STATE LEAGUE : THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, 1974 WAS ASCOT'S YEAR
1974 was Ascot's year! That fact was clearly underlined when they won the most coveted of titles, the Marlboro Shield, first division championship. But they not only won it, they won it in such devastating fashion that other teams in the competition only went to make up the numbers. Winning the Ampol Cup was a good start for them to 1974. Then their reserve team complemented the Shield success by winning the Reserve league championship and the Reserve cup knockout tournament. And the final icing on the cake was striker Ray Ilott's win in the Rothmans gold medal award to find the season's fairest and best player.
However, not everything went Ascot's way. They were humiliated by losing 5-6 to second division Rockingham United in the D'Orsogna Cup in extra time. Then after penalties they lost the Top Four Cup to Azzurri. But looking at their record it was without a doubt their year and the biggest moment was the winning of the Marlboro Shield. Ascot's remarkable record started right from the start by taking fourth position and never once did they leave the top four.
At first East Fremantle-Tricolore looked possible champions as they started with a bang with a 4-0 victory. For six weeks they held the lead and looked certain to be there-abouts at the finish. But gradually Tricolore's impetus faltered and they fell back. Indeed almost till the final weeks, Tricolore were a contender for relegation. Azzurri posed a threat for most of the season. They were the only other team to make the top four and never leave it. The final four was Ascot, Azzurri, Morley-Windmills and Kwinana United.
Windmills struggled to retain the title they won in 1973, but they never came close to shaking Ascot's grip. Kiev's hopes were high with a good early start to the season, filling second position at the start. But they gradually dropped from contention, as they have done on numerous occasions. A truly great effort came from Kwinana United, a side given no chance. But under the guidance of new coach Geoff Ogley, Kwinana gradually combined and rose slowly and unobtrusively.
The focus swung to Ascot in the seventh round and never really left them as they took first place on the league ladder and stayed there for the rest of the season. Till the 11th round it was neck and neck with first Tricolore and then Kiev breathing down their neck. Then Ascot gained the first break as Kiev dropped a point to give Ascot a three point lead. >From this moment Ascot was like a dog off a leash and quickly forged to a seven point lead.
It became just a formality then for Ascot to wrap up the competition, which they did in the 15th round with a surprising 1-1 draw against lowly Bayswater United. In the end Ascot won by nine points, the second largest tally of winning points in the history of the Federation.
While the championship was heading towards a predictable conclusion, the relegation battle was a fierce cut-throat affair. It was not till the third last round that Tricolore was finally able to put their supporters' fears at rest by gaining enough points to act as a buffer against the dreaded drop. But for Bayswater United, Olympic-Kingsway and Cracovia, the relegation battle came down to the very last game, with only one club set for relegation.
Cracovia sat on the bottom with 11 points, just behind Olympic-Kingsway (12) and Bayswater United (13). Anyone of these clubs could end up in the second division with the wrong results coming from the other games. Cracovia's last game was their best of the season as they won 3-1 in fine style against Tricolore. Every player came off the field with broad smiles. But they soon turned sour when the other results came in. Unbelievably Bayswater held Azzurri to a goalless draw while Olympic defeated Kiev 1-0. So down went Cracovia for the first time since 1965 and it will take a big effort to get back.
Cracovia's place will be taken by Spearwood Dalmatinac, who played consistently to outlast North Perth Croatia to earn 29 points, three clear of the rest of the field. It will be Dalmatinac's first time in first division. Dropping out of the second to third division was Macedonia United and Cockburn United, and their places will be taken by Subiaco City winners of the third division by three points from runners up Swan Valley
ASSOCIATION CUP : WINDMILLS GAIN THEIR FIRST D'ORSOGNA CUP
Morley Windmills are one of the big clubs of WA, yet competition honours have been hard to come by. They had won each of the major tiles, apart from the O'Orsogna Cup at least once - the Ampol Cup in 1969, the Top Four Cup in 1962 and the championship in 1961 and 1973. In 1974, they finally completed the sweep of all titles by winning the O'Orsogna Cup, beating East Fremantle-Tricolore 2-1 in the final. In fact, it was only their second appearance in the final. That was in 1961 and Tricolore won 3-1.
