The 1979 season saw seven teams competing, and with three rounds of seven matches it would be the longest ever. Mounts would be under the watchful eye of Robert Keogh and a vigorous recruiting campaign saw the club confident it could be a genuine contender for the flag.
It in fact would be a slow start for the men in blue, but when they took on Heathcote at Toolleen a large crowd packed into the ground to watch these talented teams. Early on Heathcote’s pace and accurate goal-kicking had them in front, leading by three goals at the first change. Greg O’Brien was brilliant in the centre, but the hard-working defenders were under siege.
Heathcote once again were accurate in front of goal, kicking 7.1 to 5.4 in the second term but with 21 goals kicked in the first half spectators were getting their moneys worth. Keogh made a number of moves at half time, with Russell Roulston going to centre half forward and Denis Roney taking on the brilliant Peter French.
It was a different Mounts team with the team lifting all over the ground, Heathcote having no answer to O’Brien in the centre and Frank Tuohey at centre half back. They reduced the margin to nine points at the final change but it was Heathcote that scored the first goal. Undeterred Mounts kept coming but when the final siren sounded Heathcote had held on in a high-scoring encounter 19.8-122 to 17.14-116.
After eight rounds Mounts had only won two matches, hardly the result that most football pundits had predicted. Just the same a 101-point thrashing of fourth placed Stanhope gave the club a real boost.
Victories over Tooborac and Rushworth saw the club move into finals contention, but the match against Heathcote at the Barrack Reserve was crucial. In the end they would walk off the ground with a draw, but the draw would prove useful in the makeup of the final four.
Mounts were brilliant against reigning premiers, Colbinabbin, the next week and demonstrated to the Heathcote football public that the sleeping giant had awakened. Another impressive victory against second-placed Elmore saw Mounts now sitting in third place, and Mounts would not taste defeat again. Their efforts saw them claim top spot on the ladder from Colbinabbin and entered the finals as favourites. Russell Roulston took out the league goal-kicking with 101 goals and he would be only one of the weapons at Robert Keogh’s disposal.
Mounts and Colbinabbin would clash in the League’s first ever Sunday final in front of a monster crowd in ideal conditions. At half time the two teams were locked together on 10.6 but Mounts came out in the second half and totally dominated the Colbo team. Mounts kicked 10.7 in the third and 5.7 in the last to run away with a 69-point thrashing.
Colbinabbin would redeem themselves the next week and earn another crack at the dominant Blues combination. All eyes turned to Elmore where these two powerful clubs would face off and it was hoped it would be more of a contest than the last time they met. Perfect conditions saw a record crowd pay $3,317 and they would be treated to a tough and tight contest.
Wasteful kicking by Colbinabbin in the first term saw Mounts stay within reach despite being outplayed, 5.8 to 3.2. A better second term saw Mounts take a narrow 1-point lead into the half time break and a tight contest looked on. The large crowd was disappointed and it was like an arm-wrestle as neither team could find a way to pull away from their opponent.
With scores close late in the final term Colbinabbin had chances at goal but could not convert and it was a relieved Blues combination when the final siren sounded. Russell Roulston followed his eight goal haul in the 2nd semi-final with another eight goals in the grand final
Back Row - G Carboon, W Whatley, R Roulston, G White, N Nihill, D Carboon, A McKenzie
Middle Row - R Keogh (Capt, Couch), P Henseleit, M Cairns, T Frawley, G Crow, G O’Brien
Front Row - A Mutimer, K Chambers, F Touhey, B Touhey (V.Capt), K Pitson, D Roney, A Kennedy