League Premiers 1957 - East Fremantle FC

The End of the Drought

No year was deemed more appropriate for the breaking of the premiership drought than Old Easts' diamond jubilee, and the players really made a welter of things by winning the League Premiership, the Sandover Medal, the Simpson Medal and the Rodriguez Shield.

This was also the season in which Old Easts set something of a record when ,53 points down at three-quarter time in the preliminary final, 9.6 to 16.17, we stormed home to an incredible victory by kicking 10.4 to 1.1 in the last quarter to win by four points.

Clarke won the Sandover Medal with 19 votes, after a count-back, from Graham Farmer. Sorrell, our youngest player and one of our greatest centremen, finished next with 17. Howard, Guthrie and Rogers also polled well.

Frank (Killarney) Conway played the game of his life on a wing in the grand final against East Perth and romped in with the Simpson Medal.

The Rodriguez Shield, awarded to the club with the best overall performances in League , seconds and the new thirds competition, also went to Old Easts. It was the first year it had been presented.

The season started in a blaze of controversy when the committee appointed former South Fremantle star Steve Marsh as coach at the then record fee of $600, three times more than the previous highest. Marsh was also promised a bonus for a premiership.

Players were promised $4 for each win, and were also paid $1 each time they attended training. The insure-a-player scheme was introduced and the selection committee was increased to five. Marsh, Johnson, Con Regan, Alan ebbs, Syd Henderson and Ron Mellowship were the selectors.

Marsh Captain

Marsh, of course , led the side and Johnson and Regan shored the duties of vice-captain.

Jim Conway had left the State to coach a country club, Coolamon, in NSW, and Laurie had retired. Mavor and Len Anderson, who had made brief appearances in 1956, became regulars, and newcomers Des Anderson (Len's brother) and Don Collins played usefully on occasions.

Trizzie Lawrence, waters and Len Anderson played with distinction in all 24 games, Holt and Clarke were at their brilliant best in 23, as were the effervescent Marsh and robust half-back Guthrie. Howard, Rogers, Cowan, Con Regan and Des Anderson lent science and substance to the side in 21 games, and a stylish pair in centreman Sorrell and half-back Mavor played in 19. Johnson, Nugent, Frank Conway (17), Onions and Coulson (16) and Hicks (14) completed a score of top-class league players who should have made the winning of a premiership a formality. Yet it was probably the toughest one the Club has ever won.

Len Anderson who was to head the club's goal-kicking list from 1957 to 1960 with totals of 77,89,91 and 79, probably had the most awkward shot for goal ever possessed by a leading full-forward with the possible exception of Bob Johnson, an ungainly left-footer who headed the club list from 1963 to 1966.

Anderson, a tall right footer, rarely sent the ball on an even flight but somehow or other it usually wobbled its way sfely through the centre posts.

Through the entire season we won 18 games and lost 6.

Our best wins were: v WP 14.14 to 5.2 and 21.11 to 14.9; v SF 18.13 to 12.6; v Subiaco 16.13 to 8.11 and v Claremont 21.20 to 14.11.

Claremont, who finished out of the top four, inflicted the worst defeat of the season on us, 19.14 to 5.10, and we were also carved up by WP, 14.14 to 5.12.

The First semi-final against WP was close but we were always in command and won, 13.14 to 10.14. East Perth looked like hacks in a display of powerhouse football in the second semi-final and won 20.16 to 7.8.

We shaped up confidently to Perth, but at quarter-time Perth led, 6.8 to 1.2, at half-time they were still ahead, 10.10 to 6.4. The game was virtually over at three-quarter time, with Perth leading 16.17 to 9.6.

Our strongest half-back, Rogers, went off in the third quarter after receiving a solid knock on the nose, and into the breach stepped "Nuggett" Nugent.

Nugent helped Old Easts to take control in the ruck, and with the help of Howard (as accurate as ever with four goals straight), Preen, Lawrence and Marsh gradually swung the tide in our favour.

To add 10.4 and restrict Perth to 1.1 even though we had the advantage of an appreciable breeze - was a phenomenal recovery, possibly the best in a final -round game.

Against EP in the Grand final, we were in early difficulties when we scored only 2.6 with the wind in the first quarter, while EP scored 1.4 We had almost kissed the match goodbye at halftime when EP led, 6.7 to 2.7, in a low scoring game in which the defences were very sound.

A good third quarter with the wind saw us in front, 7.15 to 7.8, but the slender lead looked insufficient against a resolute EP combination.

Then Marsh made one of two shrewd moves, switching Rogers from his unaccustomed place at centre half forward to the key role in defence; he moved Mavor from a half-back flank on to the damaging Everett in the centre; and he again called on the 19th man, Nugent, to take over in the ruck from our injured champion, Clarke.

