Geelong win 2002 VFL Premiership!
September 22 2002

Geelong 15.15.105 d Port Melbourne 12.11.83

[Check out the VFL Grand Final Photo Gallery - click on Left panel]

This afternoon at Optus Oval Geelong broke their 20 year drought and won the VFL Premiership, defeating Port Melbourne by 22 points after trailing by 14 points at three quarter time. Although narrowly in front at half time, the Boroughs outplayed the Cats in the third quarter to lead at the final break, and looked like causing another upset. Port Melbourne defeated Geelong in the first qualifying final, and also defeated Coburg last week, both matches they were considered the underdog in.

But in the final quarter Geelong kept the Boroughs goalless, with Geelong piling on 6 goals themselves, Danny O'Brien putting the Cats in front, and a miraculous goal from David Mensch sealing the Premiership. At the final siren Geelong were in front by 22 points, after two from Mensch in the last quarter, and singles to O'Brien, Chatfield S Johnson and Gardiner. Midfielder James Rahilly was judged best afield.

Shortly after the final siren, the ground was invaded by thousands of jubilant Geelong fans. When Captain Tim McGrath and Coach Ron Watt held aloft the VFL Cup, the crowd cheered, as they did when each Geelong player made their way to the dais. Finally, the players did a lap of honour, one after another, through the crowd, carrying the Cup. Senior players such as Ben Graham were present for the celebrations, and also to act as a child minder.

What next? - be a contender in the AFL Finals series for 2003! Key players from today such as James Kelly, James Bartel, Josh Hunt, Gary Ablett, Charlie Gardiner and Steve Johnson are all under the age of 20 (give or take a few months), and will look to cement a position in the senior lineup in 2003. While others, such as Mensch, McGrath, and quite possibly Mitchell White may not find themselves playing AFL any more.

GEELONG: 3.2 7.6 9.12 15.15 (105)
PORT MELBOURNE: 2.3 7.5 12.8 12.11 (83)

GOALS: Geelong: Mensch 3, S.Johnson 2, O’Brien 2, G.Ablett, Chapman, Chatfield, Gardiner, Hunt, McGrath, Playfair, White
Port Melbourne: Gill 2, Stevens 2, L.Ablett, Buchanan, Evans, O’Keefe, Phibbs, Rix, Robertson, Schneider
BEST: Geelong: Rahilly, Bartel, S.Johnson, Chapman, Mensch, Street
Port Melbourne: R.O’Loughlin, Stevens, Evans, O’Keefe, L.Ablett, Obst
UMPIRES: Grun, Nicholls, Ryan
CROWD: 11,000 (approx)

Geelong's Brownlow Votes
September 23 2002

12 - Ling, Cameron*
10 - Riccardi, Peter
9 - Corey, Joel
7 - King, Steven
6 - Milburn, Darren
4 - Kingsley, Kent
4 - Graham, Ben
4 - Chapman, Paul