Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The 1935 Dockerty Cup Final

Whilst listening to some items that Radio Sport National posted on Soundcloud to mark the 90th anniversary of their original incarnation 3UZ, I recalled coming across mentions of radio football broadcasts whilst searching the Trove archives.

A search soon revealed that radio station 3AR covered the 1935 Dockerty Cup Final from Olympic Park. Commentary came in between coverage of races at Moonee Valley that were called by Jim Carroll.

That year's Cup Final was one of the all-time classics, and a re-match of a titanic struggle from the previous year. In 1934 the Final saw Caledonians and Hakoah draw 4-4, before the Scots took the trophy with a 3-2 victory in the Replay. This denied Hakaoh a League and Cup double.

The states preeminent sides would meet in the Final again a year later. Once again Hakoah were the League Champions, with Caledonians having finished Runner's-Up. Caledonians has preceded Hakoah as League Champions in taking the 1933 title. As usual there would be no shortage of goals, with Hakoah claiming the double with a thrilling 4-3 triumph (as covered here in The Argus).

Despite taking an early lead, Hakoah had to come from 2-1 down at the interval. They fell further behind after the resumption, before a burst of three goals in twenty minutes capped a remarkable comeback in front of a crowd estimated as 2,000 people.

The Hakoah team was one of the strongest sides seen in Victoria to that point in history. Aku Roth, Frank McIver, Alec Forrest, Alf Mackey and Johnnie Orr would all represent Australia at some stage.

The 1935 season saw Frank McIver top the goalscoring charts for the third year in succession, with a whopping 45 goals. Ten of those came in a 17-1 crushing of Melbourne Thistle in June. He was still a prolific scorer ten years later, netting five goals in a game at Como Park for Prahran A as they defeated R.A.A.F. Laverton 12-0 in April 1945. With records sketchy at best during World War II, it still appears certain he was leading scorer again in 1942 and 1943. He would become Secretary of the Latrobe Valley Association, and when coaching at Moorabbin City in the early 1950's would still turn out for the reserve team if they were short of players.

Club captain Aku Roth was also still going strong a decade later, playing for the Hakoah-Moreland combine which came into being during World War II. P.Lewis had emerged to prominence in the great Naval Depot side of the late 1920's. Alec Forrest had been the league's top goalscorer in 1930 for St Kilda before his move to Hakoah. Forrest, McIver and Alf Mackey all played in the Victorian team which defeated India 4-2 at the M.C.G. in 1938, McIver notching a brace and Forrest also getting on the scoresheet.

The Caledonian side was nearly as illustrious, many of whom would form the nucleus of the mighty Nobels team of 1939-40. The Weirs, Youngs and Grays were all prominent in representative games, along with H.Beats and J.Paulsen.

The 1935 Dockerty Cup Final was certainly the pinnacle in the battle between two dominant and highly decorated club teams that had taken Victorian football to a new level.

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