THE Home Hill Rugby League Club signed tough halfback, Brian Beven as captain/coach in 1965 and in a tough season, Home Hill reached the club competition Grand Final, only to be defeated by Brothers.
Brian Beven was re-signed for the 1966 season and in another tough season, he steered Home Hill to a consecutive Burdekin A grade Grand Final berth against the Denis Smith – coached Hornets on Sunday, September 11, 1966.
The match opened with a number of fiery exchanges and referee Jack Horner issuing a number of cautions to both teams before Home Hill centre, Jeff Oats took a pass to score.
Brian Beven converted the try and Home Hill led 5-0. Hornets rallied and strong play from Joe Vasta, Vern McIntosh and Ezio Craperi took play to the Home Hill 25-yard line where a penalty conversion by John Cole saw Home Hill lead 5-2.
Beven kept Home Hill on the attack and kicked a field goal to see Home Hill lead 7-2. The match boiled over and Joe Vasta and Joe McLean exchanged blows.
The match took a turn when Home Hill’s Chris Hilas and John Parravicini collided when attempting to tackle Allan Henaway.
Chris Hilas was knocked unconscious, and John Parravicini was also forced from the field.
Hornets rallied and after strong lead-up work from Phil Zumaran, Len Watson and Vern McIntosh, Joe Vasta barged over.
Shortly afterwards Home Hill kicked another penalty and Home Hill led 9-5 at halftime.
Hornets started strongly after half time when John Cole made a break, stepping through the defence before passing to Allan Henaway, who looked set to score, only for a last-ditch tackle by Vern Daisy pulled him down.
Play see-sawed until Beven made a half break and found Ray Hastie in support, who raced down field and found Jeff Oats, who scored.
Beven converted the try and Home Hill led 14-7. Home Hill were in control and a big break by Vern Daisy took play to close to Hornets try line. From the ruck, Beven found Peter Theofanes, who scored.
Hornets scored late when a fumbled ball was picked up and Hornets were awarded the try.
The final score saw Home Hill premiers, 17-10.
At the end of the match, the presentations followed with Home Hill the winners of a number of shields, including the inaugural George Woodhead Memorial Shield, named in honour of George Woodhead, a tough front row forward who had represented Townsville in the early 1960s.
In 1964, George suffered a number of injuries, which seemed to end his playing days. However, in 1965, while working on the construction of the Ayr water tower, George was lured back to playing rugby league and was soon playing for Brothers in the 1965 Burdekin Rugby League club competition At the end of the 1965 season, George returned to Townsville.
In early August, 1966, George fell from the steps of his home, damaging his spinal cord, which resulted in paralysis.
Tragically, he contracted pneumonia and passed away on August 7 in Townsville Hospital. Burdekin Rugby League treasurer, Norm Dee and Brothers Club benefactor, Sol Morales donated a shield to be presented to the winner of the A Grade Burdekin Rugby League club
competition Grand Final.It was presented for the first time at the 1966 Grand Final and was then presented every year until the disbandment of the Burdekin Rugby League club competition at the end of the 1986 season.