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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Retrospective Glendinning Medals: Scott Cummings and Clive Waterhouse step up in the most infamous derby season

In the five years since the start of the contest the western derby hadn’t exactly earned a reputation as a rivalry worthy of the national stage.
That would all change in the year 2000, when a record thumping - which featured one of the greatest individual derby performances - led to a derby which was so remarkable it is still talked about almost 20 years later.
As one of the competition’s proudest and best teams of the 1990s, plenty of people were waiting to see how West Coast would answer their first loss to Fremantle at the end of the 1999 season.
But nobody really expected what they delivered in their next meeting.
Things looked to be relatively even in the opening term, with the Eagles taking a 15-point lead into the break. From there it got really good for West Coast and really bad for Fremantle.
The Eagles controlled most areas of the ground, but nowhere was their dominance more evident than in the forward line, where Scott Cummings was doing as he pleased.
His haul of 10.2 (62) eclipsed the Dockers team total of 9.7 (61) and earned him the first retrospective Glendinning Medal of the year.
It also came with a fair amount of stick for his opponent Leigh Brown, who was playing just his sixth game.
“Leigh was trying to get all pushy and shovey and after a while I had to say to him, ‘that’s five (goals) now, buddy, you’re starting to make yourself look a bit silly’,” Cummings recalled recently.
His haul remains a derby record and so does the 117-point winning margin for the Eagles.
What happened next remains the stuff of legend.
Angry at the earlier demolition, the Dockers were determined to stand up in their second game against the Eagles that year, and some early swings by Michael Gardiner sparked one of the most brutal games of the modern era.
The West Australian’s match report described it like this:
“It was a day when some were villains as well as heroes. West Coast ruckman Michael Gardiner was on report before bouncedown after launching into teenager Matthew Pavlich in the goal square. Fremantle's Dale Kickett and West Coast's Phil Read joined him later on wrestling charges after squaring up several times. Eagles defender Ashley McIntosh poleaxed Pavlich and Fremantle's Troy Cook ran through Eagles forward Mitchell White. Kickett and Read conducted their own two-man war and exchanged blows at least twice. Read left the ground bleeding after a third-quarter tangle while Andrew Embley, Brad Dodd and others were involved in two melees.”
The fights will be remembered forever, but the efforts of Clive Waterhouse in a nail-biting one-point win to the Dockers are sometimes forgotten.
With full forward Tony Modra in the dug-out with a broken hand, and Pavlich out in the third term, it was Waterhouse who stood up and ignited his side with a five-goal second half.
His seven goals for the game broke the contest in Freo’s favour, and saw the cult figure claim a deserved best-on-ground honours with a retrospective Glendinning Medal. It was also one of only two games out of his 106 in which he was given three votes by the umpires.