from Diamond Valley News 17th September 1974
Eltham played fast pressure football and withstood a late Heidelberg comeback to win the Diamond Valley Football League premiership by seven points on Saturday
Heidelberg’s two hard games earlier in the finals series took their toll and the one winning quarter of football they produced was not enough
Eltham have now won four Diamond Valley premierships in the last six years. They secured top place on the ladder after the first game and were never dislodged for the season.
And in the words of the Eltham theme song 1974 was Eltham Eltham Eltham as they won the flags in A, B and D Grades
In conditions not suited to good fast football Eltham took the lead early in the game and although held scoreless in the final quarter, looked in no real danger throughout.
Highlight of the game was the battle of tactics employed by the two experienced coaches. Surprisingly Jack Clancy had no new tricks designed to handle the talented Panthers but persevered with short passes and fast handball keeping the ball low at all times
Panther Bernie Massey had his defenders sticking close to the tiger small men and they had little trouble chipping in to counter the short play
Once Eltham had the ball long high driving kicks were the order of the day, they were unchallenged in the air and marked the slippery ball with ease
Full forward Pat Buckley pulled down finger tip marks and booted four Eltham Goals in the first quarter.
Eltham’s 6’6’’ 22 year old Trevor Leslie was unbeaten to the knockout in all four quarters. Leslie’s complete domination of the ruck produced most of the teams winning drive. This forced the tigers to use three rovers at centre bounces in a bid to shark the ball.
Panther defenders Reg Sanders and Ken Rowbotham and David Brown were well on top.
Over vigorous play by Eltham Defender David Brown early in the game was the Panthers only weakness. Veteran Defenders Brian Pardon and Greg Irvine steady their fellow defenders with constructive teamwork.
But it was Eltham’s vice captain Rodney Bray who controlled the game. Bray only booted one goal but was the key figure behind several others.
Jack Clancy led Heidelberg’s last quarter revival with his usual clever attacking play. But he threw away many chances after marking by immediately handpassing to a team mate in an attempt to regain their fast play on style of game.
Unfortunately for the Tigers they were under too much pressure to respond to Clancy’s lead.
The Panthers with a well, balanced team had little trouble in countering Heidelberg’s match winners, it was difficult to find an Eltham Player who did not play well.
This line up is probably the most talented team to ever wear Red and Black.
Minor Flag to Panthers
Eltham made it two flags for the day with a convincing 38 point win over Templestowe in the Reserves Grand Final.
1974 GRAND FINAL DETAILS
A GRADE GRAND FINAL
ELTHAM 4.4 6.5 10.9 10.9
HEIDELBERG 1.3 5.3 5.4 9.8
Goals Eltham—Buckley 5, Quaife, Lempriere, Bray, Dawson, Ling,
Goals Heidelberg—Faithfull 2, Williamson 2, Horan, Clancy, Wise, Yelland, Jordan
Best Eltham—Bray Bond Buckley Dawson Massey Leslie Stanley
Best Heidelberg—Laslett Clancy R.Young King Cummins Rosbrook Butterworth
B GRADE GRAND FINAL
ELTHAM 0.3 5.11 5.13 10.13
TEMPLESTOWE 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.5
Goals Eltham—Napolitano 6, Tesch, Spong, West, J.Haines
Goals Templestowe—Cooke 2, Bonser, Cripps, Philpott
Best Eltham—Driscoll, Napolitano, Slacik, Davenport, Walker
Best Templestowe—Porter, Harding, Marcucci, Laurie, Parris