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Tigers collect flag in Philp’s final season as a player

By Richard Jones

Captain-coach Clive Philp pulled the pin on his playing career following Kyneton’s 23-point win over major country rivals Rochester in the 1961 grand final.

He was 35.

Clive was succeeded as Tigers coach by Greg Sewell (1962-64) leading the Tigers to the 1963 grand final and then by Kevin Parks (1965-66) whose tenure included the ’66 premiership.

The Tigers snatched their second, consecutive BFL flag with the comprehensive ’61 victory over Rochy to send the brilliant inaugural Hall of Famer Philp out in style.

He’d won the Michelsen Medallist in 1959 and a season later had topped the 1960 BFL goalkicking table with 75 majors.

Philp had played 112 games at Hawthorn (1948-1955) before heading up the highway to Kyneton.

But let’s go back to the ’61 grand final.

Unlike in today’s print media industry, the major Melbourne papers used to report on regional and country leagues back in the day.

Here’s what The Age had to say about the 1961 grannie in its sports pages.

“With its small men taking charge in all parts of the field, Kyneton over-ran Rochester in the second half of Saturday’s BFL grand to win its second, successive premiership.

“Rochester, bigger, stronger and fresher, played what looked like match-winning football in the first two quarters, and seemed to have the premiership in its grasp at half-time.

“Ruck strength wielded by Ken Colvin and Bill Prigg, aided by enterprising roving from Daryl Hooper – - he kicked three goals against the wind when switched from the back pocket during the second term – - were all factors in Rochester’s lead.”

The Age reporter mentioned that the Tigers were “obviously feeling the effects of the heat.” Temperatures hovered around the 85 deg. mark (29.5 degrees Celsius).

“The strain of two, tough finals games in the previous fortnight also seemed to weigh down the Tigers.

“But after the interval Kyneton emerged re-vitalised to play as though the grand final had just begun.”

The Tigers put on a burst of three goals against the breeze to Rochy’s single major and that was done with pace, superior roving and better overall teamwork, The Age summary read.

“By three-quarter time Kyneton was right back in the game.

“Rochester’s stamina faded badly in the final term and Kyneton, with the wind at their backs, and its small men winning kicks all over the QEO rammed on another five goals to nothing from Rochy to win comfortably.”

The Age writer praised Philp’s performance.

“The grand final proved to be a personal triumph for the Tigers’ veteran playing coach.

“Philp, 35, and in his 19th season of senior football kicked a match-winning six goals from full-forward to play a major role in his side’s victory.

“On the other side of the ledger Rochester’s captain-coach Noel McMahen took the field with a suspected leg injury and was never a force.”

As his side tired players missed the inspiration usually provided by McMahen’s hard-hitting back-line play.

And apart from Philp’s effort at full-forward the Tigers owed much to three, other players.

Rovers Ken Peucker and Terry Bowe and half-forward Jim Lehmann were in Kyneton’s best on the day.

Peucker roved steadily all day, before Bowe lifted his play to great heights in the second half to help rally the Kyneton side.

“And Lehmann was a useful player on a half-forward flank early in the game, but “burned” when switched to the cente position after half-time,” The Age write-up concluded.

 

Kyneton        1.2        4.6        7.10      12.13 (85)

Rochester…  4.5        8.6        9.7          9.8   (62)

Goals – Kyneton: Philp 6, Bowe 2, Peucker, Poole Buckley, Brown. Rochester: O’Toole 3, Hooper 3, Howe, Dow, R. Major.

Best – Kyneton: Lehmann (best afield), Bowe, Philp, K. Peucker, Maloney, Edwards, Buckley (second half). Rochester: Kelly, Colvin, Dow, O’Toole, Maxwell, Hooper, Howe.

Umpire: Brophy. Crowd: 11,982. Gate: 2,417 pounds.

Around the traps and Tongala won its first Goulburn Valley F.L. grand final since 1949 with a 13-point victory over Shepparton.

Shepparton bounced out to an early lead thanks to great play from half-forwards Barrie Vagg and John Dalgleish.

“Tongala fought back through the strong ruckwork of Max Croft and the high marking of captain Alan Murphy.

“John Phyland and Stuart Florence, who were alternating in the centre, also cut off Shepparton’s main source of drive, Tommy Hafey,” the Monday Melbourne Age reported.

Florence booted five goals for the Tongala Blues.

Final scores: Tongala 11.12 (78) def. Shepparton 9.11 (65).

Other grand final scores -- Latrobe Valley: Morwell 10.13 def. Traralgon 9.14; Ovens and Murray: Wangaratta 17.16 def. Benalla 7.12; Western District: Casterton 17.15 def. Hamilton Imperials 10.8; Peninsula League: Frankston 12.15 def. Carrum 9.14.

Preliminary finals, Ballarat F.L.: Maryborough 6.10 def. Geelong West 3.9; Polwarth League: Winchelsea 14.18 def. Apollo Bay 12.7.

It’s extraordinary to remember that Geelong West played in the Ballarat league for many seasons, while Maryborough didn’t return to the Bendigo F.L. until the early 1990s after contesting our league’s 1930s competitions leading right up to World War 2.

 

And before I finish let’s look back at that 1961 season for the Kyneton footy club.

It hadn’t started all that well as Rochy trounced the Tigers in Round 2.

Philp’s patience and insistence on hard work paid off, though, as Kyneton held second spot after 11 rounds with Rochy top and Castlemaine third.

All focus switched to the battle for fourth spot and a place in the first semi-final with Square, Sandhurst and South all level on premiership points.

Eaglehawk and Echuca were just a game (four, premiership points) behind that group.

But South were thrashed by Rochy by a massive 130 points on the QEO in Round 17 before re-grouping to down the Tigers at the Showgrounds to keep their slim finals hopes alive.

But their percentage had suffered badly at the hands of Rochy so South eventually missed out on fourth spot.

Sandhurst grabbed the last spot for the finals and were to test the Tigers to the limit in the prelim. final.

Kyneton, after losing the second semi to Rochester, just held on to beat the Maroons by a single goal in the preliminary final to earn a second crack at Rochy.

As I’ve recounted Philp spearheaded the Tigers to their premiership win.

As well as the Kyneton captain-coach retiring Rochester’s McMahen also pulled the pin and returned to the Melbourne Demons.

He’d taken Rochy to four grand finals, winning the first two in 1958 and 1959 – significantly, in the first of the pair, over Kyneton by 31 points.

Another significant footballer in this period of BFL footy was Kyneton’s Kevin Parks, also a BFNL Hall of Famer.

He’s one of only three Tigers to have played in a trio of flag-winning sides.

He’d played 10 games for Essendon in 1958-59 before pulling on the Tigers’ yellow and black guernsey.

Kevin was in the Tigers’ 1960 premiership-winning line-up and won the Michelsen Medal leading into the big clash that season. He polled 19 votes.

Two seasons after Philp’s retirement Parks booted five goals against Rochy in the 1963 second semi-final.

Four of these were against the wind in the second quarter although Parks and his teammates weren’t able to down Rochy again --- this time in the vital, 1963 grand final.

Rochester won: 16.22 (118) to the Tigers 10.14 (74).

But Parks was Tigers’ coach when they won the flag in 1966: 15.6 (96) to Golden Square’s 12.12 (84).

That was Kevin’s third BFL flag with the Kyneton side.

 

Grand final excerpts from The Age, 2 October

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