A man-of-the-match performance by Allan Pottier inspired underdogs Gosnells City to a brilliant 2-1 victory over East Fremantle Tricolore in the 1982 D’Orsogna Cup Final. Pottier turned on the style by scoring one goal and playing a leading role in the other as Gosnells claimed their first major trophy at Inglewood Oval on the afternoon of 26 September 1982.
Gosnells, formed in 1969 and promoted to the top flight only five years earlier, had achieved beyond expectations in their first season under Mike Leigh. The Super Blues finished the regular series in fourth place but a late season form slump looked to have dented their confidence leading into the Cup Final.
By contrast, Tricolore entered the afternoon as red-hot favourites with both tradition and form on their side. The port side had already lifted the Cup eight times – and featured in 12 of the previous 22 finals – while John O’Connell’s team were fresh from a barnstorming run through the second half of the home and away series, which they completed without loss.
And it looked as though the form guide would prove correct when an early chance came the way of Mike Smith but the Tricolore midfielder hurried his shot wide of the far post. A few minutes later Gosnells custodian Mal Vickery breathed another sigh of relief as Frank McKay steered a free header his direction after being found deep inside the 18-yard box.
Having survive those twin scares, Gosnells started to find their rhythm and Jamie McGettrick’s intelligent chip was brilliantly tipped away by a Dave Roxby. With 16 minutes gone the team in blue went ahead after moment of indecision between Roxby and his captain John Malcolm was punished by Pottier, who pounced to smartly tap into the far corner from Micky Galpin’s angled pass.
Tricolore suffered a further blow midway through the half when Roxby was forced to leave the field with a broken finger, his place between the posts taken by youngster Denis Ivanac. Half-time was on the horizon when Paul McKenna almost levelled the game, the defender burst through only to hit his shot straight at Vickery.
Any thoughts Tricolore, who played the second half with the aid of a strong breeze, may have had of a comeback were laid to rest nine minutes after the restart. Pottier, having received Galpin’s short corner, fired in a raking cross that evaded Ivanac and the rest of his defence but not State player Stephen Green, who headed in from close-range.
With Mike Fenton marking dangerman Graham Cramphorn out of the game and Mike McKinlay and McGettrick cutting the supply line from midfield, Gosnells completely controlled the half. Across the centre of the park it was the combination of Terry Wheatley, Galpin and Pottier that caused no end of headaches for the opposing defence.
With just over quarter of an hour remaining Aldo Trinca gave Tricolore a glimmer of hope when his shot from the edge of the 18-yard box soared beyond Vickery’s reach and into the roof of the net. But Gosnells weren’t about to let the game slip and remained focused to put the first major trophy on the shelf at Walter Padbury Reserve.
1982 D’Orsogna Cup Final
Gosnells City 2 (Allan Pottier 16′, Stephen Green 54′)
East Fremantle Tricolore 1 (Aldo Trinca 74′)
Gosnells City: Mal Vickery, Mike McKinlay, John Poleykett, Micky Fenton, Stephen Green, Jamie McGettrick, Terry Wheatley, Allan Pottier, Micky Galpin, Andy Godfrey, Adrian Kersten, Mark Robinson, Phil Middleton, Emery Holmick
East Fremantle Tricolore: Dave Roxby, John Malcolm, Lee Currell, Gaetano Castiello, Paul McKenna, Lou Collova, Aldo Trinca, Mike Smith, Tony Pragnell, Graham Cramphorn, Frank McKay, Denis Ivanac, Marjo Surjan
Officials: Ernie Lee, Peter Woods, Keith Wood