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The Final Siren Countdown - 4 Great Subiaco Oval Grand Final Memories

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 1:05 AM
The Final Siren, a Farewell to Footy at Subiaco Oval for all Subiaco past players, members and supporters will take place this coming Sunday, 1pm at the Subi Sports Bar.
Ahead of this momentous day, take a look back down memory lane with some of the great memories and moments that the Subiaco Football Club has had at its spiritual home.
With four days until the big day, we count down four of the great Grand Finals from Subiaco’s history.
4. 2004 – Subiaco 15.9.99 d Claremont 7.9.51
The start of the golden period with four premierships in a five year span.
After falling in four Preliminary Finals in five years, and then losing the 2003 Grand Final, it seemed Subiaco was destined to go close, but could not win the big one.
That all changed in 2004 as a year removed from Grand Final heartbreak against West Perth, Subiaco approached the Grand Final with a ferocious vigour that opponents Claremont could not match.
Subiaco started the 2004 Grand Final strongly building a three goal lead at quarter time. A key behind the fast start was Sam Larkins being able to take advantage of Claremont’s desire to stop gun full forward Brad Smith.
With the match still in the balance in the third quarter, Subiaco put on eight unanswered goals between the third and fourth quarters to build a near 10 goal lead. While Claremont kicked a late couple of goals, the premiership was assured of coming to the Lions, as Subiaco saluted again on Subiaco Oval.
The injury plagued Paul Vines arguably had the finest game of his 45 game career at Subiaco, collecting 24 possessions, kicking a goal and winning the Simpson medal. Sam Larkins played a big hand with four goals and the unstoppable goal kicking machine Brad Smith fought off close attention to kick five goals.
“Throughout the whole game I honesty felt like we were always in control even though they got within two or three goals it was just the belief I had that we were going to win because you just knew the guys you were playing with were going to put in if it got really tight. The whole four quarters was just a bloody good game to play in. It was comfortable I never felt worried that we were under the pump in anyway.”
3. 1986 – Subiaco 19.16.130 d East Fremantle 8.13.61
Haydn Bunton Jnr was about to add to his own legacy at the Subiaco Football Club.
Not for the first time, Subiaco had underperformed in the second semi final and was forced to win through the hard way to the Grand Final against Perth in the Preliminary Final taking on a side they had battled with all year, East Fremantle in the big one.
Despite being billed as a heavyweight contest between the best two sides of 1986, the Grand Final was effectively over by half time as Subiaco built a 57 point half time lead on the back of a 13 goal to three first half.
Phil Lamb and Dwayne Lamb were exceptional collecting a combined 66 possessions, Todd Breman kicked four goals and dangerous forward trio Stephen Sells, Andrew MacNish and Laurie Keene each kicked three in what ended as a 69 point rout.
This was a true bottom to top story as three years after winning the wooden spoon and just one game, Subiaco was again the toast of the WAFL.
2. 2014 – Subiaco 11.16.82 d East Perth 9.12.66
Arguably one of Subiaco’s greatest upset Grand Final wins.
With the AFL alignment in effect, East Perth supported by the West Coast Eagles were expected to waltz to a WAFL premiership. Instead they walked into a committed determined Subiaco side, desperate to cause a grand upset.
In the second season of coach Jarrad Schofield’s tenure, Subiaco was forced to sweat out a tight Preliminary Final win against an inaccurate East Fremantle to book a date with East Perth.
On a wet, windy afternoon at Subiaco Oval, Subiaco held tough in a tight first half as neither team could build a sizeable advantage. After halftime though, Subiaco came out with determined fierceness at the contest, willing their way past their fancied opponents.
A six goal to two third quarter was the catalyst as Subiaco held East Perth at bay in a tense final quarter. Inspirational leader Jason Bristow claimed the Simpson Medal with 23 possessions and a memorable third quarter goal, while George Hampson kicked three goals.
Midfield duo Kyal Horsley and Chris Phelan combined for 51 possessions and three goals. Each had an interesting take on what the Grand Final memory meant for them:
The 2014 Premiership is my favourite football memory. We were underdogs all year and when it came to the Grand Final no one really gave us a shot. Its sort of surreal looking back on what we were able to achieve. I watch the highlights of the Grand Final every now and then and get goosebumps.
My favourite football memory to date is the 2014 Grand Final win over East Perth. We were big underdogs in that game and to get over the line, somewhat comfortably, was incredible. That really demonstrated that a team with the right structure, game plan and attitude can win on any given day.
1. 1973 – Subiaco 10.12.72 d West Perth 6.4.40
What else could it be, but that incredible game that ended 49 years of waiting.
interesting to note, Subiaco Oval may have been Subiaco’s home from 1908, however the first four premierships Subiaco won were in Grand Finals held at either Perth Oval or the WACA.
Subiaco ended the longest drought in WAFL history in 1973, as 49 years of build-up led to the moment where a Ross Smith led side upset West Perth in a classic Grand Final led by a strong defensive effort, winning by 32 points.
The Cinderella team had made the Grand Final, and the amount of hysteria generated by supporters was incredible club legend Tom Outridge passed away the day before the Grand Final. Roving legend Johnny Leonard attended the match and although he had coached West Perth to two premierships he declared he was a Subiaco man and was barracking for them. Unfortunately two regular members of the team Ian Cunningham, and Stephen Heal were injured and unable to play in the Grand Final. The game was played in windy conditions and the endeavour of both sides could not be faulted. At half time the score was West Perth 4 – 2 Subiaco 3 – 7 The Subiaco defence led by Denis Blair had been magnificent. In the second half Subiaco maintained tremendous pressure, and West Perth cracked, the final score was Subiaco 10 – 12 to West Perth 6 – 4 In the second half Ross Smith, Keith Watt, Mike Fitzpatrick and Peter Burton took control on the ball and the back line was superb. Smith’s game plan had worked to perfection. West Perth’s final score of 6 – 4 was the lowest score in a Grand Final since 1934. The backline of Davenport, Williams, Shepheard, Crouch, Blair and Paterson had completely blanketed the West Perth forward division. Keith Watt four goals, and Mick Malone three goals, did the bulk of the scoring. Denis Blair was a worthy winner of the Simpson Medal. The 49-year drought was broken and strong men cried unashamedly after the game.