Monday, 28 April 2014

Random Research Musings

After two days in which I arrived at the SLV newspaper reading room at 10.a.m and didn't leave until just before 6.00 p.m. closing (without any food, drink or toilet breaks) in a week and then trying to make sense of my appalling note-taking, I may as well share what little discoveries I made.

Deciding to work back in time for a change I had a look for reserve's league champions, League Best and Fairest and Top Goalscorers from the early and mid 2000's. Gave up on that pretty quickly as it was futile. It's stuff that should already be available on the net but to to incompetence it isn't. For another day.

I then moved on to mid and early 1990's Cup Finals of the State League, Provisional League, Amateur League and Armstrong variety. A bit more success here. Found the line-ups for the 1992 Dockerty Cup Final, as well as the score from the curtain raiser, a 1-1 draw between the Victorian state team and South Melbourne Hellas.

1991 saw a play-off between the NSWPL and VPL champions. It was Sutherland v Brunswick Juventus over two legs. Both won 1-0 at home (home city in the case of Juve who used Northcote's John Cain Reserve) leading to a penalty shoot-out won 4-3 by Brunswick.

Always a bittersweet moment finding a Cup final line-ups but no record of the substitutions made. That was in the case of the 1990 Dockerty Cup Final. Melbourne Croatia only had two on the bench, whilst Brunswick Juventus had the full five, with Charlie Egan at least being brought on being gleaned from one match report.

OzFootball has the South Melbourne line-up for the infamous 1988 Dockerty Cup Final, but not that of Melbourne Croatia. Which is of main interest being the Final is infamous for seeing winners Croatia stripped of their win on protest after bringing on Frank Valentic as sub when he was under suspension from a Youth league game apparently. Did not find their full line-up or substitutions.

Found enough scores from 1954 to finalise the Third Division table. Almost enough to do the same for the Fourth Division, though that picture is muddied by Shell and Slovakia both pulling out, and Victorian Colts being added halfway through the season.

A puzzle stubbornly refusing to be solves is the Third Division of 1951. One score missing, Coburg v Olympic from June 30. I know Coburg won, because going on promotion/relegation the next season they must have secured the two points they needed to jump from fourth to second. The Coburg Courier has the score from the week before and after, but not that week.

Still don't have full line-ups for the 1958, 1959 and 1970's Dockerty Cup Finals. I must say the The Sun's Morrie Buckner was the worst of the old time correspondents I've come across. One match report barely mentioned a single player amid his whinging about the pitch and weather.

Since then I've had a look at some missing goalscorers from the OzFootball records), as I still think that working out a lineage of Top Goalscorers for the VSL/VPL back to 1960 is possible. As of now, there are seven goals unaccounted for in 1964. Will need to go back to see if there are any details around on the replayed game of Alexander 1 Melbourne 3 on Wednesday September 9. As it stands, Mike Mandalis of South Melbourne Hellas heads the list on 16, with all of South's goals accounted for. This puts him two clear of Frank Soffels from Willhelmina, who have one goal missing, so he has him covered. Jimmy Malloy of Melbourne sits on 13, and a hat-trick in that game would have him share honours, and it may be possible because he did most of his scoring in braces or hat-tricks that year.

I've found the missing scorers for 1967, and it was a climactic finish tallying the goals. Tony Hughes of J.U.S.T. scored twice in the final round to draw level on 19 with Jimmy Armstrong (Hakoah) and Attila Abonyi (Melbourne) who went head to head at Middle Park. Abonyi scored the only goal of the game to clinch the Golden Boot.

In 1961 four games from the Public Holiday Monday round on April 3rd remain elusive in terms of goalscorer details. And I mean elusive. Tried the Italian paper Il Globo, as Juventus played Richmond Alemannia that day, but they only covered the subsequent Saturday game in their next issue. Tried the German newspaper Neue Welt and would you believe it there was a "this issue is missing" slide on the microfilm for the relevant week, the only one on a reel covering two years worth of the paper. A tally of the goals sees Alex Beattie of J.U.S.T. on top with 21 goals, again with all their goals accounted for. Joe Haasz is the only one who can catch him, sitting on 19 and with both goals in Slavia's 4-2 loss to Moreland that fateful day still unknown.

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