George (Staunch) Owens summed up the game more than adequately: "EP were out-manoevered and out -generalled. EF's victory was a tribute to Marsh and to a side that played attacking football when it's winning chance looked almost hopeless."

Marsh, who appeared to be favouring an injury, went into the forward line late in the last quarter, and EP defender Ned Bull was deceived into thinking that Old Easts' captain coach was out of the play.

But the ball came towards marsh and, quick as a flash, he gathered it in and kicked the goal that virtually sealed the result. It is said that Bull, almost in tears after the game, has still not forgiven himself.

We kicked 3.3 to 2.1 in the last gruelling quarter and won by 16 points. Steve had earned his bonus.

"Celebrating 100 Years of Tradition"  
The book is available to by online - cost $45.

Marsh, of course , led the side and Johnson and Regan shored the duties of vice-captain.

Jim Conway had left the State to coach a country club, Coolamon, in NSW, and Laurie had retired. Mavor and Len Anderson, who had made brief appearances in 1956, became regulars, and newcomers Des Anderson (Len's brother) and Don Collins played usefully on occasions.

Trizzie Lawrence, waters and Len Anderson played with distinction in all 24 games, Holt and Clarke were at their brilliant best in 23, as were the effervescent Marsh and robust half-back Guthrie. Howard, Rogers, Cowan, Con Regan and Des Anderson lent science and substance to the side in 21 games, and a stylish pair in centreman Sorrell and half-back Mavor played in 19. Johnson, Nugent, Frank Conway (17), Onions and Coulson (16) and Hicks (14) completed a score of top-class league players who should have made the winning of a premiership a formality. Yet it was probably the toughest one the Club has ever won.

Len Anderson who was to head the club's goal-kicking list from 1957 to 1960 with totals of 77,89,91 and 79, probably had the most awkward shot for goal ever possessed by a leading full-forward with the possible exception of Bob Johnson, an ungainly left-footer who headed the club list from 1963 to 1966.

Anderson, a tall right footer, rarely sent the ball on an even flight but somehow or other it usually wobbled its way sfely through the centre posts.

Through the entire season we won 18 games and lost 6.

Our best wins were: v WP 14.14 to 5.2 and 21.11 to 14.9; v SF 18.13 to 12.6; v Subiaco 16.13 to 8.11 and v Claremont 21.20 to 14.11.

Claremont, who finished out of the top four, inflicted the worst defeat of the season on us, 19.14 to 5.10, and we were also carved up by WP, 14.14 to 5.12.

The First semi-final against WP was close but we were always in command and won, 13.14 to 10.14. East Perth looked like hacks in a display of powerhouse football in the second semi-final and won 20.16 to 7.8.

We shaped up confidently to Perth, but at quarter-time Perth led, 6.8 to 1.2, at half-time they were still ahead, 10.10 to 6.4. The game was virtually over at three-quarter time, with Perth leading 16.17 to 9.6.

Our strongest half-back, Rogers, went off in the third quarter after receiving a solid knock on the nose, and into the breach stepped "Nuggett" Nugent.

Nugent helped Old Easts to take control in the ruck, and with the help of Howard (as accurate as ever with four goals straight), Preen, Lawrence and Marsh gradually swung the tide in our favour.

To add 10.4 and restrict Perth to 1.1 even though we had the advantage of an appreciable breeze - was a phenomenal recovery, possibly the best in a final -round game.

Against EP in the Grand final, we were in early difficulties when we scored only 2.6 with the wind in the first quarter, while EP scored 1.4 We had almost kissed the match goodbye at halftime when EP led, 6.7 to 2.7, in a low scoring game in which the defences were very sound.

A good third quarter with the wind saw us in front, 7.15 to 7.8, but the slender lead looked insufficient against a resolute EP combination.

Then Marsh made one of two shrewd moves, switching Rogers from his unaccustomed place at centre half forward to the key role in defence; he moved Mavor from a half-back flank on to the damaging Everett in the centre; and he again called on the 19th man, Nugent, to take over in the ruck from our injured champion, Clarke.

George (Staunch) Owens summed up the game more than adequately: "EP were out-manoevered and out -generalled. EF's victory was a tribute to Marsh and to a side that played attacking football when it's winning chance looked almost hopeless."

Marsh, who appeared to be favouring an injury, went into the forward line late in the last quarter, and EP defender Ned Bull was deceived into thinking that Old Easts' captain coach was out of the play.

But the ball came towards marsh and, quick as a flash, he gathered it in and kicked the goal that virtually sealed the result. It is said that Bull, almost in tears after the game, has still not forgiven himself.

We kicked 3.3 to 2.1 in the last gruelling quarter and won by 16 points. Steve had earned his bonus.

"Celebrating 100 Years of Tradition"  
The book is available to by online - cost $45.