Barmedman Rugby League : a brief(ish) history to 1945

The mouse that roared. Regularly defeating towns ten times its size there was something special about Barmedman.   On Maher Cup Days the three pubs overflowed as the population of a few hundred became thousands.  If the Cup was a religion this was its Jerusalem.  Eric Schlunke captured the fanaticism in his thinly fictional short story Village Hampden.

This is an attempt to record some of Barmedman’s social and football history.

Queen Street in 1910 showing the news-agency, the imposing Barmedman Hotel and beyond the then modest Queensland Hotel.

Like so many Maher Cup places, gold had originally provided its reason for being.  The first rush was in 1874 and by 1883 there were about 500 permanent inhabitants. But as the yields declined so did the town.  However the subdivision of  the squatters’ stations into wheat and sheep farms along with the arrival of the rail from Temora in 1903 renewed its purpose. After the Great War a branch line was constructed from Barmedman to Rankins Springs to the west.  With farmers settling from Victoria and Pommies building the lines it was a place that could raise competitive Rugby League, Australian Rules and Soccer teams in the 1920s.  The Barmedman women’s hockey team won the NSW Premiership in 1927 and were runners up the following year.

The first Rugby League town in inland NSW was West Wyalong, which switched from Union in 1911.  The combined team was called ‘The Goldfields’. It introduced the game to Barmedman at an exhibition match in April 1912.  By June Ariah Park and Barmedman players had joined up with the Goldfields to play a Combined Sydney team.  By the eve of war League had reached further down the line to Temora.

Following the trauma of heavy loss –  the town’s memorial records that 120 local men and one woman enlisted, of which 26 died – the 1920s were years of optimism and growth. Barmedman became a service centre for the rich farmlands.  Shoppers included many who came in by train from the west, often staying overnight and returning home in the morning.  John Meagher, Thom & Naylor and Sissian opened general storekeepers, there was a newspaper, three refreshment rooms, two chemists, two bakers, three hotels, a hospital, two schools and many community organisations.

Advertisements from The Broadcaster in 1927

Serious football competition recommenced in 1920.

1920
In those days it was all about challenge cups. The Chigwidden Challenge Cup (1920-1921), a ‘beautiful silver cup‘ was put up by Frank Chigwidden of West Wyalong’s Globe Hotel. West Wyalong, Mildil, Barmedman and Temora participated in its 15 matches.  The Cup was designed to be retained by the holders at the end of the second season, and Barmedman duly trounced West Wyalong in that match before more than 1000 spectators.
20 June 1920 : West Wyalong 9 Barmedman 3
21 July 192o : West Wyalong 11 Temora 10
18 Aug 1920 : West Wyalong 5 Barmedman 2 – Barmedman team walked off
29 Aug 1920 : West Wyalong 23 Mildil 6
5 June 1921 : West Wyalong 7 Mildil 8
12 June 1921 : Mildil 0 West Wyalong 8 – played on C. Pilon’s paddock; gate £10
19 June 1921 : West Wyalong 14 Mildil 0
22 June 1921 : West Wyalong 3 Barmedman 5 – crowd 700+
29 June 1921 : Barmedman 10 West Wyalong 0 – special train; crowd 500+
6 July 1921 : Barmedman 5 Temora 3 – special train; gate £20
13 July 1921 : Barmedman 13 Mildil 0
21 Aug 1921 : Barmedman 19 West Wyalong 8 – Wyalong includes some Mildil players. About 150 folk where involved in a melee
30 Aug 1921 : Barmedman 3 Temora 0
14 Sep 1921: West Wyalong 3 Barmedman 36 – Barmedman were the holders but the match was played at West Wyalong – crowd 1000+, gate £38.

Michael Shields of the Royal Hotel Barmedman  also hosted the Shields’ Cup. The rules included that it must be won twice before it leaves town. It was only played for in 1920 and never did.

