TWENTY years on, South Bendigo’s three premiership-winning teams from 1990 will celebrate their QEO successes on Saturday, June 26th.

The Peter Bradbury-coached seniors downed Golden Square by 22 points in a classic grand final, Brendan Francis’ reserves accounted for Eaglehawk by 27 points, while in the under-18s the Brian Teasdale-mentored Bloods beat the Square by 15 points.

South ended a 16-year senior flag drought in the 1990 XXXX BFL grand final with captain Peter Tyack, a current day selector, the prime mover for his club.

Tyack had started to find touch in the Bloods’ Round 17 clash at Canterbury Park against Eaglehawk. He finished the grand final full of running and won not only the Sportsmen’s Association Kevin Curran Memorial Trophy, but also the VCFL medal and the league sponsor’s XXXX award.

The Bloods’ skipper kicked one of the goals-of-the-day from the city end’s Camp Hill school pocket.

Apart from Tyack, South also had great contributors in free-running half-back Shaun Leech, on-baller David Griffin and rebounding defender Brian “Puss” Kendall.

For the Square there was none better than eventual Nalder Medallist Dean Strauch. His strength in the packs was pivotal to the Bulldogs and he was well backed up by ruckman Alan Patterson, wingman Wayne Campbell and centre half-forward Phil McEvoy.

It was a fiery, but not unexpected opening after the first bounce. Square centre half-back Darren Kulbars ironed out South key forward Steve Allender. Kulbars’ name immediately went into the book.

From another incident involving the same two players only moments later, South forward Peter Hinck came in to remonstrate with Kulbars and found his name also pencilled into the book.

That wasn’t the end of the onfield fireworks. In the third quarter Square rover Darren Harris (now working his way up through the AFL coaching ranks) was charged by central umpire Alan ‘Boofa’ Smith for allegedly striking South’s Brian Kendall.

And in the final term, McEvoy charged in and tangled with South follower Steven Hoiles after Hoiles had caught Justin Esposito high in an attempted tackle.

The Bloods bounced out to a three-goal lead in the first nine minutes although by the 22-minute mark of the opening quarter the Dogs had reduced the leeway to two points.

And then by quarter-time Golden Square had grabbed the lead by four points –- 5.0 to 4.2 – and the stage was set for a gripping struggle over the next three quarters.

There were some interesting match-ups early on. Tony Jones was on South’s Mark Keck on one wing, Robert Bakes started in a back pocket on surprise Square on-field selection Luke Daffey, while 2010 club president Malcolm Balnaves started at full-back on Square’s Russell Parkes.

Kendall picked up McEvoy with the Dogs opting for Kieran Byrne as Bradbury’s tagger. Unfortunately for the Square Byrne was forced to sit out the rest of the game from early in the second term with a broken bone in one forearm.

No matter how far the Bloods stretched the lead the Square always seemed able to mount a challenge. South added 5.6 to Square’s 3.5 in the second term.

The Bloods seemed to be in control of the first part of the quarters, then the Bulldogs surged as the clock ticked down to the time-on period.

By three quarter-time and even though South had built up a 33-point lead by adding 4.8 to 1.2, the Bulldogs weren’t finished. Golden Square kept fighting back despite the Bloods peppering the Barnard Street end goals in the final stanza.

Bradbury had told his charges at the lemon-time break they had to consider the scores level with 30 minutes remaining to be played.

South’s David McMurray grubbered through an early goal from a goalmouth scrimmage and Square needed some quick replies.

Daffey worked the ball over to the hard-running Strauch and he duly goaled.

When Brett Fitzpatrick goaled off the ground and Weir got another, suddenly the Square looked threatening. But Hoiles tapped the ball over to Tyack and the skipper got the ball across to Matt Higgins to bang home the sealer.

SOUTH BENDIGO       4.2      9.8       13.16       15.24 (114)

GOLDEN SQUARE       5.0      8.5          9.7         14.8   (92)

GOALS — South Bendigo: D. McMurray 2, S. Cahoon 2, M. Keck 2, D. Ivey 2, P. Tyack 2, S. Leech, P. Bradbury, M. Higgins, P. Hall, S. Allender. Golden Square: P. McEvoy 4, D. Strauch 3, L. Daffey 2, P. Weir 2, W. Campbell, D. Moorhead, B. Fitzpatrick.

