In 1925, the North Motton football team (which had topped the ladder), met the Ulverstone Juniors in the Leven Association’s Premiership. North Motton was captained by J. Hearps and Ulverstone by W. McMahon.  There have been some controversial footy finals in Tasmania over the years, and this one was no exception.

My father and his family lived at North Motton at the time. I wonder if any of them travelled to Ulverstone to see the match? The following  advertisement appeared in The Advocate on September 18.


The hard fought, very physical match ended in  a draw, which of course meant that  nobody was happy.


Immediately, protests were lodged by both sides. They were heard at a meeting of the Leven Association held at the Town Hall a few days later.

North Motton claimed that two of the Ulverstone players had been ineligible, due to registration with other teams. In the first case the protest was upheld, but Ulverstone  appealed. The second case was dismissed, but North Motton appealed. In  view of this it was judged that  the result of the game should not be changed.

For their part, Ulverstone  insisted that they  had been dudded by the goal umpire, Mr I. Wilson. In a letter to the Association  they said that during the game Wilson had registered them with  a point, although the ball  had not touched the post and should have been a goal.  Furthermore, there was an incident in which the ball was called out-of-bounds when it was definitely a point.

I must admit that I was amused to read the following ; ‘The letter stated that they did not doubt the honesty of Mr Wilson for one moment, but owing to the keenness of the struggle they believed he had been carried away by the game.‘ (Advocate, Sept. 23 1925)

North Motton then took the high moral ground,  saying that a similar thing had occurred between their  sticks, but they would not protest because they understood that the umpire’s decision was final.

No video replays back then. so how was anyone to judge?  It had been a very windy day, which made the goal umpire’s job difficult. The central umpire was present and said he thought it had been a goal. Mind you, he hadn’t queried Wilson at the time. The Association officials commented that Mr Wilson was regarded a competent umpire and that the scores as he saw them should stand.

To have awarded the game to either side would have created enormous ill-feeling and a rematch was the only solution.

Yet another point of contention was that Ulverstone Juniors had enjoyed a home ground advantage. However, the location of the grand final had been agreed upon  at the start of the season. The replay would also be held at the Ulverstone Recreation Ground.


Aside from the protests there was the issue of reports on two Ulverstone players;

In connection with the grand final match, when North Motton and Ulverstone Juniors tied a fortnight ago, umpire Pearce reported K. Smith of Ulverstone for striking Porter of North Motton, and A. Ayton of Ulverstone for striking H. Badcock of North Motton. A good deal of evidence which was of a conflicting nature was taken and the charges were dismissed.

Yes, well as someone who was Ulverstone born, but from North Motton stock, I feel it would be inappropriate for me comment as to this whether this outcome seems  fair or not. 😎

The replay took place  almost a fortnight later, on October 3. Naturally there was intense interest.

Despite a valiant effort in the final quarter by the visitors, Ulverstone came out on top, 9 goals 14 points (68) to North Motton 8 goals 6 points (54).

To their credit, North Motton  were quick to congratulate their opponents. Captain Hearps admitted they were beaten by a superior team on the day.  🏉🏉🏉



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