Peter Nillson and I were timekeeping for the Premier Division Elimination Semi Final on Sunday 20th September in what turned out to be an absolute thrilling last quarter.
Pennant Hills finished the home and away season in fourth position and St George right behind them in fifth place.
Last weekend’s match at Henson Park in Sydney would see the winner progress, and the losers hang up their boots for season 2020.
The weather started the day dreadfully, with pouring rain early in the piece however by the time of the 4th and last game of the day, the skies were blue, the sun was shining and the ground had absorbed the rain well to provide a great surface for football.
Pennant Hills took an early lead to head St George 4-1 to 2-1 at quarter time. There was no wind advantage for either end and the Demons extended their lead at half time to 21 points, 7-7 to 4-4. Penno were looking good.
The third quarter, often called “the premiership quarter”, was all St George with Pennant Hills restricted to just three behinds. The Dragons grabbed the momentum with 6 unanswered goals to go to the last break 10-6 to 7-10, a 14 point lead.
The final quarter would have to be one of the best quarters I have seen in more than 50 years watching, and in my 23 years of timekeeping for finals matches in Sydney. The first three goals of the final quarter were to Pennant Hills to give them back the lead by 4 points.
It then went goal for goal, with each of the next six goals in the game changing the lead.
After Pennant Hills grabbed the lead the difference between the two sides was never more than 4 points, and was just one point at one time; the crowd of a couple of hundred was enthralled.
Unbelievably there was 8 minutes 50 seconds of time-on in the final quarter in this 20 minutes plus time on game.
Pennant Hills last score was a behind, and then there was an out of bounds kick. When the final siren sounded, St George, just four points in front, were on the far wing and again looked likely to head into attack.
Final scores were St George 13-10 (88) to Pennant Hills 12-12 (84).
Both sides are to be congratulated for their never-say-die attitude in that iconic last quarter.