.4 - at the 24-minute mark of the second quarter. But goals to full-forward Tim Evans and rover Ray Huppatz in the time-on period narrowed the gap to 26 points at half-time. And Port trailed by only four points - 11.4 to 11.8 - when the time-on period began in the third term. Glenelg shot 19 points clear with two goals from rover Tony McGuinness in the first five minutes of the last quarter. It was a desperate finish to a desperately fought battle. Players had to contend with rain, soft, slippery turf and a muddy ball. And Glenelg had to contend with David Granger, whose characteristic methods constituited probably the most undisciplined performance seen from a player in an SA final.

Port trailled by 26 points - 4.4 to 8.6 - when Granger was let loose off the interchange bench. He announced his arrival by running straight into Glenelg centre half-back Graham Cornes, then throwing him to the ground while play continued at the other end of the field.

Thereafter, Granger, throwing his arms and legs around like thrashing machines , was the deserved target of much crowd abuse. Glenelg players were reluctant to retaliate for fear of being reported and missing the grand final. Channel 7's statistician credited Granger with one kick and two marks. Yet he had an eerie effect upon the game - an effect that ruined many spectators' enjoyment of it.

Glenelg had many better players than Port, despite the closeness of the final scores. Big Peter Carey, hobbling on one leg, was courage, strength and stamina personified, Cornes led the defence superbly, supported by flanker Peter Maynard, and McGuinness and Peter McInerney roved brilliantly. Weston and Stephen Kernahan (four goals) dominated in the first half and wingman David Marshall put in a big second half.

Granger controversy

Graham Cornes falls to the ground after being struck by Port Adelaide's David Granger during the 1982 Preliminary Final.
David Granger is given a police escort from Football Park after the 1982 Preliminary final.

The following is extacted from the "The Advertiser" Monday September 27th, 1982.

Port Adelaide's David Granger incurred the wrath of Glenelg fans yesterday, broke Glenelg's concentration and was reported by Goal umpire Des Hillebrand in a fiery display lasting just over an hour.

Sent on to replace the injured Ross Aigus in the 21st minute of the second quarter, Granger was loudly hooted by Glenelg supporters who remembered an incident in the 1981 grand final involving Neville Caldwell. Granger ran to centre half-forward and immediately clashed with Glenelg centre half-back Graham Cornes who went to ground. At half-time Hillebrand told Granger he was reported. The report sheet after the game said Granger deliberatly stuck number 12 of Glenelg (Cornes) with a clenched left fist.

At the sixth minute of the third quarter Glenelg half-back Peter Maynard was flattened by a blow to the face. This happened almost on the boundary line in front of the grandstand after Cornes had marked. Umpire Des Foster was only about three metres away but obviously did not see the incident.

At the 22-minute mark Tiger half-forward Ralph Sewer was felled behind the play. At the 28 minute mark Glenelg back pocket Stephen Barrat had his legs kicked from under him as he was dashing towards half-back with the ball just in front of him.

Team-mates immediatley called for a stretcher and the 22 year-old was carried off. Tempers ran high. Glenelg coach John Halbert stood just outside the boundary line and gave vent to his feelings. At one stage it appeared he would call his players off, but Halbert said later he only wanted them to regroup. Ironically, late in the game when Port trailed by only seven points. Grainger was blatantly pushed in the back by Cornes but no free was awarded.

As the siren sounded three police man ran towards Granger and escorted him to the players' race.

Halbert is dedicated, thoughtful and industrious. He's an academic and a thinker. He's also a realist. Last year he told me I'm not cool or calm on the bench watching a game and I get very emotionally involved. When I suggested after yesterday's game that Barret may have been accidently kicked, Halbert exploded. "Rubbish." he said. "His leg was broken by a deliberate kick and you can quote that. I won't listen to a suggestion like that." And the irate coach moved away.

Granger tribunal outcome

The following is extacted from the front page of "The Advertiser" Wednesday September 29th, 1982.

By Alan Shiel and Stuart Innes

Port Adelaide centre half-forward David Granger last night was suspended until the ninth series of the 1983 league football season. The SA National Football League tribunal found him guilty of having struck Glenelg centre half-back Graham Cornes with a clenched left fist late in the second quarter of Sunday's preliminary final.

Through his advocate Mr. J.L Firth, Granger pleaded guilty to having struck Cornes under provocation by words and actions." Granger, who was reported by goal umpire Des Hillebrand, left Football Park immediately after the 80-minute hearing, including TV replays of the incident and would not speak to reporters.

Announcing the suspension, which included pre season matches, the tribunal chairman, Mr K.P Duggan said: "We are not optimistic that the suspension we now impose will act as a detterent, but at least it will amount to a protection to other players for the time being." Mr. Duggan said he and the other two commissioners Mr. C.L Pyatt and Mr. R.A Linke had no doubt Cornes had been struck by a clenched fist. Both of you made contact with each other when you first came onto the field, but we do not accept that you were hit in the face by Cornes," Mr. Duggan said.

"The tribunal makes it perfectly clear that only one offence was reported. We can do no more than fix a penalty in respect of that matter." "We say this because of recent publicity involving you in recent days."

Nevertheless, the offence is a serious one. You hit a player when the ball was some 80 metres away. You knocked him to the ground." It was a calculated and deliberate act and it has no part in the modern game of football."

