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1986

 

Demps’ arrives, ‘Fox’ departs and the Sharks lose the unloseable grand final

SEASON 1986 will go down as one of the most peculiar, indeed frustrating, in Southport’s history.
It started with so much hype, with one of the game’s absolute VFL legends signed, but it ended in bizarre circumstances.

With most of the 1985 premiership line-up on board, and having signed 30-something VFL superstar ruckman and Brownlow Medallist Gary Dempsey, things looked good.

This was despite the loss of dual premiership captain Gavan McGuane, who headed down the Gold Coast to captain-coach Coolangatta in the GCAFL.

McGuane departed Owen Park for personal reasons.

Dempsey, despite being 37 years of age and with more than 300 VFL games at Footscray and North Melbourne under his belt, had never played in a grand final.

The closest the giant had ever got to a premiership was at the preliminary final stage.

The chance to play with Southport and perhaps end that career anomaly were key factors when Dempsey headed north.

Despite all the talk of Dempsey being offered thousands of dollars a match, the reality was that he was as cheap as chips, as it were, for someone of his stature.

The ruckman had a chat with Southport president Dr Alan Mackenzie, asked what the club was prepared to pay, and was told that VFL players were on $500 a match.

He signed immediately and became a colossus in the QAFL.

It was an up-and-down year for the Sharks. They won 16 of 20 games they played and went into the grand final one of the shortest-ever flag favourites.

They were up against Coorparoo and during the regular season, Southport beat the Roos by 20 points (round two) and by 66 points (round 11).

They then thrashed the Roos by 98 points in the major semi-final, entering the grand final the hottest of hot favourites.

But somehow the Sharks fell victim to a remarkable 108-point turnaround to the same club a fortnight later in the match that mattered the most.

Coorparoo’s ex-VFL ace Kevin O’Keeffe, who had missed the semi-final, absolutely blitzed the Sharks that day.

In the semi, neither side kicked a goal in the first quarter, but the Sharks raced on 13.1 to 3.2 in the second term, effectively ending the contest.

A fortnight later, though, and with former Fitzroy defender O’Keeffe back from injury, Coorparoo were a completely different unit.

The Roos put the acid on the Sharks from the outset. At quarter-time they led 2.4 to 1.4, and at half-time had a handy 7.9 to 3.5 advantage.

That was the ball game because, try as they did, the Sharks could not overcome the deficit and fell by 10 points.

It was a bitter moment for Dempsey, whose first taste of grand final footy was on a losing side.
Never mind, because a career anomaly was to be rectified the next year.

Southport scored in the reserve grade grand final, beating Morningside by 12.10 (82) to 11.12 (78), but the colts lost the big decider to Mayne by 12.18 (90) to 9.9 (63).

Season details: Games played 20, won 16, lost 4.
Best and fairest: Gary Dempsey.
Leading goalkicker: Glen Middlemiss (77).

Representative:
Lost to Papua New Guinea, beat Gold Coast.

 

 

RESULTS 1986

Round 1 (Apr 6):
SOUTHPORT  5.6  8.7 10.13  12.19 (91)
MAYNE            2.0  5.6   8.10  13.11 (89)
Southport goals: G Middlemiss 6, S Short 2, D Carlson, P Guy, J Glynn, J Millane.
Southport best: Z Taylor, G Middlemiss, G Dempsey, R Waugh, C Crowley, S Short.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 2 (Apr 13):
SOUTHPORT    2.1  4.2    9.4  14.6 (90)
COORPAROO  5.4  7.9  9.12  9.16 (70)
Southport goals: G Middlemiss 6, G Dempsey 2, D Coombe 2, D Brookes, G Coventry, R Waugh, B Thompson.
Southport best: G Middlemiss, G Coventry, T Surman, J Millane, Z Taylor, G Dempsey.
At Giffin Park, Brisbane.

Round 3 (Apr 20):
SOUTHPORT  4.2    9.7  10.10  16.15 (111)
SHERWOOD  0.9  2.10     3.13      5.16 (46)
Southport goals: D Carlson 4, S Short 2, J Cotter 2, B Thompson 2, T Wilkins, G Coventry, R Hillary, C Crowley, T Surman, D Coombe.
Southport best: M Youngs, D Carlson, J Cotter, S Kirkpatrick, C Crowley, J Millane.
At Leyshon Park, Brisbane.

