September 25, 1943 was the date that Richmond won its fifth premiership, defeating Essendon by five points in front of a crowd of 42,100 at Princes Park. 

1943 Grand Final details

Richmond 4.2 6.5 8.8 12.14 86
Essendon 2.4 4.9 8.13 11.15 81

Goals: R.Harris 7, J. Dyer 3, J.Broadstock, R.Bawden
Best Players: Waldron, Dyer, Harris, Perkins, Merrett, Broadstock, Bawden, Oppy.

The 1943 premiership team

Backs J Scott R Durham R Steele
Half Backs R Hunt L Maguire B Perkins
Centres L Merrett B Waldron B Edwards
Half Forwards R Quinn J Broadstock B Randall
Forwards L Cahill R Bawden R Harris
Ruck J Dyer A Barr-Kemp M Oppy
Reserve L Ablett    
Coach J Dyer    

1943 Grand Final review

A crowd of 42,100 people attended this game which was played at Princes Park, Carlton. Part of Jack Dyer’s pre-match address included the reading of a letter he had received from the late Bill Cosgrove’s Squadron Leader. Bill had been killed on active service, in August 1943 and the letter detailed the heroic deeds of the former Richmond player, whilst in defence of his country. The letter concluded by saying the Richmond football club should go out and win this game in Bill’s memory. The address was very emotional and it saw the Tigers run onto the ground keen to erase the memory of the previous year as well as win one for Bill Cosgrove. 

Richmond made numerous positional changes from their selected lineup. Richmond went into attack straight away and Harris started the day brilliantly kicking 2 of the first 3 goals including one from a free kick. Bawden also goaled as Richmond led 3-2 to nil. The Tigers led by 10 points at the first change and although Essendon fought back to lead at one stage during the second term, Richmond went in at half-time with an 8-point lead mainly thanks to Harris and Jack Dyer, who were leading by example. The Dons rattled Richmond in the early part of the third term when they kicked 3 goals in five minutes. It appeared as if Essendon were building up to bigger things. Harris interrupted Essendon’s run on with a much-needed goal to Richmond. 

Essendon full-forward, Tom Reynolds, was a danger man having kicked 6 goals to this stage. A goal to Harris near three-quarter time saw Richmond trail by 5 points at the last change. The game turned nasty in the last quarter as both teams strove top gain the ascendancy. It was the Tigers who turned on the heat when Dyer marked and goaled. This was quickly followed by another from Harris from a long drop kick, after two consecutive misses. Dyer and Harris followed up with two more goals, with the latter’s being his seventh for the game. Bad mistakes by the Tiger defence let Essendon in for goals to Lane, Torney and Tom Reynolds, who also kicked his seventh. At this time, Jack dyer packed the Essendon forward line by moving his forwards into defence. 

Betson of Essendon had a kick for goal near the end but the big fist of Jack Dyer punched the ball through for a point. With the siren about to go Essendon attacked; however, Steele marked deep in Essendon’s attacking zone to repel the Bombers. Steele took his kick as the siren sounded giving Richmond their fifth Premiership. Jack dyer coached Richmond brilliantly. The move of Max Oppy onto his cousin, triple Brownlow Medalist, Dick Reynolds, proving to be a match winner. 

Reynolds, the Essendon captain/coach, was followed everywhere and never allowed to exert his brilliance on the game as he had done in the second semi-final. Waldron into the centre was also an effective move.

1943 newspaper
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