"You have been suspended on three previous occaisons. On the last occaison you were suspended for six matches." "Apparently that sentece was of no detterent to you."

It was the sixth time that Granger, 27, had been before the tribunal in his seven-season career with Port and the fourth time he had been convicted.

He was suspended for two matches for head butting in 1980, last year he received a three-match suspension for striking in a reserves match and six matches for an incident involving Glenelg's Neville Caldwell in the grand final. Hillebrand told last night's tribunal he has seen Granger run from the interchange bench to the centre half-forward position about 15-20 minutes into the second quarter.

"They (Granger and Cornes) appeared to body each other directly, macho-style, if you like, to let each other know they were there," Hillebrand said.

"After that particular confrontation I saw David swing his left arm in a round house hooking action, striking Cornes to the side of the head, causing him to fall to the ground."

"It was a deliberate blow. In my view the offence seemed to be unprovoked."

Mr. Firth said that the incident had been in a very tense, very desperate finals game in which Granger had been fresh off the bench and fired up over his team's poor performance in the second quarter.

Granger said Cornes had lifted his elbow and hit him in the side of the face. "He was abusing me and swearing," Granger said. I think I was abusing him too. It was a fairly heated moment." Granger said after more abuse from Cornes he had struck Cornes accross the front of his body with the lower part of his arm, but his fist had not struck Cornes.

Granger also told the tribunal "I don't believe he has the right to go around elbowing me in the face and getting away with it." When told of Granger's allegations Cornes said: "I categorically deny that I said one word to him. "And those who have seen the film , which clearly shows what happened, can judge for themselves about the elbow claim."

Port's management committee and Granger met at Alberton Oval yesterday and the club will issue a prepared statement this morning.

Michaelangelo Rucci article, 2006

Moments in Time ... Footy's day of Grave Danger
The following was retrieved from the "Adelaide Now" website, 28/8/2010

By Michaelangelo Rucci

WHEN Dr Who returns with his dodgy Tardis to offer time travel through the rich history of South Australian sport, it will be difficult to settle on one moment in time in local football.

Is it that meeting in 1877 when the SA Football Association, now the SANFL, was formed at a now torn-down city hotel? Or either of 1900 or 1904 to learn why there was no Magarey Medal awarded in those seasons - or whether there was and Tom MacKenzie did win more than three?

Or 1902 when Port Adelaide refuses to play in the finals because of an umpire it considered biased against the Magpies?

Or 1963 when Fos Williams gathers an ambitious group of South Australian footballers to beat the Big V on the MCG for the first time in 37 years?

Perhaps the moment to relive - simply because the first time around it hardly seemed reality - is September 26, 1982. Football Park, as it was then, was under an overcast sky, giving the appropriate setting for what remains the most eerie day in SANFL football.

Port, as winners of the previous three SANFL premierships, played bitter rival Glenelg in the preliminary final. What happened that day remains one of the most remarkable, most bewildering, most controversial, most debated and most uncertain days in SA football.

It began with deep-seated rivalry between the Magpies and Tigers, all dating back to 1976 when the Port players believed their rover Brian Cunningham was deliberately targeted by Glenelg. The square-offs and reprisals went on for more than a decade, right up to 1990 when Glenelg took Port to the Supreme Court to stop its first AFL adventure.

One name is at the centre of every discussion about September 26, 1982 - Port centre half-forward David Granger. It would be his last SANFL game ... and his most dramatic.

Granger started on the bench, was thrown into the action at the 21st minute of the second term when Port trailed by 26 points.

By the last minute, Port was just one point behind, Granger had changed the game (despite having just one kick and two marks) ... and field umpire Rick Argent refused to pay him a free kick when Glenelg defender Graham Cornes more than nudged Granger in the back, 45 metres from goal.

In between there was mayhem. Granger was reported by a goal umpire for striking Cornes as soon as they matched up before half-time. The blows continued after half-time.

The dramatic moments in the Magpies changerooms at half-time, when coach John Cahill, selector Dave Boyd and general manager, the late Bob McLean, were locked in a heavy session reflected Port's desperation to win - at any cost.

Glenelg back pocket Stephen Barratt had his right leg broken in a "collision" with Granger in the third term. Tigers team-mate Peter Maynard had a bleeding eardrum.

Glenelg started the second half with 19 on the field - and in the Port coach's box the debate to call for a count and have the Tigers' score annulled was not over before Glenelg put its extra man back on the bench.

Had Granger had that shot for goal in the last minute or had Port wiped out the Tigers' half-time lead with a count, the riot police would have been needed at West Lakes.

The image of Glenelg coach John Halbert standing on the ground during the last half with disbelief across his face, even after the final siren proclaimed the Tigers one-point winners, lasts forever.

The jeers that accompanied Port coach John Cahill's walk down the stairs of the members' stand echo forever.

The betrayal of Granger - who was banned for eight matches by the SANFL tribunal - lingers, as does the vision of his being escorted off Football Park, for the last time, by police. All to the jeers of the Glenelg fans among the 32,339.

At times Football Park still seems to echo the drama of the day.

See also

1. Gallery pictures

2. Video footage of Granger striking Graham Cornes

3. Video footage of Granger striking Peter Maynard

4. Interviews with Graham Cornes and Tony McGuiness and brief excerpts from match


1. "The Advertiser" September 27th and 29th 1982.

2. Adelaide Now article.

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