Since the very beginning of the AFL, games were tense, and the finals were celebrated extensively. The eight teams that have the highest scores at the end of the season qualify for the four-week-long finals that end with the grand final match of the best two out of the original eight. The two finalists qualify in play-offs at the end of the season, and the winners are awarded the prestigious McClelland Trophy.
Grand Finals in the First Half of 20th Century
- There is no AFL fan who is not familiar with the long rivalry between Collingwood and Carlton. The legend says that the 1910 match between these teams is when the rivalry of the two fan clubs started. In the last quarter of the game, the fight broke out between the players, ending in four players being reported. The game had to be continued without them, so the dumbfounded remaining players had no choice but to forget about the fight.
- 1913 was the first grand final for the players of St. Kilda. The struggling players kicked only one goal in 3 quarters. Opposing Fitzroy used the mistake made by St. Kilda trying to save the match and won sealing the game with two more goals in the last quarter.
- The 1918 match between South Melbourne and Collingwood is remembered by Chris Laird’s brave attempt that resulted in a successful goal. Melbourne player’s kick in the last minute was used by Laird who kicked the ball off the ground rather than picking it up scoring a beautiful goal that won the game.
- 1927 is marked by the lowest-scoring game played in the AFL in the 20th century. Collingwood won over Richmond only 2.13 to 1.7.
- In 1930 the grand final was marked by the record never matched in the seasons that followed. Collingwood won it’s fourth consecutive grand final, earning the title the Machine Team.