Round 4 (Apr 27):
SOUTHPORT                    3.5  9.8  11.15  17.18 (120)
WINDSOR-ZILLMERE  1.2   3.5      8.7      9.13 (67)
Southport goals: B Thompson 6, G Dempsey 3, G Coventry 2, R Hillary 2, S Short, D Carlson, G Crosby, D Coombe.
Southport best: G Dempsey, D Carlson, C Crowley, T Crowley, G Coventry, B Thompson.
At Owen Park, Southport.\

Round 5 (May 4):
WESTERN DISTRICTS  3.2   8.11  13.13  16.14 (110)
SOUTHPORT                    7.4  11.8   14.12  16.13 (109)
Southport goals: B Thompson 4, D Coombe 2, G Coventry 2, T Crowley, M Frawley, J Millane, R Hillary, J Glynn, J Cotter, D Carlson, G Crosby.
Southport best: G Dempsey, T Crowley, S Short, J Glynn, J Millane, S Kirkpatrick.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 6 (May 11):
SOUTHPORT  4.4  6.7  12.12  14.17 (101)
SANDGATE     1.1  4.5      4.5        4.7 (31)
Southport goals: B Thompson 4, D Brookes 2, T Crowley 2, J Glynn 2, G Coventry, G Middlemiss, R Hillary, J Cotter.
Southport best: G Coventry, B Thompson, T Crowley, G Dempsey, C Gwynne.
At Lemke Road, Brisbane.

Round 7 (May 18):
SOUTHPORT               5.3  10.4  18.5  21.6 (132)
WILSTON-GRANGE  0.4    3.5    7.8   11.11 (77)
 
Southport goals: G Middlemiss 5, B Thompson 4, G Coventry 3, J Glynn 2, R Waugh, R Hillary, J Cotter, S Kirkpatrick, D Coombe, C Gwynne, G McKenzie.
Southport best: G Dempsey, F Lourey, L Girardi, T Surman, G Middlemiss, J Cotter.
At Hickey Park, Brisbane.

Round 8 (May 25):
SOUTHPORT  2.5  8.15  16.19  24.26 (170)
KEDRON          3.3    4.5      6.9      8.10 (58)
Southport goals: B Thompson 9, T Mitchell 6, G Coventry 3, J Glynn 2, S Wollington 2, G Middlemiss, T Crowley.
Southport best: B Thompson, G Coventry, M Frawley, T Mitchell, T Surman, J Glynn.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 9 (Jun 1):
SOUTHPORT       5.5  12.11  19.18  26.25 (181)
MORNINGSIDE  3.2      7.4     10.5      12.7 (81)
Southport goals: G Coventry 8, T Mitchell 6, G Middlemiss 5, G Dempsey 2, S Wollington 2, P Guy, J Cotter, D Carlson.
Southport best: G Coventry, J Cotter, T Mitchell, D Carlson, G Dempsey, L Girardi.
At Owen Park, Southport.\

Round 10 (Jun 8):
MAYNE             2.2    6.5    8.7  12.11 (83)
SOUTHPORT  2.4  4.10  6.17     7.22 (64)
Southport goals: G Middlemiss 2, G Coventry, T Surman, G Dempsey, T Mitchell, D Price.
Southport best: G Dempsey, P Guy, R Hillary, D Carlson, L Girardi, M Frawley.
At Windsor Park, Brisbane.

Round 11 (Jun 15):
SOUTHPORT   5.10  10.15  15.23  20.28 (148)
COORPAROO    2.4    4.10    8.11    11.16 (82)
Southport goals: G Middlemiss 9, S Wollington 3, S Allen 3, D Coombe 2, M Frawley, T Mitchell, D Price.
Southport best: G Middlemiss, L Girardi, T Surman, M Frawley, R Hillary, G Coventry.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 12 (Jun 29):
SOUTHPORT  6.8  14.18  18.21  25.26 (176)
SHERWOOD   1.6      4.7    7.12      9.15 (69)
Southport goals: D Carlson 5, G Dempsey 4, S Wollington 4, G Coventry 3, T Crowley 2, G Middlemiss 2, J Millane, J Glynn, J Cotter, T Surman, D Coombe.
Southport best: P Guy, C Crowley, M Frawley, J Millane, G Dempsey, D Carlson.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 13 (Jul 7):
WINDSOR-ZILLMERE  2.5  10.8    14.8  16.12 (108)
SOUTHPORT                    2.6    5.8  10.11  15.13 (103)
Southport goals: T Surman 5, C Crowley 3, G Middlemiss 3, T Crowley, J Cotter, B Thompson, G Dempsey, D Price.
Southport best: C Crowley, Z Taylor, D Carlson, G Middlemiss, M Frawley, J Cotter.
At O’Callaghan Park, Brisbane.

