Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Skaro and Toshack among the scorers when Tasmania met Cardiff City in 1968

Photo:  Two Cardiff City players run onto the Queenborough Aussie Rules ground, the home of Sandy Bay, for the game against Tasmania on Monday, 10 June 1968 [PlessPix]

On the public holiday Monday of 10 June 1968, Tasmania met the visiting English Second Division club Cardiff City at Queenborough in Sandy Bay before a crowd of 4,500.

Cardiff City won 5-1, after leading 3-0 at half-time, but at least Tasmania scored.

Tasmania’s goal came from a penalty taken by Croatia’s powerful forward Tony Skaro.

Skaro was one of the State’s top strikers and he rifled home the spot kick to make the score 4-1.

Tasmania’s captain Dick Girling had attacked down the right wing and crossed for Olympia team-mate Norm Stanton to head home, but the interstate referee, Mr J Sampey, had already blown the whistle for a penalty and Skaro stepped up to put his name in the record books of Tasmanian football.

Cardiff took the lead in the 22nd minute when a corner, conceded by Mike Richards and taken by Leslie Lea was headed home by the 1.81m tall, 19-year-old striker, John Toshack.

Toshack was valued at 140,000 English Pounds at that time and went on in later years to star with Liverpool, where his partnership with Kevin Keegan and Steve Heighway yielded many goals and trophies.

He earned 40 caps for Wales and scored 13 goals for the national side.

Toshack became fluent in Spanish and was twice coach of Real Madrid (1989-90, and 1999), taking them to one league title during his first tenure at the Spanish giants.

It was 2-0 in the 26th minute when a move involving David Carver and Leighton Phillips was finished off by Graham Coldrick with an unstoppable shot.

Brian Clark added the third three minutes before half-time, following a goalmouth scrimmage.

Olympia goalkeeper Michael Roussos missed the game because of injury.  Bain was therefore in goal and he was replaced at half-time by Joe Udovicic.  The tall and speedy striker Hans Streit replaced Harper.

Tasmania earned their first corner of the game in the 50th minute, but 5 minutes later came the goal of the match when Lea’s cross went straight to Ronnie Bird, who scored with a bullet-like header to make it 4-0.

Skaro then pulled a goal back for Tasmania, but Cardiff sealed the 5-1 win 6 minutes from the end when Bird netted with a left-footed drive.

The injured Skaro had come off by then, to be replaced by Van der Pols, while Harper was replaced by Joe Hanna.

Richards was excellent in defence for Tasmania, while both Tasmanian goalkeepers performed well.

The Cardiff City touring party were entertained at a dinner and cabaret evening at the Australian Croatian Club in Glenorchy following the game and I have been reliably informed by someone who was there that Toshack enjoyed a drink or two, or three.

The Tasmanian squad had eight new State representatives, with only Dick Girling (5 caps), Egon Mathias (8 caps) and Hans Streit (3 caps) having represented the State before.

The Tasmanian team was:  Bain (Launceston United), Dick Girling (Capt, Olympia), Karl Schwesinger (Olympia), Lachie Vagianos (Olympia), Egon Mathias (Rapid), Mike Richards (Olympia), Norman Stanton (Olympia), Ottmar Bachinger (Rapid), Hans Streit (Northern Juventus), Ante Skaro (Croatia), Parkin (Olympia).  Reserves:  Joe Udovicic (Croatia), Joe Hanna (Juventus), Van der Pols (Launceston United), Harper (Olympia).


John Skaro said...

The headline alone is worth the price of admission, Walter. I have taken the liberty of posting this story on theliverpoolway.co.uk, one of England's leading fanzine sites.

Steffan Elliott said...

My Grampi was a Cardiff City supporter. He stopped following them when they got relegated from 1st division much was his disgust. Unfortunately time ran out for him and he never saw them reach the lofty heights again. My 2nd team and always will be in memory of a man I can't remember.

Brian Young said...

Another interesting historical addition to your blog, Walter. Well done!