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1946 Our Eighth Premiership
The dramatic improvement in the team was no doubt substantially attributable to the return of the likes of Jack Cassin, Gordon Abbott, Keith Rawle, Harold Lambert and Herbert “Tinker” Tonkes following war duties. In addition, Jack Jones, George Hassell and Bob McClure were introduced to the team.
Essendon finished on top after the home and away games and went into the finals series as “red hot” favourites.
In the second Semi-Final, Essendon played Collingwood and the game in front of 73,370 at the MCG finished in a draw, Essendon 14.16.100 to Collingwood 13.22.100. In the replay, Essendon defeated Collingwood 10.16.76 to 8.9.57 to proceed to the Grand Final.
The Grand Final against Melbourne in front of 73,743 started sensationally when Melbourne slammed on five goals in the first eight minutes, however by quarter time Essendon had fought back to trail by 7 points, 7.2.44 to 8.3.51.
In the second quarter each side only scored two goals, however in the third quarter, Essendon showed their dominance, kicking 11.8.74 in the quarter, which was the highest score kicked in a quarter in a Grand Final to that time.
Essendon went on to win the game 22.18.150 to Melbourne 13.9.87.
The Premiership team was:
Best players were: Lane, Hutchison, Buttsworth, Ruddell, Bushby, H.Lambert, Reynolds, McClure and Pearson.
Following the game, the Coach Dick Reynolds commented that “our football in the third quarter was unbeatable and the best I have ever seen. I can honestly say that the team under me this year is the best combination I have ever seen or played with and I am proud to be their leader”.
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