BEST – South Bendigo: P. Tyack, D. Griffin, S. Leech, B. Kendall, S. Cahoon, T. Wright, P. Bradbury, M. Higgins. Golden Square: D. Strauch, P. McEvoy, A. Patterson, W. Campbell, W. Griffiths, D.Moorhead, D. Harris, C. Lefoe.

Umpires: Geoff Millar, Alan Smith. Awards – Kevin Curran Memorial Trophy: P. Tyack (SB). Nalder Medal: D. Strauch (GS). XXXX awards: P. Tyack (SB), D. Strauch (GS). VCFL medal: P. Tyack (SB). Alexander Stenhouse coach’s award: P. Bradbury (SB).

IN THE reserves play-off it took South three quarters to shake off a dogged Eaglehawk. The Bloods held slender four-point leads only at half-time and again at three-quarter time.

However even though South produced a six-goal final term to clinch victory, 20 minutes into the last term the Two Blues were just nine points in arrears.

Eaglehawk started slowly and were goalless at the first break. It was not until the five minute mark of the second term that forward Wayne Naughton got his first of five majors to open Eaglehawk’s goal account.

The Advertiser account of the match on September 24th mentioned that South’s Martin Harrington and Brad Fawcett were unlucky not to be in the Bloods’ senior line-up.

Harrington and Jarrod Mitchell both booted four goals for South which had gone through the reserves home-and-away rounds undefeated.

Final scores: South Bendigo 16.10 (106) def. Eaglehawk 11.13 (79). South’s best: B. Fawcett, M. Harrington, Dean Henderson, T. Pianta, C. Harrington, G. Fitzgerald, D. Pieper.

SOUTH’s under-18s laid the day for a historic day for the club with their 15-point win over Square.

The young Bloods had lost only one game on their way to the grand final. After Michael Harrington had scored South’s first major, Travis St Clair booted two of his three goals for the day in the first term as the Bloods started well.

Alister Carr scored the goal-of-the-day with a 65-metre torpedo punt at the eight-minute mark of the last term. Carr’s goal sealed Square’s fate.

Square’s Phil Hetherington (later to play seniors with South) was sent off for the mandatory 15-minute spell following a head-high tackle on a South opponent, last quarter.

Ruckman Tony Plim and defenders Glenn McMahon and Phil Kennedy were good players for the Bulldogs. Cowen booted three Square goals.

Final sores: South Bendigo 9.14 (68) def. Golden Square 8.5 (53). South’s best: D. Symons, K. Brown, M. Pavleka, S. Anderson, C. Gee, D. Pennington, T. St Clair.

UNFORTUNATELY for the 2010 Bloods they take on the undefeated Golden Square in Round 11 on June 26th. The Bulldogs are unbackable flag favorites to make it consecutive senior flags in the BFL this season.


  1. Rocket Rod Gillett says


    The result could have been much different if Square had selected that fine young player Paul Daffey to partner his brother Luke up forward! Opportunity lost for the Bulldogs…

  2. Andrew Fithall says


    I sent the link to your article to my brother Chris who did a stint as Secretary at Golden Square. Below is an excerpt of his response:

    Thanks for that one, Andrew.

    I was acting as secretary for a little while after the 89 grand final while Square was getting someone else to take over but had finished my involvement by the start of the 90 season (when Mark and I went to most Pies games).

    Most of the names are very familiar in the seniors and under 18s for Square though. I also know of most of the South Bendigo seniors too.

    Even the umpire’s name rings a bell. I’m fairly sure Ray Byrne won a bet with him the previous year when Ray managed to drop kick a goal in one game. In fact, all sorts of memory threads are triggered by the article including the fact that, for the Ray Byrne drop kick game, I had to report the match for the Bendigo Addie (no one from the Addie available) after being asked to do so by… Richard Jones.

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