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Hawks, Dees to renew finals rivalry

1988 Rewind: Premiership's best goals Watch the best goals from our 1988 Premiership, a match where the team kicked a whopping 22.

The Hawks will face Melbourne in a final for the first time in 28 years on Friday night as they look to secure a preliminary final place.

The two sides will recommence a finals rivalry that dates back 61 years, with Melbourne claiming the first of six September encounters in their premiership year of 1957, while the Hawks have won four of the five finals since, including the 1988 premiership.

Elimination final, 1990

Melbourne 10.13 (73) def Hawthorn 8.16 (64)

In what was an arm-wrestle of a contest, the Hawks lead the Dees at half-time by seven points, before a six-goal-to-one third term handed Melbourne the upper hand. The Hawks rallied in the final term but fell just short by nine points – their run of seven consecutive grand finals finally coming to an end. Jason Dunstall, Dermott Brereton and Tony Hall each kicked two goals while Darren Bennett had four for the Demons.

Grand final, 1988

Hawthorn 22.20 (152) def Melbourne 6.20 (56)

The Hawks were playing in their sixth successive grand final while the Dees were running out for their first since their ’64 premiership. While they only led by 17 points at quarter time, the Hawks never looked in doubt, dominating Melbourne from start to finish to record the then-highest grand final winning margin of 96 points. The Hawks’ key forwards again led the way, with Dunstall (seven goals), Paul Abbott (six) and Brereton (five) monstering the Demons defence, while Gary Ayres claimed the Norm Smith medal.

Read - Super match preview: SF

Preliminary final, 1987

Hawthorn 11.14 (80) def Melbourne 10.18 (78)

A game infamous for reasons Melbourne fans won’t want to remember.

Playing in their first finals series in 23 years, the Demons claimed the early ascendancy over the Hawks, leading narrowly at quarter time before pushing the margin out to 22 points at the main break. Carrying the same lead into the last term, the Dees looked to be in the box seat to progress through to a grand final before the reigning premiers mounted a late charge. Down by four points with less than a minute remaining, the Hawks took the ball cleanly up the ground from a kick-in, with a leading Gary Buckenara judged to have been tripped at half forward and handed the free kick, with the siren sounding shortly after. Lining up for goal, the forward was suddenly awarded a 15-metre penalty after Demon ruckman Jim Stynes ran through the mark, taking Buckenara from outside 50 to well within range. Kicking truly, Buckenara booked the Hawks a place in the grand final, breaking the hearts of Melbourne fans everywhere.  

Preliminary final, 1963

Hawthorn 11.11 (77) def Melbourne 10.8 (68)

The Demons took an early lead before Hawthorn bounced back to hold a 17-point advantage going into half time. With the margin reduced to nine points heading into the final term, both sides kicked two goals and two behinds in the last quarter as the Hawks held on for a narrow win. John Peck, Ian Law and Rod Olson each kicked three goals while Barry Bourke kicked five for Melbourne.

Semi final, 1961

Hawthorn 21.8 (80) def Melbourne 11.7 (73)

Melbourne jumped out to a 19-point lead at quarter time before the Hawks chipped away at the margin, trailling by just six at halftime. Grabbing the lead in the third term, the Hawks were up by just one point in the game’s final stages, before managing to snatch the winning goal and finally prevail by seven points. John Peck lead the Hawks with four goals, while Garry Young, Ron Nalder and Morton Browne each kicked two apiece.

Preliminary final, 1957

Melbourne 11.12 (144) def Hawthorn 11.10 (76)

Playing in their first-ever finals series, the Hawks trailed from start to finish as the Dees took an 18-point lead into the first break, before a seven-goal term saw the margin push out to 38 points at half time. Champion Hawk John Kennedy was hampered by a broken hand suffered early in the game, while an 11-goal-to-seven second half saw the Hawks well beaten, with the margin finishing at 68 points. Four goals to John Peck saw him lead the Hawks’ goalkickers.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs