The Sydney Swans celebrate winning the 2005 AFL grand final against West Coast.
The Sydney Swans celebrate winning the 2005 AFL grand final against West Coast. MARTIN PHILBEY

Who has the longest drought in Australian sport?

WHERE Cronulla's and the Western Bulldogs' droughts rank in Australian sporting history.

1. North Sydney, NRL, 77 years (1922-99)

The Bears' hopes of another premiership ended with a merger with Manly and then extinction. After winning the 1921 and 1922 titles, they reached just one more grand final, losing 34-7 to Newtown in 1943, and were beaten in another three preliminary finals in their last six years.

2. Sydney Swans, AFL, 72 years (1933-2005)

It took 72 years and a change of name and state between the Swans' third and fourth premierships. But South Melbourne fans finally had something to cheer about again when Leo Barry leaped high above a pack of West Coast forwards to win the 2005 decider by four points, and end the longest drought in AFL history.

3. St Kilda, AFL, 69 years (1897-1966)

St Kilda holds the record for the longest wait for a club's first major title in Australian sport - 69 years before it finally claimed the flag.

4. Queensland, Sheffield Shield, 63 seasons (1926-27 to 1994-95)

After being runners-up 12 times between 1957 and 1994, Queensland finally got its hands on the Sheffield Shield when Matthew Hayden, Allan Border, Martin Love, Stuart Law and Jimmy Maher amassed 664 in the first innings of the 1994-95 final against South Australia.

5. Western Bulldogs, AFL, 62 years (1954-present)

The Dogs hold the longest current drought in any major Australian competition. It's been 62 years since Charlie Sutton lifted the VFL trophy for Footscray in 1954. Apart from that title, the club has made only one other grand final in its 82-year history, a loss to Hawthorn in 1961.

6. Melbourne Demons, AFL, 52 years (1964-present)

After 12 premiership until 1964, the Demons have been waiting for 52 years for another lap of honour around the MCG. Grand final losses in 1988 and 2000, and the club not making the finals since 2006, mean there's no sign of the drought breaking.

7. Fitzroy, AFL, 52 years (1944-96)

Like the Swans, it took a name change and a shift interstate for Fitzroy fans to taste success again after the club's last title in 1944. A shambles by the end of their existence, Fitzroy was kept alive by the merger with Brisbane and titles in 2001-03.

8. St Kilda, AFL, 50 years (1966-present)

The Saints have the dubious honour of appearing twice on this list. It took 69 years for St Kilda to win its first flag. Since then it's been another 50 without success. The club has reached six grand finals - the last time in 2010 - coming away with only one title in 1966.

9. North Melbourne, AFL, 50 years (1925-75)

In an omen for Cronulla tomorrow, the Kangaroos won their elusive first title in their 50th year. Reaching just one decider in their first 48 seasons, North Melbourne played five in a row between 1974 and 1978, winning two and losing the other three.

10. Cronulla, NRL, 49 years (1967-present)

No professional Australian rugby league team has been forced to wait until its 50th year for its first premiership. The Sharks lost the 1973 and 1997 deciders, and even took the 1978 grand final to a replay after drawing with Manly. Yet they still have nothing to show for it.



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