1962 SummaryCarlton would return to a Grand Final for the first time since 1949, but come Runner-Up to Essendon in the 1962 Grand Final. Essendon would win, 13.12.90 to our 8.10.58. The club led into the 1962 with some reason to be confident, after winning three of its last four games in 1961 and pushing competition powerhouse Melbourne all the way in the final round before losing by a solitary point. In inauspicous start by the Blues occurred in round 1 though, with a 39 point loss to Geelong. The club rallied, though, and won its next three games to be sitting in fifth place, only percentage away from third. Losses to traditional rivals Essendon and Collingwood in rounds 5 and 6 must have had Blues fans nervous, because in the previous two seasons the team's form had been extremely patchy. A run of wins had often been followed by an equally long, or longer, run of losses.
The club really hit its straps this season, though. A winning streak of nine games in a row saw the Blues sitting one game clear in second place, behind only Essendon who had been impressive and lost only one game up until the end of round 15. Round 16 saw the second clash of the two best clubs of 1962. After having lost to the Bombers by 45 points at Princes Park in round 4, the Blues showed their improvement during the season, going down by only 9 points at Windy Hill. Essendon had got off to a 3 goal to 1 first quarter, and while the Blues closed that down by a goal in the second quarter, they never got any closer.
A win and a loss would round out the club's home and away season, Carlton finishing in fourth place and playing in the finals for the first time since 1959. In a close Semi Final against Melbourne, we managed to kick away in the third quarter, scoring 5 goals to 3 and leading by 14 points going into the last term. Despite Melbourne holding us goalless, the club managed to hold on for a 2 point win, and a crack at Geelong the following week.
The Preliminary Final against Geelong would go down as one of the great finals. After kicking clear to a three goal half-time lead, the Blues were playing catchup football in the second half, until they finally managed to draw level late in the last quarter. In one of the last pieces of play for the day, John James snapped towards goal to try and win the match, only for the 50 metre kick to go out of bounds. The game ended in a draw, the first draw in a Preliminary Final in VFL history! The following week in the Preliminary Final Replay was another classic. Amazingly, deep in the last quarter John James had another opportunity to win the game from a snap kick. This time he nailed it, the Blues clinging on to a narrow five point win and going to the Grand Final. Check out both of the Preliminary Finals for in depth match reports.
In the Grand Final, the Bombers kicked 6 goals to 1 in the first quarter to lead by 34 points at quarter time. Carlton was valiant in trying to overcome the deficit, closing to within 13 points by half-time, but Essendon went on to win the game by 32 points and win the flag.
People of 1962Coach: Ken Hands
Captain: Graham Donaldson
Vice Captain: John Nicholls
Leading Goal-kicker: Tom Carroll - 62 goals
Best & Fairest: Serge Silvagni
MilestonesDebuts: Cliff Stewart, Henry Ogilvie, Bruce McMaster-Smith, Peter Falconer, John Gill, Ken Greenwood, John Reilly