Teal Cup memories: Beat Victoria!

By Rod Gillett


NSW won the expanded Teal Cup under 17 national championships in 1975 by convincingly beating Victoria in the final game of the series by 90 points in Brisbane.

Victoria had joined the competition that year while the ACT had entered in 1973.

The Teal Cup, donated by fervent Balmain supporter Winifred Myrtle Teal, better known as “Ma Teal”, in 1953 when it began as an annual match between NSW and Queensland junior teams as curtain-raisers to interstate clashes between the two states.

South Australia and Tasmania came into the Teal Cup in 1976 with Western Australia in 1978 and then the following year by the Northern Territory.

A further change in teams came in 1989 when Victoria it was split into Vic Metro and Vic Country. The two divisional structure was introduced in 1992.

A key member of the 1975 team was Wagga Tigers stalwart Ray Carroll, then playing senior football for Ardelthan Stars in the strong South West league, who was working in the tin mines after leaving boarding school at St Francis College, Leeton.


“They didn’t take it well…”

“We really wanted to beat them (Victoria)!” Ray recalled when I spoke to him by phone from Wagga where he now works as CEO of leading regional disability services provider, Kurrajong Waratah.

 “And we did! We smashed them! We were rapt to beat the Victorians. They didn’t take it well, from memory, they didn’t attend the presentation ceremony,” Ray told me.

Dashing rover John Powell from the Leeton assumed the captaincy from his injured Leeton High team-mate Mal Dunn and was an “inspiration” according to Ray Carroll: “He was a real leader, with his naturally engaging style, and ability to draw everybody together.”

As a seventeen-year-old school-boy Powell would also play an instrumental role in Leeton’s 1975 South West league premiership triumph over Turvey Park at the Narrandera Sportsground

Other outstanding players for NSW at the 1975 championships were centreman Wayne “Nuggett” Evans (Grong Grong-Matong), key defender Leo Lucas (Ariah Park-Mirrool), giant ruckman Kim Kershaw (Wagga Tigers), and Albury Tigers’ star rover-forward Peter Cross.

Evans and Kershaw went onto play VFL football with South Melbourne while string-bean Seaforth junior Mick Byrne would carve out an illustrious career with Melbourne and Hawthorn before returning to Sydney to play for the Swans in 1987-88.


The following squad represented NSW at the 1975 Teal Cup Under 17 national championships in Brisbane:

M. Dunn (Captain), L. Lucas, D. Carroll, R. Carroll, F. Piccolo, W. Evans, G. Longley, J. Powell, M. Byrne, A Woodhams, G. Simmons, R. Brain, G. Rand, T. Warren, L. Thomas, G. Schodde, P. Cross, D, Kotzur, R. Pearsall, R. Pumpa, K. Kershaw, B. Taylor, P. Taylor, B. Morris, R. Kemp. Coach: Bruce Lucas. Manager: Ted Ray.



ACT 10-14- 74 def. NSW 8-18- 66

NSW 24-19-163 def. Queensland 12- 5- 77

NSW. 23-18-156 def. Victoria 7- 4- 46


Fill-in skipper John Powell (left) holds the Teal Cup aloft with injured captain Mal Dunne


Teal Cup’s end of an era

However, by 1995 the Teal Cup became superseded by an Under 18 national championships named after the sponsor.

Fittingly, the final championship was staged in southern NSW at venues in Albury, Barooga, Lavington, and Narrandera.

As Bill Carey noted in his 2012 booklet Memories of the Teal Cup 1953-1995, “Perhaps the last laugh goes to NSW for, in this the last Under 17 carnival, NSW were in Division I fighting out the Cup while our long time rivals Queensland were in Division II.”

Carey lamented the loss of the Teal Cup name in favour of “more fashionable sponsors.”

However, the Larke medal for the best player at the Teal Cup named after Michael Larke, who was tragically killed in a bus accident involving the Sydney junior team returning from trial games in Narrandera in 1976, has been retained.

There were four NSW winners of the Larke Medal in the Teal Cup:

1982 – Michael Phyland (Mangoplah-Cookardinia United)                                                                              

1984 – David Condon (The Rock – Yerong Creek)

1985 – Jason Kerr (Scots College Albury)

1988 –Robbie Wright (North Shore)                                            


NSW’s Teal Cup heroes

Over the period of the Teal Cup from 1953-1995 there have been a number of players from NSW that have gone on to have significant playing careers  in the VFL/AFL including Terry Daniher (South Melb-Essendon), Neale Daniher (Essendon), Anthony Daniher (South Melbourne-Essendon), Brett Scott (South Melbourne), Bernard Toohey (Geelong-Sydney Swans-Western Bulldogs), Glen Page (Sydney Swans-North Melbourne), Jason Mooney (Sydney Swans-Geelong), Craig Nettlebeck (Sydney Swans-Fremantle-Melbourne), Daniel McPherson (Sydney Swans), Brad Seymour (Sydney Swans) and Leo Barry (Sydney Swans).

The two that got away were 1968 captain Laurie Monahan who switched to rugby union and became a Wallabies full back and skipper of the 1973 team Greg Brentnall (Turvey Park) wh0 played a starring role in Canterbury’s 1980 premiership and was the Kangaroos full back on the 1982 tour of Great Britain.

(Ray Carroll played 80 games at Ardlethan 1974-1978 and moved to Wagga in 1979 where he played 335 games for Wagga Tigers including 3 first grade premierships. He then served on the committee for ten years including three as president.)


This was our second story of a series on NSW’s successful Teal Cup teams, following the Allies U18 Boys National Championship win. The 1993 NSW Teal Cup campaign featured here.