GRAND FINAL WIN: A young Ian Bunny Pearce kicked a field goal in the dying seconds to snatch victory for Blackbutt in the 1968 grand final. (Picture: File)
GRAND FINAL WIN: A young Ian Bunny Pearce kicked a field goal in the dying seconds to snatch victory for Blackbutt in the 1968 grand final. (Picture: File)

Record crowd sees Pearce steer Blackbutt to 1968 win

WEDNESDAY, August 28, 1968 – By Last Man Down

Before a record crowd, Blackbutt clinched victory as the final siren blew in the A grade premiership at the Wondai sportsground last Sunday when ace centre, Ian Bunny Pearce kicked a field goal to give his team a 6-5 win over Kilkivan Goomeri.

Two minutes before full time, Pearce was the most disappointed man on the field when his attempt at a goal hit the cross bar and bounced back.

Up until Blackbutt hit the lead on the bell, Kilkivan-Goomeri were always in front.

They were a most disappointed team in seeing victory snatched from their grasp in the 80th minute.

The game was a mixture of everything, producing stout structure blended with individual attack as well as some worthwhile three goal line movements.

Blackbutt for the most of the game kept the Reds in their territory.

It was apparent from the commencement that referee Don McLeod was not going to take any roughing up tackles.

MATCH WINNER: A young Ian Bunny Pearce who booted Blackbutt to their exciting win. (Picture: File)
MATCH WINNER: A young Ian Bunny Pearce who booted Blackbutt to their exciting win. (Picture: File)

A Blackbutt player was cautioned early in the game for a high tackle which resulted in Kilkivan-Goomeri receiving a penalty.

McLeod was also strict on the five yard rule.

Blackbutt were without star five eighth Russell who had earlier sustained an injury at training.

Replacement John Charlton proved a handful to the Blues.

Although he mishandled sometimes in attack, he had the ability to break the line.

Kilkivan-Goomeri scored their first points when veteran player Doug Weir broke the line with a penetrating run.

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With a slick pass inside to set ‘Acca’ Denning up for the final dash.

The movement was a typical Kilkivan-Goomeri one.

Reg Smith added the extras for the combined side to lead five nil.

With Blackbutt pressing their opponents line, Noel Blair was hurt in a tackle and was off the field for four minutes.

This knock appeared to affect Blair's play as his evasive runs were not as frequent in the latter stages.

RECORD CROWD: The 1968 grand final between Blackbutt and Kilkivan-Goomeri will go down as one of the best in South Burnett history. (Picture: File)
RECORD CROWD: The 1968 grand final between Blackbutt and Kilkivan-Goomeri will go down as one of the best in South Burnett history. (Picture: File)

Kilkivan-Goomeri halfback Keith Pearson had a great match, especially in the first half when his team were frequently winning the scrums.

Pearce was a tower of strength for the Blackbutt combination.

Just before half time, he raised the flags after his team had been awarded a penalty.

Other outstanding players in the first half were Doug Weir and Reg Smith (Kilkivan-Goomeri) and Geoff Wedderick, Darryl Harrison and Terry Wilson (Blackbutt).

Early in the second half Kilkivan-Goomeri hammered the Blues lines.

Rex Brown was seen in a burst of speed and five eighth Reg Smith repeatedly tried to break the rock like defence.

The Reds were only five feet from the line on several occasions with the ball swinging from one wing to the other before movement was hauled.

Looking as if they would go over McLeod caught Smith off-side and this relived pressure for the Blues.

Well late into the second half, Blackbutt were awarded a penalty right in front, which Pearce steered over for the Blues to trail by only one point.

Kilkivan-Goomeri had a chance to add extra points when Blair was breached for an infringement.

A long kick into the breeze by Smith just failed.

SKIPPER: Kilkivan-Goomeri captain Col Weir lacing up his boots. (Picture: File)
SKIPPER: Kilkivan-Goomeri captain Col Weir lacing up his boots. (Picture: File)

Brian Payne was outstanding in the rucks for Blackbutt.

He made many runs up centre and was always a hard man to ground.

Right up until the dying stages of the match, the combined side were managing to hold out the spirited attack of the Blues.

It wasn’t until the dying seconds where Pearce willed a field goal through the sticks to clinch victory for Blackbutt.

In summing up the match I felt that Kilkivan-Goomeri may have been a trifle unlucky, although no one can begrudge Pearce’s late efforts in clinching victory for his team.