One big day out

Thursday, May 2
Geelong Advertiser

TOMORROW will mark 10 years to the day that a Geelong Football Club team kicked a record AFL score against Brisbane.

The Cats created a new all-time AFL highest score when they crushed the Brisbane Bears 37.17 (239) to 11.9 (75) at Carrara on May 3, 1992.

The total bettered by one point the 238 points Fitzroy amassed in their match against Melbourne in 1979.

After Andrew Bews levelled the scores with a late goal, full forward Bill Brownless steered through a behind just seconds before the final siren to seal the record for Geelong.

Gary Ablett booted nine goals in a best on ground performance, while Barry Stoneham, Mark Bairstow and Bews were among the Cats' best.

It was a feat which sent historians diving for the record books, and for those involved in the setting the long-standing mark, it is a day well remembered.

Brownless, who started the match in defence but still managed three goals and three behinds for the day, recalls the highs and lows in the match.

``I remember rocking up to Carrara and it was very much a carnival atmosphere and getting changed in the shocking little portable classrooms,'' he said

``It was terrible and then you had to walk about 50 metres and then you got to the ground.

``I just remember we kept kicking goals, it was unbelievable, goal after goal.

``I think at half time we had something like 16 and at three-quarter time we had 23 and then a record 14 goals in the last.

``We just had a good day out.''

Brownless said it was also satisfying to know he was the person to kick the record-breaking point.

``The last quarter was unbelievable, it went for about 36 minutes.

``I got a kick on the siren and kicked a point, but we didn't know we'd broken the record.

``Nothing was said at half time or three quarter time, and then 30 minutes later in the rooms someone, probably (AFL statistician) Col Hutchison has worked it out and come through with the news. We were pretty happy then.''

The massive score ensured the records tumbled. Among the other marks Geelong improved were: most goals in an AFL game, club best winning margin, club record for the highest score in a quarter (87 points in the fourth term), Brisbane's heaviest defeat, and a record for Carrara.

Also getting among the play that day was Bears defender Matt Campbell, for whom it was a day to forget.

``It's not too vivid, the memory, and it's probably not one I'm dying to remember,'' he told the AFL record.

``I can remember just wanting to find a hole and get out of there. In the last quarter I remember watching the ball go over my head from anywhere and thinking, `When is this going to end', because they were coming down in waves.''

Admittedly, Brisbane had been decimated by injuries, losing Michael McLean, Marcus Ashcroft, Darryl White and John Gastev before a ball was bounced and then lost captain and regular inspiration Roger Merrett in the first seconds of the match.

Despite that, it was an effort Ken Hinkley was proud to be a part of. And the leading possession getter for the match said he couldn't see the Cats' record tumbling any time soon.

``The one thing I remember is that it wasn't just a record score - it was a world record score. That was Blighty's (coach Malcolm Blight) call,'' Hinkley said.

``These days with the flooding tactics, and drafting, I think even the quarters are shorter, so it would be a very, very hard mark to reach,'' he said.

``It's similar to the winning run of games - you can never say never, but you would almost say never.''

The only player from the record-breaking match who will do battle when Geelong heads to the Gabba on Saturday night will be Peter Riccardi. The Cats midfielder, who was a teenager back in 1992, said he would be hoping for a similar performance this weekend.

``It was a great thing to be a part of and to do it with all those great players - I thought I was lucky to get a game actually,'' Riccardi said.

``I'm the only player from that team who will be playing on the weekend so it will be significant for me, but it probably won't be a motivational factor for the rest of the team.

``We might surprise them and we might not on Saturday, but we will be competitive. They are coming off a loss and they will be fired up, but if we can play the same sort of footy we have been played the last few weeks, it could be interesting.''