Bendigo Football: 1960 Season Finale


ROCHESTER and Kyneton were the top two clubs at the end of the 1960 home-and-away season with Sandhurst and Castlemaine rounding out the top four.

In mid-August and with three rounds still to be played 50 years ago the Tigers headed the table on percentage from the Demons.

But Rochester won all of their concluding three matches — to Kyneton’s two –– to snatch top spot by one clear game.

Towards the end of August Dick Turner, later to become chairman of the BFL board of management, won the Sutton Ward election for the Bendigo City Council.

Education Department attendance officer Turner polled 4605 votes to defeat foot specialist Bram Schrever (1738) by 2867 votes.

The Sutton Ward poll had been caused by the resignation of Councillor Allen R. Guy.

Back on the footy fields Sandhurst and Castlemaine were gearing up for the knockout first semi-final. Both had been hit hard by injuries in the 19th and concluding home-and-away round.

EVEN though the Maroons downed Golden Square by 59 points in the last round, the club was racked by injury.

Star half-back Kevin Carr had a suspected broken bone in one foot while Bob Parker had to leave the field with a severe headache.

Castlemaine was even worse off. Centre half-forward Graeme Dickson and forward flanker Malcolm Stevens didn’t play in the 17-point loss to Kyneton and adding to the Magpies’ worries star centreman Ron Brown (ankle), ruckman Matt Cox (leg) and wingman McMillan (facial injuries) were in severe doubt.

However Maine coach Ian O’Halloran turned in one bright note. In his first game back after several weeks on the sidelines O’Halloran played strongly.

The Advertiser match report of the day noted O’Halloran “was given a rousing reception” as he led the team onto the field “after a long, enforced absence.”

But the Tigers recorded their third win for 1960 over Castlemaine. In a low-scoring encounter Kyneton landed three goals to two after half-time to clinch victory.

An inaccurate Rochester recorded a comfortable victory over old rivals Echuca. The Murray Bombers held the Demons in the first half but could not stand up to Rochester’s determined last half which produced eight goals to Echuca’s two.

A snippet in the Monday advertiser recorded that Demons centreman Alan Cobham returned to the Rochester ground after the long break wearing No. 43. Vin O’Brien had the No. 32 guernsey on to confuse the crowd.

South Bendigo got up in the last 20 seconds in a thriller against Eaglehawk.

A goal to J. Williams in the dying moments of the match snatched the Bloods a three-point victory at Canterbury Park.

The Two Blues led by a point at half-time and by eight points at the last change but didn’t score a major in the final stanza as South added two, straight goals.

Merv Bull played his 100th game for the Two Blues, leading his side onto the field before the first bounce. The Advertiser reporter at that match named him the best player of the day.

Meanwhile, 1954 Footscray premiership player Alan Martin announced his retirement at the end of the game.

A former playing captain-coach with the Square, Martin finished his career as a defender with South.

Despite their injury concerns Sandhurst was far too good for the Square with Kupsch booting four goals and Wallis three. John Ledwidge and McConville nailed two goals apiece for the Bulldogs.

Final scores, Round 19, 1960 – Sandhurst 14.13 (97) def. Golden Square 4.11 (35); South Bendigo 7.7 (49) def. Eaglehawk 6.10 (46); Rochester 13.22 (100) def. Echuca 6.6 (42) and Kyneton 5.16 (46) def. Castlemaine 4.5 (29).

The ladder was – Rochester 56 prem. points, 141.8 per cent; Kyneton 52, 144.5; Sandhurst 48, 107.4; Castlemaine 44, 107.7.

Out of the Top Four: South Bendigo 40, 85.2; Golden Square 28, 75.8; Echuca 20, 80.3 and Eaglehawk 16, 75.8 %.

KYNETON’S Kevin Parks became the third Tiger in a row to win the Michelsen medal when he finished four votes clear of Rochester centreman Alan Cobham in the 1960 count.

The vote count was held on the Sunday night after the final home-and-away round had been completed.

Twenty-three-year-old Melbourne stock and station agent Parkes polled 19 votes. Cobham finished with 15.

Recruited from VFL club Essendon it was Parkes’ first season in the Bendigo league. He’d played four seasons with the Bombers for 12 senior games.

Kyneton coach Clive Philp won the Bob Chappell goalkicking trophy with 75 majors from Castlemaine’s Tony Berry (70).

Golden Square rover Don Mathews won the 1960 Ashman Award with 18 votes. This award was based on the votes recorded by Advertiser footy writers at the BFL matches each round.

Mathews’ nearest rivals were Kyneton half-back Noel Maloney (who missed the final round through injury) and Echuca defender Bob Egan.

They polled 14 votes apiece.

The Golden Square rover received three votes for his Round 19 effort against Sandhurst but he would not have lost out even if had missed scoring a vote.

Until the final round, Matthews had 15 votes and Maloney, the player with the best chance of beating him, could not play because of injury.

However, Mathews polled just 12 votes in the Michelsen medal count to finish equal fourth with Echuca’s Roly Hall.

THIS is the third and final instalment in my series of articles on the BFL of 50 years ago: Round 1, 1960; mid-season 1960; and now a wrap-up of the final home-and-away round that year.

Kyneton went on to win the 1960 flag. In a thriller the Tigers beat Rochester by three points — 9.8 (62) to 8.11 (59), to avenge their 1959 loss to the Demons.

The Tigers repeated the dose in 1961, again beating Rochester on the BFL’s biggest day, but this time by 25 points: 12.13 (85) to 9.6 (60).

Richard’s tips for 2010’s final round: Eaglehawk, Golden Square, Sandhurst, Maryborough, South Bendigo. Season tally: 73.


  1. Rocket Rod Gillett says

    Gee whiz, wasn’t the world a happy place in 1960 – with Rochy on top of the BFL ladder.

    To top it all of it was achieved by a crushing victory over mega-arch rival Echuca!

    Sweet stuff!

  2. Richard E. Jones says

    YEP, 1960 was a happy and uncomplicated time, Rod.

    Rochy bounced back from two grand final losses to Kyneton in 1960 & 1961 to beat Square in 1962 by 9 points. They then avenged those two earlier defeats to Kyneton by flogging the BFL Tiges: 16.22 to 10.14.

    That was in the ’63 grannie. But you already knew all of this!! Incidentally did you know that way back in 1893 North Bendigo wore yellow and black in the old Bendigo District Football Association ?? I didn’t until I was scouring some old Advertisers on micro-film at the Bendigo Libray’s research centre.

    North was gone, though, from the Bendigo footy scene before the turn of the 20th century. Also a club called North Sandhurst which was active for just a few years through the 1890s.

  3. Rocket Rod Gillett says

    The 1962 Rochy team went through undefeated – premiers and champions – arguably the best team ever in the Bendigo league. Ray Willett won the Michelson medal and topped the goalkicking. Yet no place allotted to him in the BFL hall of Fame….
    Best player I have ever seen in country football.

    Incredibly Mooroopna have him in the back pocket in their team of the century – he won 3 Morrison medals as first ruck!!! That position went to a favoured local son who only won one Morrison medal…

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