9 June 1920 : Barmedman 0 West Wyalong 0
16 June 1920 : Barmedman 8 Temora 9
14 July 1920 : Barmedman 0 Temora 0 – crowd about 400
4 Aug 1920 : Barmedman 16 West Wyalong 0
1 Sep 1920 : Barmedman 5 Temora 3

1921
Perce Marshall of the Queensland Hotel established the Marshall Cup. The previous year he had put a cup of the same name for Australian Rules. However while Ariah Park to the southwest became a solid Rules town, Barmedman went the other way.  The Kelly and Maitland families who made up much of the Australian Rules team before the War later became synonymous with Barmedman Rugby League.
6 June 1921 : Barmedman 2 Temora 0
27 June 1921 : Barmedman 5 Temora 3 (also recorded as 5-0)
24 Aug 1921 : Barmedman 5 Temora 0

Barmedman were undefeated in both cups in 1921. They also defeated Cootamundra’s crack Bing Boys.  Players included: Hume Gunn, Harry Moss, Glen King, E. Wedgewood, Fred and Frank Kelly, Sid Pawsey, W. Mahoney, Lou Christopherson, C. Ashton, George Bacon, John Garlick and Bill West.

1922
The NSW Rugby League recognised that this rapidly expanding sport needed to be organised. It proposed the division of country areas into twelve groups. Group 9 was proposed as: Harden, Wagga, Cootamundra, Gundagai, Tumut, Temora, Barmedman, Wyalong, West Wyalong, Mildil, Ariah Park and Ardlethan.

The Cups for 1922 were the Farrar Cup from West Wyalong, the Prior and Haig Cup from Temora, Barmedman’s Middlemis Cup and the Tulk Cup from Leeton.  Barmedman’s performances were as follows:

14 June 1922 : Prior & Haig – Temora 31 Barmedman 8
21 June 1922: Farrar – West Wyalong 24 Barmedman 3
5 July 1922: Middlemis – Barmedman 5 West Wyalong 3
19 July 1922: Middlemis – Barmedman 0 West Wyalong 6
20 August 1922: Tulk – Temora 3 Barmedman 3
13 September 1922: Middlemiss – Barmedman 3 West Wyalong 2

1923
Things were humming. The Rankins Springs line opened, the team become an inaugural member of Group 9, the streets came alive with electric lighting, and George Carstairs who played in the 1921-22 Kangaroo tour of England came to coach. However he only stayed a few weeks before returning to St. George. West Wyalong, under Barmedman-born coach Dick Vest, was by far the area’s dominant team. Everything but the Maher Cup ended up there. There were newspaper reports that Dally Messenger was appointed to coach Barmedman, but there is no evidence of his appearance.

Gundagai Times 8 May 1923

The team included: Hume Gunn, Harry Moss, Glen King, Artie and Fred or Frank Kelly, W. Mahoney, Lou Christopherson, George Bacon, Jim Lawrence, Bill Collier, Peter Meagher, H. Weaver, M. Smith and K. Sutherland. Collier, King and Bacon were selected in the first Group 9 representative team. The cup games were:

27 May 1923: Tulk Cup – Temora 20 Barmedman 5
13 June 1923: Middlemiss Cup – Barmedman 0 West Wyalong 8
8 July 1923: Middlemiss Cup – West Wyalong 16 Barmedman 5
22 July 1923: Middlemiss Cup – West Wyalong 42 Barmedman 3

Albert Bentley ‘Son’ Burge, a former international Rugby Union player and brother of Frank Burge moved from Hillston at the end of the season to take up the goodwill of the Barmedman Hotel.  Meanwhile Barmedman storekeeper Albert Naylor had emerged as the most sought-after referee in the Group.

1924|
Football was becoming feverish.   ‘Son’ Burge donated a 2 foot high cup bearing his name and was ‘honorary coach‘. Glen King and Constable Jack Botterill (also spelled Botterell) were selected in the team to play the English at Cootamundra. After a 26-0 win over Ariah Park the town dreamed of greatness. An early season Tulk Cup clash between Temora and West Wyalong drew a crowd of at least 2000.