Windmills had a reasonably easy passage through to the final, though they came up against one or two moments that could have seen them tumbled from the competition. Probably their best match, and one of the best of the tournament, was their opening round clash with Inglewood Kiev. After a fast, skilful struggle Windmills got home with a 1-0 victory. Windmills went on to beat Canning Corinthian 6-0, Bayswater United 4-2 and then survive a shaky opening to beat Spearwood Oalmatinac 2-1.
Tricolore started their quest for yet another O'Orsogna Cup in shaky fashion after being forced to a replay after a lucky 1-1 draw with Floreat Athena. But luck wasn't needed when they beat Athena 4-2 in the replay with Jeff Williams getting all four goals. Then Tricolore beat their old rivals Azzurri 3-2, and downed giant-killers Rockingham United with a cruising 2-0 victory, before dumping Kingsway Olympic 2-1 in another dull semi-final.
In the first round of the cup, Sunday amateur side Belmont Cloverdale beat third division hopefuls Sorrento 3-2, while the major upset of the day was Rockingham's 4-3 win over first division Cracovia. Rockingham, however, reserved their biggest shock for the second round where they hammered the Ascot defence into extra time to win 6-5 without penalties. That was the end of the upset's for 1974, though second division Perth City forced Olympic to penalties before Olympic won 9-8.
So it was to the finals where Windnills were given a slight edge by the writers. There was little between the two sides, though Windmills had a winner in defender Denis Barstow, who won the D'Orsogna gold medal for the best player in the final. Unfortunately it was not a memorable final, but the crowd was kept in suspense till the end because of the closeness of the score. Windmills took the lead in the 33rd minute when a long high pass from full-back Paul Leber was judged to perfection by Johnny Van Oosten who laid on a neat back header to Paul Murray to score with a first time hook shot.
Fine goal keeping by Windmills' Chris Wissink kept Tricolore out as the port side fought for an equaliser. Wissink, however, had no answer to a Bobby Hynd penalty in the 48th minute. Windmills gradually pegged Tricolore back, and the Tricolore goal lived a lucky life for long periods. In the 73rd minute a second penalty was awarded, this time to Windmills, and Henry Gudden made no mistake. Windmills deserved their win and Barstow deserved his medal, but once again we had seen a poor final, marred by two very harsh penalty decisions. It is remarkable, that of the nine goals scored in the semi-finals and final, six should have come from penalties, and those penalties to have been evenly balanced among all teams taking part.
NIGHT SERIES : THE AMPOL CUP IS ASCOT'S FIRST 1974 SUCCESS
The Ampol Cup has rarely been a clear guide to a seasons prospects. It has always been a competition where clubs experiment with new players and new ideas. It isa competition that comes right on top of the festive season and so takes time to develop. However, the competition in 1974 provided a powerful message that Ascot was the team to watch during the forthcoming season. They beat Bayswater in the grand-final and set the stage for their best ever year.
But on the other side of the coin, fortune passed Bayswater by. Whereas the competition set Ascot on their way, for Bayswater it was their last glimpse of glory for the season. Bayswater looked the more impressive side on the way to the Ampol grand-final and topped the preliminary league table, one point ahead of Ascot and East Fremantle-Tricolore.
Ascot started well enough with a stirring 3-2 victory over Azzurri, with state striker Ray Illott banging home three goals, while Bayswater slumped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Tricolore. Ascot's bright start ended suddenly when Morley-Windmills dumped them unceremoniously to the tune of 4-1, while Bayswater still struggled to gain some semblance of order with a scrappy 2-2 draw with Inglewood-Kiev.
