A Cracking Last Quarter

Football History Society committeeman, Ian Wright provided a piece for our website from last weekend’s Major League Elimination Semi Final:

 

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.

Ian Wright
Ian Wright

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.

– Tas Carroll – schoolteacher

We have often written that people in sport and more particularly in our case, football, who are lost in the throng of the many who make up football clubs, leagues and groups.

In their time their names “are up in lights” and many became most prominent players or most influential officials or perhaps an outstanding umpire.

And yet when they withdraw or are lost to the code, their names and qualities are almost gone forever.

Sometimes there is a medal or trophy named after them so you can say their names may live on.  But who questions the name on the medal that was perhaps won by a player from your club?  Who knows about him or her for that fact?  Who knows what impact that person had on the game in their particular discipline?

Of course this is the case right around Australia.  It is the “xxx’ or “xyz” medal but who gives a tinkers cuss who “xzy” was?  We could go on about this forever and while times change the circumstances really do not but the memory of their influence or impact naturally enough fades or has faded into the distant past.

And what of those who want to or do change the names of these trophies.? They have no respect for the past.

In Sydney Australian Football there was such a man who led the push.  He was a school teacher and probably one of three who spread the game across the city and at the time who went to extraordinary lengths to promote his students into the game of Australian Football.

We have written about Rupert Browne, and of course there was H.G. (Bunny) Shepherd and Tas Carroll.  Or to be more precise, Tasman Stanley Shepherd.

Tas. (as he was known to his many friends) was born at Stanley in Tasmania in 1902.  After school he went into a career of teaching.  By 1928 he was living at Sandy Bay then two years later along with his wife he was Lillis, he had moved to his long time residence of 36 Kimberley Road, Hurstville.

Strangely, he did not get involved with the then newly formed St George Club however he began teaching at Leichhardt Tech where he promoted the game and coached teams from his school in the fledgling (Australian) football schools competition.

By 1931 he had been transferred to Hurstville Central Technical School and was appointed co-manager of the NSW PSSSA (Public Schools Amateur Athletic Assn) Australian Football Team which even then included future St George players in Don Menzies, Steve Duff and the 1939 Sanders Medalist (Sydney Reserve Grade B & F), Albert Butcher.

Tas went on to become intensely involved with schools football in Sydney and like Rupert Browne and H G Shepherd, became mentors to young men who would go on to play senior football in NSW with a percentage moving into the VFL.

Despite his commitment to the game he was never elected a life member of the NSW Football League although his two colleagues, Browne and Shepherd were.  Also he missed on the ANFC’s Merit Award, and honour bestowed upon a person for his or her outstanding commitment to football in the state.

Regardless, his loyalty to the game, particularly in the schools remained consistent through to about 1960.  In these latter years he was the honorary schools secretary when he was listed as a teacher at the South Hurstville School.

There are many men in Australia who owe their involvement and in some way so too do the St George Club who were the recipient of these players , including a former outstanding club president in Sid Felstead.

Tas’s daughter, Patsy who also became a schoolteacher, was another who the St George Club benefited from his involvement.  She turned out to be the club’s publicity officer, writing in the St George Leader as well as the Football Record for a number of years.

Tas died in 1992, aged 90, his death unnoticed by the Australian Football community of the time.

 

Unfortunately we have no image of Tas.

St George FC History Released

2013 David Green smallDavid Green, (pictured) a former St George player who was runner-up in the 1964 Phelan Medal, has written a trilogy on the history of the St George Australian Football Club.

He has spent years researching his subject and interviewed hundreds of former players and officials, not only from St George but other clubs as well as league officials, some dating back to times in WWII.

These three books, each of which are dedicated to a period from the club’s official 1929 beginnings in the senior division, are printed in an A4 format with sensational hard glossy cover and back.

STG books 2 STG books 3
STG books 1

For a real footy fan they are a must for their library.  The information they contain is interesting and at times reveals part of history of the game, not only for the club, but also the NSW Football League, unknown before today.

Each are about 50mm thick and contain about 700 pages or so of text and images, 2100 pages in all.  Should you purchase a set you will be absorbed with the information they contain.

To obtain your suite, call David on 07 33950784 or email him at degreen@bigpond.net.au, he will advise you of the cost and the best way to go about placing your order.

Now I can tell you that because of the size and content of these books he only had a limited number printed.  Most of these are already gone so if you are keen, be early to get your copies.  They come recommended.