It was also decided to run an inter-district non-cup competition between Temora, Barmedman and West Wyalong.  Barmedman lost the first two games: 9-8 at Temora and 21-0 at West Wyalong.  After that interest waned and the cups again became the focus.  Barmedman regained their Burge Cup at the end of the season, defeated Young 10-5 on 22 June, but otherwise, it was a year of dashed hopes.

18 May 1924: Tulk Cup – West Wyalong 9 Barmedman 5
25 May 1924: Burge Cup – Barmedman 3 Temora 13
1 June 1924: Crowley Cup (Temora) – Temora 15 Barmedman 3
8 June 1924: Burge Cup – Temora 20 Barmedman 2
15 June 1924 : Crowley Cup – Temora 11 Barmedman 5
13 July 1924: Tulk Cup – West Wyalong 12 Barmedman 0
20 July 1924: Burge Cup – Temora 8 Barmedman 14
9 August 1924: Burge Cup – Barmedman 7 Ariah Park 0
17 August 1924: Burge Cup – Barmedman 0 West Wyalong 7
31 Aug 1924: Burge Cup – West Wyalong 0 Barmedman 10
21 Sep 1924: Bancroft Cup (Gundagai) – Gundagai 19 Barmedman 2

Players included: F. Kelly, Harry Moss, Jim Lawrence, Artie Kelly, Lou Christopherson, F. Sainsbury, W. Stanmore, W. Mahoney, Hume Gunn, A. Weaver, M. Larkin, George Bacon, Glen King, Jack Botterill.

1925

Eight of the Group 9 teams engaged city coaches in 1925.  Clarrie ‘Spot’ Horder, a former Souths player, who had coached Condobolin in 1924 moved to Barmedman.  The first match at Temora, lead by Jack Dawson of Eastern Suburb, saw Barmedman defeated 23-8.  Lou Christopherson was badly injured and West Wyalong participated in a benefit match for him on 24 May. Before a return match could be played on 31 May Clarrie Horder had resigned, only three weeks into the job. Barmedman lost 26-2 and on 8 June Barmedman beat Grenfell 22-3. The cup competitions were as follows:

16 June 1925: Burge Cup – Barmedman 7 Temora 12.  The following week Barmedman was to challenge again at Temora but flooding blocked the way.
28 June 1925: Crowley Cup – West Wyalong 5 Barmedman 5
19 July 1925: Burge Cup – Temora 11 Barmedman 3
26 July 1925: Crowley Cup – West Wyalong 31 Barmedman 8
5 August 1925: Citizens Cup – Barmedman 22 West Wyalong 3
6 September 1925: Southern Championship Cup – Cootamundra defeated Barmedman
13 September 1925: Burge Cup – Griffith 10 Barmedman 5, meaning that the magnificent Son Burge Cup was to stray far away.

The one bright spot was 19-year old rising star Jim Lawrence. He played for a winning Country team against the City and was selected to play for NSW against New Zealand and to tour Queensland. In August he also played five-eighth at Cootamundra for Group 9 against New Zealand.

Other players included: J. Roughley, Harry Moss, Bill Collier, Stanmore, W. Mahoney, George Bacon, McLean, M. Larkin, White, Berwick, Solah, Goodman, Wally Rodway, Kelly, Tom Long, Wassen, Glen King, Charlie Naylor

1926

A sketch of Queen Street, probably from the late 1920s

Barmedman supported the majority as Group 9 banned paid coaches from playing.  However it just meant that teams like Cootamundra, Young and Gundagai denied that their high paid imports did any coaching while places like Barmedman went uncoached.  After an indifferent start in the cup season they travelled out to Griffith and brought the Burge Cup back.  The highlight was the town’s first Maher Cup challenge in which they were beaten but not disgraced.