But then they both clicked with Bayswater beating Azzurri 3-1 and Ascot gaining two points from a 2-1 win over Cracovia. Ascot also beat Kwinana United 4-1, drew with Kiev 1-1 and beat Tricolore 3-0 to assure themselves of a top four place. But on the way they suffered a morale shattering 3-2 loss to Bayswater. Bayswater beat Morley-Windmills 3-2, Kwinana 2-1, Ascot 3-2, while drawing with Cracovia 1-1.
Little separated the top sides as the semi-finals started. Cracovia, who had started the competition with a magnificent 4-0 victory over Windmills with newcomer Geoff Oldham scoring a fine hat-trick, proved no match for East Fremantle-Tricolore in the first semi-final. Tricolore qualified for the preliminary final with a powerful 3-1 win. Then Ascot avenged their sixth round defeat by Bayswater by trouncing them 4-2 in the second semi-final.
In the preliminary final, Bayswater hit the front quickly with a goal by Ben Price, a transfer acquisition from Tricolore the year before. But it was not until the closing minutes of a tense encounter were Bayswater able to seal a grand-final position with a goal from Graham Woodard.
The 1974 grand-final was set to make history as the two sides battled out a 1-1 draw to force a replay for the first time in the competition. The first clash was full of interest because neither side adopted defensive tactics. A goal from Willy Buchanan from the edge of the penalty area set Bayswater alight. But probably the best movement of the match provided the equaliser for Ascot in the early minutes of the second-half - midfielder Stephen Sceats made a powerful run to the corner flag in the Bayswater half, passed back long to Maurice Carruthers, who sent over high cross. It eluded the Bayswater defence and Ray Illott stroked home a close range shot.
The replay was a different kettle of fish. It developed into a hard, mean game and two Bayswater players - defenders John Gibb and Eric Bani - were sent off, reducing the team to nine men. It became only a matter of time before Ascot won, which they did in convincing 4-1 fashion. For the first time the Federation ran a Golden Goal contest, with members of the media picking the best goal of the series - Ray Ilott won with a superb goal against Tricolore. Once again the junior Ampol Cup proved a big attraction. Morley beat Rockingham UnitOO 1-0 in the grand-final.
Inglewood-Kiev 1 (Dundo) Kwinana United 1 (Matthews)
East Fremantle-Tricolore 2 (O'Connell, Osborne) Bayswater United 1 (Woodard)
Cracovia 4 (Oldham 3, Plniera) Morley-Windmills 0
Ascot 3 (llott 3) Azzurri 2 (Cooney, Brady)
Windmills 4 (Lee 2, Van Oosten, Galloway) Ascot 1 (Kirkpatrick)
Azzurri 3 (Holt, Cooney, Sneddon) Kwinana 1 (Chadwick)
Bayswater 2 (Gibb, Garnham) Kiev 2 (Genovese, Gilomen)
Tricolore 2 (Blackmore, Williams) Cracovia 0
Bayswater 3 (Woodard, O'Callaghan, Marocchi) Azzurri 1 (E. Marocchi)
Windmills 3 (Lee, Van Oosten, Johnston) Kiev 2 (Gilomen, Dundo)
Ascot 3 (llott 2, Love) Cracovia 2 (Pearce, Piniera)
Tricolore 2 (Hynd, Bennett) Kwinana 1 (Halliday)
Ascot 4 (Ilott, Davidson, Love, Kirkpatrick) Kwinana 1 (own goal)
Azzurri 7 (E. Marocchi 3, McMillan 2, Sneddon, Trinca) Tricolore 1 (Hynd)
Bayswater 3 (Woodard 2, Sambrook) Windmills 2 (Lee, Galloway)
Cracovia 3 (Migas 2, Kuzimski) Kiev 2 (Waddle, Dundo)
Tricolore 4 (Hynd, O'Connell, Poleyket, Bennett) Windmills 3 (Van Oosten, Lee, Hannigen)
Kiev 1 (Dundo) Ascot 1 (Ilott)
Cracovia 0 Azzurri 0
Bayswater 2 (Woodard, Sambrook) Kwinana 1 (Lacey)
Tricolore 3 (Hynd 2, McCallum) Kiev 3 (Dundo 2, Genovese)
Cracovia 3 (Piniera, Oldham, Pearce) Kwinana 0
Windmills 2 (Lee, Van Oosten) Azzurri 1 (McMillan)
