Behind Post Snaps Hopefield-Buraja to Victory in the 1960 Coreen & District Grand Final

Late in the third quarter of the 1960 Coreen Football league grand final young Jerilderie defender Stan “Brickie” Taylor in a desperate effort in defence to halt the relentless attack on goal by Hopefield-Buraja collided heavily with the behind post snapping it off at ground level.

It was only rural ingenuity that enabled the game to continue at the Daysdale Recreation Reserve. A farmer just happened to have a star picket fencing post in the back of his ute that league officials managed to attach to the point post using fencing wire and drive it back into the ground.

Buraja had gradually pulled back Jerilderie’s lead established through a commanding first quarter score of 28 to 8 to lead 8-11 (59) to 8-8 (56) at three-quarter time.

With the delay in replacing the post and the third quarter break it was expected that Jerilderie would recover but the combine (H-B) swept to victory by kicking 3-1 in the final quarter to Jerilderie’s 1-1.

The Hopefield-Buraja club had been the result of a merger for the 1947 season between two of the foundation clubs when the league was formed in 1894. Usually with mergers, the first name becomes the nomenclature for a club, but in this case, mainly because games were played at Buruja, this became the popular name

Jerilderie had come into the league in 1957 from the Murray League Seconds. The Demons, as they became known in 1961 won the premiership in 1963 by beating unbeaten Daysdale, after having won only one game in the previous season, transferred to the Murray Football League in 1964.

Jeriderie returned for the league’s centenary season in 1994 when the Daysdale, Oaklands, and Hopefield-Buraja clubs also celebrated their centenaries.

This bought the number of clubs in the league up to ten: Coleambly, Jerilderie, Daysdale, Rand, Hopefield-Buraja, Coreen, Oaklands, Rennie, Urana along with the Victorian-based club, Wahgunyah.

However, by the 2007 season the continuing decline in the population in the district particularly of the drift of young people to the regional towns and metropolitan cities for further study and employment, the league was reduced to six clubs.

Ironically, all of the original clubs were involved in the grand final albeit in a merged form – CDHB United – an amalgamation of Coreen, Daysdale, Hopefield and Buraja defeated the Billabong Crows made up of Urana, Cullivel and Oaklands. And the grand final was played at Rennie.

CDHBU and the Billabong Crows are now in the Hume League, as are Rand that merged firstly with Walbundrie, and then with Walla while Jerilderie and Rennie are in the Picola League, and Coleambly is in the Farrer League.

But as Alan Norman documents in his excellent book Coreen & District Football League Finals History, in 1960, it was Hopefield-Buraja that scraped into the 1960 Coreen Football League finals with a draw over Rennie in the final round to edge out Urana-Cullivel, and then went all the way through the finals to win the premiership.

Buraja were led by former Corowa star Dinny Carroll, a tough ruck-rover, who led from the front. Other good players in the grand final win were key forward Bruce “Huck” Ash who booted four goals, another former Corowa player Ken “Stakey” Lavis, and Hopefield farming brothers Henry (3 goals) and Peter Kingston.

Jerilderie were best served by captain-coach Gavin Moran (ex-Geelong), centreman Brendan Carlin, ruckman Keith Ledwidge and forward Tony Brownless (father of Billy), Blair and Anson.

The estimated crowd at the grand final was 1600.

The Dennis Trophy for competition best and fairest was won by Daysdale’s David McFarlane one vote ahead of Urana-Cullivel’s Max Urquhart, who went onto play at Collingwood from 1963-69. The leading goalkicker was Hopefield-Buraja’s Bruce Ash with 51 goals.

References:

Coreen & District Football League Finals History 1894-1994 by Alan Norman

Special thanks to former Jerilderie players Peter Dowdle and Peter Quirk.

Written by Dr Rodney Gillett

Tough as Teak Hard as Cement

“Where is this bloke from?” asks Channel 7 football comentator Lou Richards.

“North Wagga” replies co-comentator Peter Landy.

It is just before half-time of the National Escort Championships between New South Wales and VFL club Fitzroy at the Sydney Showgrounds and the “rotund full-forward” from NSW had just kicked his 5th goal to give the Blues an eleven point lead at half-time.