13 June 1926: Crowley Cup: West Wyalong 21 Barmedman 2
27 June 1926: Burge Cup: Griffith 4 Barmedman 11
4 July 1926: Burge Cup: Barmedman defeated Griffith (score unknown)
11 July 1926: Licensed Victualler’s Cup: West Wyalong 17 Barmedman 0
25 July 1926: Condon Shield: Junee 10 Barmedman 5
8 August 1926: Burge Cup: Barmedman 13 Wagga 7
22 August 1926: Hopkins Cup: Wagga 31 Barmedman 2
5 September: Burge Cup: Barmedman 13 Junee 0
8 September: Maher Cup: Temora 26 Barmedman 5

Team members included: Laurie Mulhearne, Harry Moss, F. Kelly, W. Mahoney, Templeman, Jim Lawrence, Jack Lawrence, Laurie Smith, Charlie Naylor, George Bacon, Wally Rodway, Tom Long, Glen King, R. Phillips, Basham, Sissian, G. Bonnett, Hooper, K. Sutherland, J.Woods, W. Martin and Bill Lawrence who was still a school boy when he was added to the Maher Cup backline.

1927

The season started early, and with promise, when on 24 April it salvaged a 6-all draw at West Wyalong, and followed the next week with 5-all at Temora.  In a busy season Barmedman beat the champion Cootamundra team for the Motor Cup  and had two Maher Cup challenges, narrowly missing victory.

15 May 1927: Tonkin Cup – Wagga 26 Barmedman 10
22 May 1927: Grenfell v Barmedman (score unknown)
26 May 1927: Citizen’s Cup – Temora 5 Barmedman 4
29 May 1927: Vat 69 Cup – West Wyalong 11 Barmedman 8 (Jim Lawrence represented Group 9 that weekend)
1 Jun 1927: Barmedman 26 West Wyalong 7
12 June 1927: South-western Championship (Motor) Cup: Cootamundra 7 Barmedman 9
22 June 1927:  South-western Championship (Motor) Cup: Barmedman 6 Temora 10, before a record crowd of 2000.
6 July 1927: Citizen’s Cup – Temora 6 Barmedman 10. Temora first defeat of the season.
10 July 1927: Garden of Roses Cup – Grenfell 5 Barmedman 2
24 July 1927: Vat 69 Cup – West Wyalong 8 Barmedman 15 (or 9-16)
27 July 1927: South-western Championship (Motor) Cup – Temora 16 Barmedman 11
3 August 1927: Maher Cup – Young 9 Barmedman 7
7 August 1927: Vat 69 Cup – Barmedman 13 West Wyalong 12
17 August 1927: Maher Cup – Gundagai 10 Barmedman 5
28 August 1927: Lyceum Cup – Griffith 3 Barmedman 17 or 8-17
7 September 1927: South-western Championship (Motor) Cup – Temora 14 Barmednan 6
11 September 1927: Vat 69 Cup – West Wyalong 12 Barmedman 6
18 September 1927: Burge Cup – Barmedman 11 West Wyalong 18

Gundagai Independent 18 August 1927

Hume Gunn was ‘coach‘, presumably unofficially and unpaid.  A former Rugby Union player from Bathurst,  he was  normally the team captain but did not play in the two Maher Cup challenges. He coached Condobolin from 1928. The players included: Laurie Mulhearne, Frank Kelly, Artie Kelly, Harry Moss, Frank Blundell, Laurie Smith, Bill Lawrence, Fred Templemen, halves Jim and Jack Lawrence, Algie Faunce, Charlie Collier, Charlie Naylor, George Bacon, Tom Long, Hal Moore and Ted Andrews

Barmedman fielded an excellent reserve grade team and also had a useful soccer side.

