On this day 30 years ago, Geelong set the AFL’s all-time record score

Pretty much copying and pasting something I wrote this time 2 years ago:

Sunday, May 3rd, 1992.

The day after Jason Dunstall kicked 17 goals against Richmond, falling one short of equalling Fred Fanning’s VFL/AFL record of 18, Malcolm Blight’s free-scoring Geelong travelled up to the Gold Coast to play the Brisbane Bears at Carrara.

The end result, a major slice of AFL history – Geelong broke Fitzroy’s 1979 record (36.22-238) for the highest score in VFL/AFL history.

37.17 – 239.

Ironically, after 14 goals in the last quarter, the Catters got the outright record thanks to a behind on the siren from one Anthony William Brownless.

Somehow, Costa Sports on YouTube managed to find a tape of the entire game

With the Bears finishing on 11.9-75, it was also a club record 164 point win for the Pivotonians, a great recovery after kicking a disappointing 7 goals in the 1st Quarter.

9 Geelong players kicked at least 2 goals – Gary Ablett Snr led the way with 9 majors, Paul Brown kicked 6, and, oddly enough, Brisbane’s John Hutton kicked 8 goals without a miss.

On another note, here’s Bill Brownless (Who kicked 3 goals that night) talking about the game back in 2008/09 during Geelong’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Some historical notes

The week after setting the league record, Geelong became the first team in VFL/AFL history to record 200+ points in consecutive games, racking up 32.18-210 in a 123 point win against Adelaide at Kardinia Park.

What you don’t know is that Adelaide won the rematch in Round 23 by 91 points

The 1992 Cats averaged a lazy 136.8 points per game in 1992 (138.95 if you only count the Home & Away rounds), which remains the record for scoring in a season – Geelong of 1989 are next best at 132.77.

Those average scores are the perfect way of explaining Malcolm Blight’s Geelong teams to the kids of today – The simple mindset of ‘Just score one more goal than the opposition.’

It was dazzling to watch, especially with G.Ablett at full-forward and Brownless as his decoy, but unfortunately, it didn’t quite work against the Mick Malthouse-coached West Coast teams, who knew how to defend.

And attack.

19 years later, the Cats bettered the club record winning margin when they equalled their own league record of 37 goals in a game against Melbourne in Round 19 of 2011, recording the fourth-highest score of all-time, and the second-biggest win of all-time – 186 points.

10 years later, Melbourne defeated Geelong by 83 points in a Preliminary Final

1992 was also the last season the Bears played home games at Carrara – They finally managed to play games at the Gabba in 1991 (Their first game saw Brownless kick a Gabba record 11 goals), but the greyhound track made the field smaller than the SCG, which was the main reason the Bears spent their formative years at the bigger Carrara, despite it literally being a portable tip.

Talk about a blast from the past – The gruelling 895m on grass for the Gabba dishlickers!

What finally changed was that the Queensland Government offered the Gabba Greyhound Racing Club a lucrative offer to relocate and join up with the trots at Albion Park (Which GGRC happily took up), and the last greyhound race was held in February 1993, allowing the Bears to permanently move to an upgraded Gabba for the 1993 season.

Thanks to a team named Brisbane actually playing in Brisbane, their average attendance rocketed by 71%, finally giving the Bears a fair crack at building a supporter base.

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