The player in question was Laurie Pendrick, the NSW skipper, who had kicked his first 3 goals in quick succession early in the first quarter on the Victorian representative full-back Harvey Merrigan.

“When the Fitzroy runner came out to change him (Merrigan) over with the bloke wearing the head-gear (Chris Smith), I told him he’s no good either! I’ve played on better in the Riverina!”, Pendrick told me in the interview for this piece.

Such was the supreme confidence that was the trademark of arguably Wagga’s best-ever locally-produced player not to go to the VFL/AFL, although he did receive multiple offers to go to South Melbourne in the mid-1970s.

NSW playing under legendary VFL coach Allan Jeans took the game right up to Fitzroy in that pre-season game at the Sydney Showgrounds but faded in the second half to lose by 56 points. Penrick ended up kicking six goals and being named best for NSW.

Laurie Pendrick was a young Wayne Carey’s hero when “Lozza” ruled the roost at McPherson Oval, North Wagga in the 1970s through what has been the club’s most successful period. Carey told Neil Cordy in a recent interview for the AFL NSW Hall of Fame nominations that,

“Laurie was my first football hero. He was a very good player and a standout in Wagga. He played in the centre but could go forward and kick goals. He was tough and hard and opposition fans hated him and North Wagga fans loved him”.

Pendrick grew up over the back fence from the Careys in the Mt Austin area in Wagga.

Laurie recalls playing kick-to-kick with Wayne’s older brother Dick in the back-yard; later, they would play and coach together at Collingullie in the twilight of their illustrious careers.

The Turvey Park Midget League is where Laurie began his football at the age of five playing for the “Magpies”. He would graduate through the ranks and make his debut at 16 for Turvey Park in the South West League in 1967.

The pivotal moment that turned Laurie into a top-line footballer, and ultimately a successful coach was the arrival of Graham “Curly” Ion to coach Turvey Park in 1969. “Curly” was a star in Footscray’s 1961 grand final team under Ted Whitten but went to coach Deniliquin in 1966 leading them to a premiership and winning the competition best and fairest award.

“I was in awe of ‘Curly’. I wanted to be just like him, both on and off the field!” said Pendrick. “I became assistant coach to him and travelled to games with him in his brand-new Monaro GTS 350. He taught me everything.”

In 1973 “Lozza” went across the river to North Wagga to be assistant coach to Allan Hayes. Together they led the Saints to their first premiership since 1935.

Pendrick took up his first senior coaching appointment at Grong Grong Matong in 1975. He lifted the combine from the bottom rungs of the ladder into finals contention. He recalled his time at “Grongy” with great affection:

“Great people, passionate about their football club. If we won the farmers would give me a fistful of dollars in the change rooms, buy me drinks at the pub, and leave a side of dressed lamb on the back seat of the car”.

He returned to North Wagga as captain-coach in 1976. He led North Wagga to a premiership over Collingullie and topped the Farrer league goal-kicking with 114 goals.

The following season “Lozza” had probably his best season of football: he won the Baz medal, topped the goal-kicking with 132 goals, and led the Saints into another grand final.

It was during this season that South Melbourne tried its hardest to entice Pendrick to the VFL. The Swans offered him $10K to sign and two players on the senior list to North Wagga as replacements similar to a deal that they had done to secure Colin Hounsell from Collingullie. But North Wagga insisted he honour his contract to coach the club.

Pendrick would continue on as captain-coach of North Wagga, but then would embark on a remarkable football odyssey that would see him play and/or coach Newtown in Sydney (1979), QAFL club Coorparoo (1980 & 1984-86 including two premierships), North Wagga in 1981-83 (winning a Clear Medal) and again in 1987-88, Palm Beach-Currumbin on the Gold Coast (1989-90), Latrobe in Tasmania (1993), Collingullie (1996-1998), and Yarraville in the Western FL in Melbourne (2000-2001 including a premiership).

As captain-coach of Cooparoo he promoted Churchie school-boy Jason Dunstall to full-forward, who, of course, went onto forge a legendary career at Hawthorn following “Lozza’s” recommendation to his old NSW coach Allan Jeans, with whom he maintained a close relationship. Mary Jeans called him, at Allan’s request, just before he passed away.