Bayswater 3 (Garnham, O'Callaghan, Sambrook) Ascot 2 (Kirkpatrick, Davidson)
Kwinana 2 (Williamson, own goal) Windmills 0
Ascot 3 (llott, Saunt, Davidson) Tricolore 0
Cracovia 1 (Pearce) Bayswater 1 (O'Callaghan)
Kiev 5 (Dundo 3, Waddle, Genovese) Azzurri 4 (McMillan 2, Sneddon, E. Marocchi)
Tricolore 3 (MacCallum 2, O'Connell) Cracovia 1 (Pearce)
Ascot 4 (Saunt, Kirkpatrick, Ilott, Love) Bayswater 2 (Messer, Woodard)
Bayswater 2 (Price, Woodard) Tricolore O
Ascot 1 (llott) Bayswater 1 (Buchanan)
Grand FInal Replay
Ascot4 (llott 2, Kirkpatrick 2) Bayswaterl (Garnham)
TOP FOUR PLAY-OFFS : AZZURRI WIN TOP FOUR
The Top Four Cup has never been a much-sought after trophy, apart from those few years when the winner gained the right to compete in the Australia Cup. Few mourned its passing in 1973. Yet in 1974 it was reborn, when the Federation negotiated a deal with Marlboro of Philip Morris to extend their promotion of soccer beyond the Marlboro Shield league competition. The first division top four were Ascot, Azzurri, Morley Windmills and Kwinana United; the second division were: Spearwood Dalmatinacs, North Perth Croatia, Melville Alemannia and Rockingham United; and the third division were: Subiaco City, Swan Valley, Lathlain Meazza and Osborne Park Galeb.
The top four, first division competition produced much the same result as the league competition till the grand-final. Kwinana lost the first semi-final to finish fourth, Windmills lost the preliminary final to finish third. But the grand-final saw the league champions Ascot eased out on penalties by Azzurri, who had finished second in the league race. In the first-semi, Windmills beat Kwinana 1-0 with a goal by Johnny Van Oosten. The seond semi-final was a surprising walk over by Azzurri, who caned Ascot 4-1. Then in the preliminary final, Ascot, with a lot of luck, scraped through to the grand-final with a 2-1 victory over Windmills.
Ascot had made no socret that they didn't approve of the top four, but in the grand-final they fought like tigers to consolidate their shield league win. Ascot almost got away with poor preparation when they took the lead in the 17th minute with a header by Bert Kirkpatrick from a corner. Despite the efforts of Azzurri, who hit everything but the net, it was not till the 63rd minute that dynamic striker Robert Earl was able to level the scores with a thundering 25-metre shot. The game was then decided on penalties. The penalty deciders started in sensational fashion when both goal-keepers, Dave Neale (Ascot) and Lou Melis (Azzurri) saved the opening shots. After eight penalties each, with some taken a second time because goalkeepers moved before the ball was kicked, Azzurri ran out victors scoring 6 goals to Ascot's 5 - a score of 7-6 to the sky blues.
The grand-final of the socond division top four was decided in a similar manner with North Perth Croatia beating close rivals Spearwood Dalmatinacs 5-3 after the game had ended in a 1-1 draw. Penalties settled the issue. Subiaco City underlined their third division superiority when they beat Lathlain Meazza 2-1 to win the third division section.
GOLD MEDAL : ILOTT IS SUPREME IN 1974, HAS COMFORTABLE WIN
The name Ray Ilott has become synonymous with the best in WA soccer. And he underlined his and Ascot's superiority in 1974 by winning the coveted Rothmans Gold Medal award for the season's fairest and best player. Many writers had tipped an Ilott win, though there was heavy betting that Kwinana defender Geoff Chadwick could snatch the prize in the last few matches. However, Ilott had a comfortable seven-vote victory.
