Reference_ 1957 SF Hawthorn v Carlton - Hawthorns First VFL Final



In 1923 Hawthorn ended the season in fourth place on the VFA ladder and were defeated by Port Melbourne in the Semi Final. In 1924 Hawthorn did not make the VFA finals and in 1925 the team moved to the VFL. 1957 would see Hawthorn's first final appearance after 33 seasons out of the finals.

Carlton had not had a finals appearance since 1952, and supporters on both sides were keen for a good result

Season and Lead-up

Carlton and Hawthorn met in Round One of the 1957 season at Princes Park. A seven goal first term by the Hawks gave them a 37 point lead at Quarter time and they defended that laed for the rest of the game. At three quarter time Carlton had got within 9 points, but Hawthorn held Carlton scoreless in the final term to win by 36 points.


The first half of the season went well for Hawthorn but a mid-season slump was precipitated by a loss to Collingwood then a loss in the rematch with Carlton in Round 12, when Carlton won by nine points at Glenferrie Oval.

In the final round the three top teams (Melbourne, Hawthorn and Carlton) were certain of a finals position. The final position in the four was Essendon if Essendon won, but could have been Collingwood if Essendon lost to Carlton and Collingwood defeated StKilda. In the end Essendon defeated Carlton and Hawthorn lost to Footscray meaning that Essendon ended the season second on the ladder.

The First Semi Final would be a play off between Hawthorn and Carlton. The teams were one all for the season and only the winner would remain for another week.



Len Crane, John Kennedy and Roy Simmonds were the 100 gamers playing for the Hawks.
18 year old Garry Young and 19 year old Ron Cable were the only two players with less than 20 games experience

An average team age of 23 and a total of 1118 combined career games for the 20 players matched Carltons average team age of 24 and 1180 combined career games.

B:Alf HughesDon GentAllan Woodley
HB:Len CraneGeoff HowellsBrian Kann
C:Brian FalconerNorm MaginnessJohn Kennedy Snr
HF:Phil O'BrienJohn PeckGraham Arthur
F:Les KaineGarry YoungRon Cabble
Foll:Brendan EdwardsMaurie Young
Rover:Roy Simmonds
19th/20thNoel VoigtRay Yeoman

Coach: Jack Hale

Voight replaced Howells at three quarter time
Yeoman replaced Simmonds in the last quarter


Doug Beasy, Bruce Comben, Ken Hands and Laurie Kerr were the 100 gamers for the Blues adding experince into the side. A number of young players added to the mix with 18 year old John Nicholls, in his first of 18 seasons, the youngest player on the ground. Other players with less than 20 senior games were Leo Brereton, Brian Buckley, Ron O'Dwyer and Alan White.

F:John NichollsGeorge FerryBruce Comben
B:John JamesPeter WebsterDenis Zeunert
HB:Jack Sullivan b1933Don NichollsGraham Gilchrist
C:Alan WhiteGraham DonaldsonLaurie Kerr
HF:Leo BreretonDenis StrauchGerald Burke
Foll:Ken HandsKevin Clarke b1931
19th/20thBrian BuckleyRon O'Dwyer

Coach: Jim Francis

Buckley replaced Strauch in the last quarter
O'Dwyer replaced Clarke in the last quarter

Reference_ 1957 SF Hawthorn v Carlton - Hawthorns First VFL Final - Hawthorn Team
Reference_ 1957 SF Hawthorn v Carlton - Hawthorns First VFL Final - Carlton Team

The Game

Sat, 31-Aug-1957
Crowd: 69,455

Hawthorn5.3 (33)7.6 (48)9.7 (61)10.11 (71)
Carlton0.2 (2)2.7 (19)4.9 (33)6.12 (48)
HW by 31HW by 29HW by 28HW by 23


Goal Kickers:
Hawthorn: Cabble 3, Arthur 2, M.Young 2, Simmonds,2, Falconer
Carlton: Brereton 2, Hands, Burke, D.Nicholls, Beasy

A pacy first quarter gave Hawthorn a 31 point lead at quarter time. The Age noted that 'pressure was maintained by throwing four rovers into the fray in quick changing bursts'. (The Age 3-Sep-1957 p18).
Hawthorn held a comfortable lead for the remainder of the game.

A hailstorm just before the resumption of the third quarter changed the conditions and the Age correspondent noted improvement in Carlton's play but that the team could not convert this into improved scoring with a number of missed chances. Hawthorn after so long out of the finals had won.

Match Previews

Match Reviews

The Age 3-Sep-1957 p1

The Age 3-Sep-1957 p18


The Age 3-Sep-1957 p1

The Age 3-Sep-1957 p18

The Aftermath

Hawthorn were knocked out by eventual premiers Melbourne in the preliminary final and neither Carlton nor hawthorn would make the finals the following year. But Hawthorn had ended their years as cellar dwellers and would win their first flag in 1961.


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