1928

Bill Brogan was offered the coaching position at £5 per week but accepted an offer from West Wyalong. No coach was appointed. Jim Lawrence (1905-1944) was captain. Barmedman introduced a new trophy, the Wallder Cup. In May Laurie Smith was selected to play against the English, with Jim Lawrence as reserve. The cup games were:

13 May 1928 : K.B. Lager Trophy:  Barmedman 11 West Wyalong 6
20 May 1928: Burge Cup: West Wyalong 10 Barmedman 17
27 May 1928: Burge Cup: Barmedman 4 West Wyalong 0.  On the way home some of the Wyalong players were injured when their lorry was in  a collision.
At Cootamundra Laurie Smith scored two fine tries in a 14 all draw with the English.
3 June 1928: Burge Cup: Barmedman 4 West Wyalong 0
5 June 1928: Citizen’s Cup – Barmedman 8 Wagga 2
10 June 1928: Lyceum Cup – Barmedman 12 Leeton 9
24 June 1928: Burge Cup: Barmedman 11 West Wyalong 5
Barmedman pulled out of their 27 June Maher Cup challenge with Cootamundra claiming they have too many injured players.
1 July 1928: Peter Dawson Cup: West Wyalong 2 Barmedman 6
15 July 1928: Burge Cup – Barmedman 13 Junee 8
5 August 1928: Burge Cup – Barmedman 26 Griffith 7
8 August 1928: Southwest Championship Cup – Temora 25 Barmedman 5
15 August 1928: Citizen’s Cup – Barmedman v Temora (result unknown)
21 August 1928: Lyceum Cup – Barmedman 19 Leeton 8
28 August 1928: Young 28 Barmedman 10
19 September 1928: Maher Cup – Cootamundra 25 Barmedman 12

People developed the habit of falling off the balcony of the Queensland Hotel.

Gundagai Times April 1928

1929

Barmedman’s first Maher Cup success came with a team claimed to be composed entirely of local players. Jim Lawrence was the captain who ‘moulded‘ the team but there was no official coach.

Barmedman Maher Cup team 1929

Barmedman Maher Cup team from 1929. From left: Laurie Smith, Bill McCawley, Jack Lawrence, Charlie Naylor, Stan Cooper, Tiger Payne, Tom Long, Jimmy Cornett, Bill Lawrence, Fred Templeman, George Templeman, Len Cooper, Jim Lawrence (captain). Source: McLaren: Trials & Triumphs, p.134

 

Barmedmen in April backed the move to replace the challenge cups, including the Maher Cup, with a Group 9 competition. It lost of the chairman’s casting vote.

Percy Marshall gave up the Queensland Hotel to Sam Heron from Mangoplah. He had two sons who could play decent football, Bill and Wal.

Report from the Young Chroncile 27 September 1929

The season commenced on 1 May with an 12-7 defeat of Young, Junee 11-3 on 14 May.  The town was apprehensive when Jim and Jack Lawrence were injured when they hit a stump while driving around their paddocks.

25 May 1929: Peter Dawson Cup – Barmedman 9 Leeton 11
28 May 1929: Young 14 Barmedman 8
3 June 1929: KB Cup: Barmedman 11 Young 14
(unknown Cup): Griffith 22 Barmedman 10
16 June 1929: Lyceum Cup: Barmedman 2 Griffith 14
23 June 1929: Temora v Barmedman (score unknown)
26 June 1929: Maher Cup: Cootamundra 20 Barmedman 8
30 June 1929: Garden of Roses Cup: Temora 8 Barmedman 8
(unknown cup): Cootamundra 22 Barmedman 12
Barmedman won Batros Trophy from Griffith, probably in July
28 July 1929: Batros Trophy (West Wyalong) : Barmedman 7 West Wyalong 3
31 July 1929: Maher Cup: Cootramundra 10 Barmedman 8
This set off one of the Maher Cup’s epic protests – being that Coota’s Chips Phillips had not been properly transferred from his old club,  Cowra. In the stand-off between Cootamundra and everyone else the challenges were delayed for 5 weeks.
11 August 1929: Batros Trophy – Barmedman 0 Temora 0 (match abandoned)
18 August 1929: Peter Dawson Cup: Leeton 19 Barmedman 8
25 August 1929: K.B. Lager Cup: Young 23 Barmedman 27
7 September 1929: K.B. Lager Cup: Barmedman 24 Young 7
Finally the Maher Cup dispute was settled in September with Junee defeating Cootamundra before an enhanced police presence. It was time for Barmedman’s challenge.  With a team comprised solely of locals on 11 September 1929 they took the Holy Grail of Group 9 football before 2500 at Junee in a performance described as brilliant.

