By ZAC MILBANK
West Adelaide was a pretty team to watch in 1983.
And there was no better evidence than the Bloods’ two finals that year, in which they booted a total of 45 goals en route to breaking their 22-year premiership drought in emphatic fashion.
Coach Neil Kerley had a multitude of attacking weapons at his disposal and he certainly wasn’t afraid to use them as West booted 21.16 in defeating Sturt by 34 points in the title-decider at Football Park.
While the Double Blues were powered by club greats Rick Davies, Michael Graham and Peter Motley that season, Kerley raised the stakes by going on the offensive to positive affect.
West was slow to start, trailing Sturt by a goal at the first change but full forward Roger Luders – who finished with four goals for the afternoon – was already looking ominous with his attack on the ball.
Then there was a defining second-quarter explosion from the Bloods as they piled on 10 goals to take a 24-point lead into the main change.
Jack Oatey Medallist Ian Borchard was tough, yet creative, Leon Grosser brought himself into the game by hitting the scoreboard and Peter Meuret was simply a joy to watch.
Meuret’s goal in the second stanza was a beauty as he nailed a left foot checkside under pressure from the boundary line to bring the red-and-black faithful to its feet.
Davies battled to get into the contest thanks largely due to the close checking of West’s full back Tony Burgess but the Double Blues’ captain managed to boot his 150th goal for the season in the third term.
At that stage, Sturt trailed by just 11 points.
The resurgence by the boys from Unley was short-lived though as a young Bruce Lindner displayed the natural talent that would propel him to an AFL career with Geelong and Adelaide.
Affectionately known as ”The President”, Lindner kicked five goals for the match including the final goal of the game – a long bomb from inside the centre square which comfortably cleared the goal line at the southern end.
It left West Adelaide fans to celebrate the club’s eighth premiership, delivered in the fanciest of fashions in front of more than 47,000 people.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 1
WEST 2.4 12.7 15.10 21.16 (142)
STURT 3.4 7.7 12.11 16.12 (108)
BEST – West: Borchard, Morris, Bennett, Meuret, Grosser, McKinnon, Kantilaftas, Burgess, Winter.
GOALS – West: Lindner 5, Luders, Grosser 4, Meuret 3, Morris 2, Conlen, Smith, Borchard.
JACK OATEY MEDAL – Ian Borchard (West)
UMPIRES – Laurie Argent and Rick Kinnear
CROWD – 47, 129 at Football Park
West Adelaide Premiership Team
Coach: Neil Kerley
F: Craig Williams, Roger Luders, Leon Grosser
HF: Mike Smith, Bruce Lindner, Geoff Morris (vc)
C: Robin McKinnon, Richard Hamilton, Randall Bennett
HB: Larry Watson, Mark Dreher, Greg Summerton
B: John Kantilaftas, Tony Burgess, Peter Winter
Ruck: Dirk de Jong, Ian Borchard (c), Bernie Conlen
Int: Grantley Fielke, Peter Meuret