According to long-time Wagga Tigers’ opponent Bevan Rowe, “Laurie was almost an unbeatable opponent. He had wonderful skills, enormous confidence, and was just so hard. He had massive influence on his teams, they followed him, and were absolutely fearless with him at the helm”.

Laurie Pendrick represented NSW on 11 occasions including captain-coach, and Queensland nine times including coaching the Maroons to Division II championship wins in 1985.

Mark and Jarrad McVeigh

Australian Football celebrates its 140th anniversary in New South Wales this year after the founding of the NSW Football Association in Sydney in 1880.
To commemorate, 140 coaches, players, umpires, administrators and media personalities from both the Elite (VFL/AFL) and Community level will be inducted into the inaugural New South Wales Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Neil Cordy profiles the nominees this time with brothers, Mark and Jarrad McVeigh:

                               Jarrad & Mark McVeigh

The Daniher brothers have amassed a total of 752 games between them as well as a host of honours and wards but another pairing are the McVeigh brothers, Mark and Jarrad.

Long before the Swans and Giants Academies started developing NSW talent there was a prototype set up on the Central Coast by their father, Tony McVeigh which set a standard for others to follow and produced a success rate almost impossible to compete with.

It’s two graduates, his two sons Mark and Jarrad McVeigh played 557 games between them.

Mark played 232 for Essendon between 1999 and 2012 and Jarrad played 325 for Sydney between 2004 and 2019.

Only Justin and Simon Madden (710 games), Peter and Shaun Burgoyne (616 games) and Ian and Bruce Nankervis (578 games) have done better for pairings of brothers in the history of the game.

Tony’s set up was rudimentary with gum trees for goal posts and an overturned trampoline for rebounding ground balls. But his Killarney Vale Academy has a strike rate for producing AFL talent none have been able to match- 100 per cent.

“We played games against each other and trained every single night,” Jarrad McVeigh said.

“We’d play footy in the morning and come home and watch the only televised match on a Saturday. We’d be back outside kicking the footy at half-time. We were always competing, who could take the best mark, who could kick the best goal, it was a daily occurrence. I was lucky to have a brother playing footy because there weren’t many on the Central Coast at that time. I was six when we started doing that.”

The four year age difference between Mark and Jarrad didn’t seem to matter, Jarrad was a fast learner. “I was lucky Jarrad was as good as he was,” Mark said. “We would go at it for hours and hours. Jarrad’s skill level was amazing for such a young kid.”

Their dad Tony was a talented sportsman in his own right, representing Victoria in badminton and squash and playing 45 games for Williamstown in the VFA between 1978 and 1981. In 1982 he, his wife Margaret and Mark moved to the NSW Central Coast where he took up the coaching job at Killarney Vale FC, then in the Central Coast league.

Jarrad was born in 1985 and it didn’t take long to see the boys had sporting ability and needed some space to develop and grow.

“I cleared the scrub so they could run around and we had a pool so we did triathlons together,” Tony said. “We’d run around the house, jump in the pool, do two laps and then rode pushbikes down the driveway. The skills were the main thing because they were naturally fit. I showed them how to handball, kick, baulk and mark.

The trampoline was an innovation; I painted a bullseye on it and laid it on its side. When the ball hit it, it bounced back on the ground and they would run in and pick it up and dispose of it. Mark was more aerial and Jarrad had great ground skills. They would spend hours out there and I would watch them from the house.”

While the Killarney Vale Academy and junior footy club gave Mark and Jarrad a great start the move to Pennant Hills took them to another level with their football.

“We left Killarney Vale to get more exposure to better players and more opportunities,” Mark said. “I was 13 years old and it was a good move. Pennant Hills was a really strong club and that’s where I met Lenny Hayes. It was disappointing for a lot of people on the coast and there was resentment towards us but dad is pretty strong.”

             Tony McVeigh in his                days at Killarney Vale FC

For those who know the McVeigh family well it wasn’t hard to see where Tony got his strength from. Tony’s father, Mark and Jarrad’s grandfather, Jimmy McVeigh was a merchant seaman born and bred in Liverpool, England. He was a gunner in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War.

