HOME HILL was admitted to the Foley Shield Rugby League competition in 1949, as part of a newly created “central zone” that also included Herbert River and Charters Towers.
Despite a good season in 1949, Home Hill officials, players and supporters were buoyed by the signing of 1948 Kangaroo international forward, Duncan Hall for the 1950 season.
The Home Hill club competition included a wealth of talent that wore the Home Hill representative colours, including Cecil ‘Basher’ Oats, Ron Berryman, Les Williamson, Alan Wilkie, Ron Edwards, Gordon Stockdale, the Parravicini brothers (Ted, Joe and Bill), Angelo Tapiolas and many more who were all part of the 1950 Home Hill representative campaign.
With Duncan Hall leading the team, Home Hill accounted for Herbert River 13 – 2 in their first representative match. However, in the return match, Duncan Hall was unable to play due to a poisoned leg and Herbert River accounted for Home Hill 31 – 10.
Home Hill then defeated Charters Towers, which resulted in Herbert River and Home Hill being on equal points. In a tough play-off, Herbert River defeated Home Hill 18 – 7.
Herbert River then played Ayr, who were winners of the southern zone. Ayr defeated Herbert River 46 – 13 to win, with the Jack Horrigan-led Ayr team going on to defeat Cairns 23 – 15 in the 1950 Foley Shield final.
While playing for Home Hill, Duncan Hall represented North Queensland, when on June 22, 1950, a strong Great Britain team defeated NQ 39 – 15. Duncan Hall returned south in 1951
and linked with the Newtown Club in Toowoomba and captained the winning Toowoomba representative team in the Bulimba Cup.
Season 1952 saw Hall selected for his second Kangaroo tour of England and France and he became a household name after the third test at Bradford when – “After 52 minutes of mayhem, Australia’s vice-captain, Duncan Hall became the first Australian sent off in a test match in England”.
Duncan Hall sat out the 1953 season to recover from injuries and over the next three seasons captained Brisbane Wests to a Grand Final and two Pre-liminary Finals.
Duncan Hall retired in 1957 and then coached Brisbane Wests in the 1958 season. He was appointed co-manager of the 1977 Australian World Cup team and the first Queensland State of Origin team in 1980.
In a career that included 22 tests and 24 matches for Queensland, it was only fitting that in February, 2008, Duncan Hall would be named in the Australian Rugby League team of the century. Duncan Hall passed away on January 18, 2011.
Bob Shoyer was 20 years of age in 1950 and remembers Duncan Hall playing for Home Hill – “In 1950, Duncan Hall came to Home Hill and Home Hill went to Ingham to play. A lot of players were talking about some big forward that Herbert River had and Hall said, ‘don’t worry about him’.
When the game started, in the first scrum, Hall flattened him and turned to the Home Hill blokes and said, ‘there you are, he’s no worry now’. John Ahern who came from the ‘up river’ side was another player that people used to say could have played for Australia”.