Round 14 (Jul 13):
SOUTHPORT                    3.4    6.6  11.8  18.14 (122)
WESTERN DISTRICTS  4.4  10.5  15.8  17.10 (112)
Southport goals: B Thompson 4, M Frawley 3, G Middlemiss 2,  J Glynn 2, J Cotter 2, C Crowley 2, D Carlson, D Coombe, R Glassell.
Southport best: J Cotter, G Dempsey, F Lourey, D Carlson, M Frawley, G Middlemiss.
At Windsor Park, Brisbane (TV match of the round).

Round 15 (Jul 20):
SOUTHPORT  4.8  10.9  22.16  29.20 (194)
SANDGATE      0.2   5.5      5.5        7.8 (50)

Southport goals: G Middlemiss 8, C Van Wyk 7, G Dempsey 4, C Croweley 3, P Gregson 2, R Glassell 2, J Glynn, J Cotter, T Surman.
Southport best: G Middlemiss, C Crowley, C Van Wky, P Guy, D Carlson, B Thompson.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 16 (Aug 3):
SOUTHPORT               8.4  16.9  18.15  25.21 (171)
WILSTON-GRANGE  0.1    3.5    5.10      8.18 (66)
Southport goals: G Middlemiss 5, G Dempsey 5, P Guy 3, J Glynn 3, J Cotter 3, M Frawley 2, C Van Wyk 2, C Crowley, B Thompson.
Southport best: P Guy, Z Taylor, G Dempsey, D Coombe, C Crowley, M Frawley.
At Owen Park, Southport.

Round 17 (Aug 10):
SOUTHPORT   5.1  11.7  18.11  24.15 (159)
KEDRON          3.3     5.3      8.5     11.9 (75)
Southport goals: G Middlemiss 7, B Thompson 6, P Gregson 3, Z Taylor 2, T Crowley, M Frawley, J Glynn, J Cotter, F Lourey, D Coombe.
Southport best: P Guy, D Carlson, D Coombe, G Middlemiss, B Thompson, F Lourey.
At Anderson Oval, Brisbane.

Round 18 (Aug 17):
SOUTHPORT       2.0  8.1  12.2    16.3 (99)
MORNINGSIDE  1.1  5.3    9.5   10.10 (70)
Southport goals: G Middlemiss 4, P Gregson 3, J Glynn 2, D Carlson 2, M Frawley, J Cotter, B Thompson, C Van Wyk, D Coombe.
Southport best: C Van Wyk, R Hillary, F Lourey, D Coombe, T Crowley, P Guy.
At Esplen Oval, Brisbane.

Major semi-final (Aug 31):
SOUTHPORT   0.4  13.5  21.5  31.5 (191)
COORPAROO  0.1    3.3    8.5    14.9 (93)
Southport goals: G Middlemiss 9, G Coventry 4, J Cotter 4, M Frawley 3, B Thompson 3, P Gregson 3, P Guy 2, J Millane, J Glynn, G Dempsey.
Southport best: G Middlemiss, M Youngs, T Surman, P Guy, J Cotter, D Coombe.
At Windsor Park, Brisbane.

Grand final (Sept 14):
COORPAROO  2.4  7.9  11.13  12.16 (88)
SOUTHPORT    1.4  3.5      7.8  11.12 (78)
GOALS: Coorparoo: G Norris 2, A Colenso 2, B Jones 2, L Millar 2, B McMullen, I Wilson, T O’Neill, G Hutcheson. Southport: T Surman 3, G Middlemiss 2, M Frawley, D Carlson, B Thompson, G Dempsey, C Van Wyk, Z Taylor.
BEST: Coorparoo: K O’Keeffe, B McMullen, G Page, M Gibson, G Becker, A Colenso. Southport: T Surman, M Frawley, D Carlson, R Hillary, P Guy, G Dempsey.
At Windsor Park, Brisbane.