“The Germans hunted the supply ships down so he saw plenty of action,” Tony said.

“He travelled to Australia a number of times and fell in love with the place. When the war ended he said to mum this is where I want us to live. There were already four boys in the family when we made the trip including me. I was two, my oldest brother Jimmy was 15, Terry was 13 and Peter was one.”

The McVeigh’s ended up in Williamstown in Victoria and had another four children including an only daughter Colleen. She was Jimmy’s favourite and became a champion lacrosse player for Australia participating in four world championships and captaining the team. Colleen married Western Bulldogs player Mark Hunter. Their son Lachie Hunter played against Jarrad McVeigh in the 2016 grand final.

Playing on opposite sides seems to be the family norm, the four year age difference meant Mark and Jarrad never played in the same team throughout their junior days. They were opposed each other throughout their AFL careers with Mark and Jarrad staying one-team players throughout their time at the Bombers and Swans respectively.

The closest they came to joining forces was in 2004 when Paul Roos was keen on bringing Mark to the Swans.

“It was close to happening but Essendon were a big club and I wanted to stay a one team player,” Mark said.

Mark missed the 2000 premiership team but played in the losing grand final the following year against Brisbane. Over the following years he became a key member of the Bombers line up and leadership group. He represented Australia in the International Rules Series in Ireland in 2004. In 2008 he finished in the top 20 in the Brownlow after missing eight games through injury polling 13 votes.

In his 17 seasons at the Swans Jarrad established himself as one of the club’s greats, he was captain from 2011 to 2016 winning two Bob Skilton Medals (2008, 2013) and All Australian honours in 2013. The highlight came in 2012 when he led Sydney to an epic grand final win over Hawthorn.

Over the span of their careers the brothers lined up against each other eight times and have continued their rivalry into the coaches box with Jarrad now and assistant alongside John Longmire at the Swans and Mark an assistant to Leon Cameron.

“They’ve been destined to go in different paths,” Tony said.

“I’d love to see them on the same team one day but they’re two different people and have got their own ideas and ways. If it happens it happens.”

 

 

Mac Uni – 50 Years and Still There – and same umpire!!

                      Umpire from Mac Uni’s 1970 game,
                 Jim McSweeney tossing the 1911 penny

In the early 1970s the NSW Football League were at a loss what to do with the new clubs that began to emerge, certainly in Sydney.

In 1969 Western Suburbs, Newtown, North Shore and a burgeoning Balmain headed the senior list, by miles.

Sydney Naval were on their last legs and South Sydney (both original Sydney Clubs) were getting defeated by a cricket score each week.  These two were at the bottom of the table in firsts and seconds.

Then there were the Universities.  Sydney University had swapped places with UNSW from firsts to reserve grade which earnt them a premiership,  UNSW went no-where in the top grade finishing just above Sydney Naval.

So 1970 presented a problem.  The Metropolitan Australian National Football Association (MANFA – the old second division) went out of business 20 odd years before however league officials were reluctant to engage a new second division into the Sydney competition, but the pressure was there.

In the end Sydney Uni, UNSW & South Sydney teams were slotted into the senior division reserve grade along with a new contender, Macquarie University.  Later St Ives, Warringah, Salesians and Penshurst made up the new Sydney Districts Association along with minor teams from some of the senior clubs.  Almost ludicrously that year, 8 teams played in First Grade, with 12 teams in Reserve Grade – such was the skill differential.  So on numerous occasions the seconds did not play at the same venue as the first grade, déjà vu perhaps?

  A Younger Jim McSweeney

Macquarie University’s first opponent (ever) in their initial season was South Sydney; a relegated club trying to make the best of it.  That was 1970.

In that first ever competition match on 4th April 1970 against South Sydney, at Erskineville Oval, Jim McSweeney was the Field Umpire. In those times it was just one Central Umpire. South Sydney went on to beat Macquarie Uni 13-13 (91) to 3-6 (24).

However fast forward to last weekend when the Sydney AFL Season finally got their 2020 season underway.

Macquarie University AFL Club celebrating their 50th anniversary were opposed to last year’s premiers, Southern Power.