For the first time the Federation decided to take the onus of responsibility for finding the winner off the shoulders of the referee. The referee was still called on to register his votes of three for the best, then two and one as he saw fit. But to provide a better balanced picture, the coaches of each club were called upon to register similar votes for players of the opposing side at each match. Further, to add interest to the competition, The West Australian published the progressive weekly tallies till the final four rounds.
For a long while the competition became a see-sawing affair till it was obvious towards the end that Ilott and Chadwick were the two who would fight it out. The competetition started with Ilott and Bayswater United's goalkeeper Roger Jones polling the maximum of six votes in the first game. Ilott and Chadwick had demonstrated a remarkable consistency to hold top spot. During the four weeks of secrecy when votes were kept sealed at the Federation's offices, rumours flew that there would be one or two surprises, and that certain players had made blistering runs. But when the votes were counted and the resulted placed on the board at Channel Nine studios, it was favourite Ray Ilott who stepped up to accept the magnificent medal.
Once again the support of Rothmans, who provided the medal, and the whole evening at Channel Nine, where the final count and presentation was made, added to soccer's most important individual event. The system of voting is much improved by bringing in the coaches to balance a referees limited view of a game. However, publication of votes on a weekly basis, no matter it's value as a promotion, can lead to biased voting. Coaches are placed in an invidious position whereby they might be tempted to ignore a performance by a player in the opposition if he is a threat to one of his own players.
The leading votes were:
Ray Ilott (Ascot) 46
Geoff Chadwick (Kwinana United) 39
Paul Messer, Dave a'Callaghan (Bayswater United) 35
John Sydenham (Floreat Athena) 31
Dave Jones (Kwinana United) 29
Archie Van Dongen (Inglewood-Kiev), Colin Bowles (Floreat Athena) 27
Tommy Barner (Athena), Denis Barstow (Morley-Windmills), John Davidson (Ascot), Peter Holt (Azzurri) 26
LEADING GOALSCORER : DUNDO DOES IT AGAIN
Soccer fans in WA could be excused for thinking that Len Dundo means goal scorer in English. It is a rare moment when Dundo takes the field with Inglewood-Kiev and doesn't score a goal. For the past three seasons he has done this trick so well that he has topped the State's goalscoring list on each occasion. Not since the days of the great Johnny McInroy has one player dominated the goalscoring competition so completely.
In 1972, Len scored 34 goals, and in 1973 his tally dropped to 19 to share the award with Bobby Hynd. In 1974, his tally of 24 goals was well clear of his nearest rival Robert Earl of Azzurri who managed 16 goals after missing a number of matches.
Dundo's goalscoring feats are now legendary in WA and no team can afford to let him have any room to move close to gaol with the ball anywhere near his fleet footed boots. Despite his small stature, he can score amazingly well with his head, though it's those half-chances with which he excels when the respective defences feel that the danger has passed.
Robert Earl was a new name on the scene in 1974, having been brought to Perth from Scotland by Azzurri. He didn't start till late, missing a few matches because of injury, but proved his worth with some tremendous goals. Behind these two we had a bunch of players with 12 goals apiece. Big names in WA soccer such as Dave O'Callaghan of Bayswater United, and the Ascot deadly twins of Ray Jlott and John Davidson. Goals were hard to come by last year and only five players managed double figures.
The situation was not much different in the second division with only five again making double figures. As it was in the first division, so Paul Hallam, for North Perth Croatia, scored 24 gaols to head the second division goalscorers award. Surprisingly the margin was also eight goals to the nearest rival Phil McCaffrey who notched 16 goals for Rockingham United.
The third division failed to break the 20 goal mark, with Ben Schook of Wembley Neerlandia scoring only 18 goals, one of the lowest on record for any division. Once again Ken George of Yamaha came to the party with a cash award for the winner of the first division, while Mead Johnston provided the incentive for the second division, with Cathay Pacific backing the third division.
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This page was last updated on the 24th February 2006