1960 NWFU Premiers - Burnie Tigers


Below is an excerpt from 'The Advocate' newspaper on Friday, 30th July, 2010:

50th Anniversary of Burnie's NWFU Grand Final Win Over Cooee    (click heading to see original 2010 article)

IT was the premiership the Burnie Tigers were never supposed to win.

The Tigers finished fourth on the ladder in 1960 as playing coach Paddy Martin went for his sixth straight premiership, having already won three at Ulverstone and two at Burnie. The mighty Cooee Bulldogs were heavily backed in as favourites but Martin and the Burnie players had other ideas.

Just before the bounce of the 1960 grand final, Burnie full back Des Neal fell ill and had to be replaced. Martin decided that he would put champion ruckman Terry Shadbolt down to the forward pocket and shift the backline around. Martin then looked at his reserves and gave the job of number one ruckman to a tall athletic 20-year-old by the name of Kevin Radford. Martin said that there was no real reason for putting Shadbolt in the forward line as there was nothing wrong with him. Martin knew exactly what he was doing and it paid off with Ron Kingston's Cooee men caught off guard. As soon as the ball was bounced the Tigers pounced and before the Cooee men could blink they were down six goals, Shadbolt with two of them. "We started off in a blaze of glory just like I wanted them to," Martin said.

The ball was consistently fed out of the middle by the "mosquito fleet" led by the classy Kevin Symons. John Munro and Murray McCormack formed an extremely effective back-up to Symons in and under the packs.

Even the best can have an off moment and while Symons was clearly the best on the day he also produced a clanger not many people will forget. Lining up for goal at the top of the "10-yard" square, Symons mis-kicked the ball and it cannoned into the post. After the game Symons was taken to hospital by two team- mates with a suspected broken cheekbone.

After a barmstorming first quarter, the game evened out as Cooee looked to peg back the lead. But Burnie, despite a tough run to get to the finals, held strong and was able to match everything Cooee could throw at it.

Cooee had the chance to steal the game in the last quarter with the ball all but stuck in its forward 50. Harold "Tiger" Dowling had several shots on goal but could only manage behinds and Cooee wasted plenty of opportunities.

Kevin Redman and Don Carter held the Burnie defence up as the game faded towards the end and the Tigers ran out 25 point winners.