To commemorate the 50 years, Macquarie Uni invited the 80 plus Jim, a member of the Football History Society, to conduct the coin toss.  Macquarie are now in Platinum Division and the game was a rematch of the 2019 Grand Final which Southern Power won.

In a very tightly contested and exciting game, this time played at Macquarie’s home ground, resulted in the lead changing twice in the last quarter. It was Macquarie who reversed the result of last year’s Grand Final, winning by 4 points 5-7 (37) to 4-9 (33).

Two N.S.W Indigenous All-Stars

Sydney boasts two of the greatest indigenous players in history with Adam Goodes and Michael O’Loughlin. But long before they moved to the Swans there were another pair who were dazzling NSW footy fans with their skill, courage and athleticism.

Rod Gillett profiles the nominations of Sid Robins and “Ossie” Grose to the inaugural NSW Hall of Fame to celebrate 140 years of football in NSW.

Sid Robins   Ossie Grose

Sid Robins is regarded as the Griffith Football Club’s best-ever local player and is the club’s record games holder with 317 appearances in a stellar career from 1963 to 1980.

He won the competition’s best and fairest award, the Gammage medal in 1972, and was a pivotal member of the Swans’ 1968 premiership triumph under goal-kicking machine “Gelignite” Ron O’Neill.

Sid won the club’s best and fairest award four times in succession, 1969-1972, during the most successful period for the Griffith club in the South West league.

Standing six feet (1.8m) tall he started as a winger but became the main-stay of the Griffith defence at centre half-back taking on the super stars of the competition such as ex St Kilda star Frank Hodgkin (Ganmain), Brownlow medalist Peter Box (Narrandera), locally-produced star  Des Lyons (Leeton) and ex Fitzroy forward Vern Drake (Ariah Park-Mirrool coach).

He started his football with the Griffith schoolboys but went to play with Beelbangera-Yenda in 1962 under Bobby Spears in the Barellan League.

He returned to Griffith the next season and was to remain with the club until his retirement in 1980. Sid also represented the South West league on ten occasions in representative fixtures.

Part of folklore at Griffith are the club notes in the match program in 1973 after a big win over fierce local rival Whitton, “But the one goal that captured the imagination of the crowd was that of Sid Robins. Running 50 yards against a 30 knot breeze and with seven players hanging off him, he kicked the ball 100 yards for a goal – well done Sid.”

Sid Robins only ever kicked three goals for Griffith in his 317 club games.

At the club’s centenary function in 2014 he was named in the Griffith Swans ‘Team of the Century’ at centre half-back.

Source: https://www.swansonscreen.com/

 

John Mervyn “Ossie” Grose came to Sydney from Kempsey with his family and settled in Erskineville just around the corner from Erskineville Oval. He gained first grade selection with Newtown after a season in the Under 18s. He had not previously played Australian football.

A diminutive 5’2” (1.57m) rover, “Ossie” became a key player in the Blood-Stained Angels premiership team of 1942 continuing on to play in another three premierships for Newtown between 1945-47 during a “golden era” for the club.

He was described in the Sydney Football Record for the 1947 grand final as “Newtown’s classy rover. Intelligence and unselfishness are the key notes of his play”.

“Ossie” played over 300 games for the Newtown club in his career and represented NSW on twelve occasions including the 1947 ANFC Carnival in Hobart and the 1950 carnival in Brisbane. He often featured in the best players and was a renowned goal-sneak

At the 1947 carnival he was in the best players against Queensland (3 goals), Tasmania (3 goals) and South Australia (2 goals)

In 1948 he was recruited by the Leeton Redlegs in the Riverina where he was a contract player. The following year he was captain and coach of Leeton.

“Ossie” returned to Newtown in 1950 to play in the team that won the premiership for the sixth successive season. He played until 1968, in his later years, mostly in the reserves.

Former Newtown player and long-time official John Armstrong rated him “the best rover in Sydney in the 1940s and early 1950s”.

“Ossie” Grose was admitted into the Sydney AFL Hall of Fame in 2008.

Source: https://www.nswfootballhistory.com.au/person/19965/

                            John “Ossie” Grose kicks a goal against Tasmania at the 1947 Carnival in Hobart

 

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