18 September 1929: Maher Cup – Barmedman 22 Young 3.  As the wheat crop ripened The Young Witness reported that ‘Barmedman always had the material and consistent cultivation of local talent has produced a good crop of top notch footballers.  It is harvest time in Barmedman’.

Reprinted from The West Wyalong Advocate

25 September 1920: Maher Cup – Barmedman 20 humiliated  Cootamundra 3 on a ploughed paddock in a cloud of dust before about 3000 people.

The final game on 29 October at West Wyalong was a benefit match for Alf Broad who had broken a leg against Barmedman.  Wyalong won 15-10.  On 13 December the players were honoured in a special event.

1930

The challenge how to keep the Cup as long as possible. Hiring Western Suburbs and NSW half-back George Mason to whip the lads into shape for the season didn’t seem like a bad idea.

As the Depression came the money generated by the Maher Cup became increasingly attractive.  Most wanted to start the challenges earlier than the customary June.  Barmedman resisted, claiming the team composed mostly of farmers who were too busy sowing grain in April and May.  Nevertheless Barmedman did have a non-Cup game as early as 13 April: a 5-8 loss to Temora.  Two weeks later George Mason’s Barmedman went to West Wyalong and humiliated them 37-8. However they were brought to earth on 4 May 1930 in the Burge Cup – Temora 18 Barmedman 3, with Eric Weissel in top form.  The following matches followed:
11 May 1930: Walder Cup: Barmedman 17 Griffith 5
18 May 1930: Tonkin Cup (Wagga) : Griffith 5 Barmedman 18
25 May 1930: Walder Cup – Barmedman 7 Leeton 15
1 June 1930: Batros Cup – Barmedman 25 West Wyalong 2
The Maher Cup season was anticipated like never before.  The Sydney papers even gave it a buildup.  Cootamundra had engaged five imported paid players and were bringing a special train.  On the day, 4 June 1930, Barmedman’s population swelled to over 2,500 with 500 on the Coota train.  The gate was a record £240.  And Barmedman scored three tries to one: 11-7.

Gundagai Independent report

11 June 1930: Barmedman 3 Young 11.  With fullback Fred Templeman injured in the first half, Barmedman had to play most of the match with 12 men.
The rest of the season:
22 June 1930: Walder Cup: Leeton 11 Barmedman 25
29 June 1930: Cootamundra 19 Barmedman 11
6 July 1930: Batros Trophy – Barmedman 49 West Wyalong 8
13 July 1930: Jack Hore Gold Cup: Temora 7 Barmedman 18
20 July 1930: Jack Hore Gold Cup: Barmedman 6 Junee 10
3 August 1930: K.B. Lager Cup: West Wyalong 11 Barmedman 20
10 August 1930: Batros Trophy: Barmedman 32 Griffith 13
17 August 1930: Barmedman 45 Wagga 5
31 August 1930: Batros Trophy: Barmedman 33 West Wyalong 3
7 September 1930: West Wyalong 13 Barmedman 23
17 September 1930: Maher Cup – Cootamundra 10 Barmedman 13
21 September 1930: Jack Hore Gold Cup: Temora 20 Barmedman 0
24 September 1930: Maher Cup – Barmedman 9 Cootamundra 9
The 18 players received £45 at the end of the season, and the club started 1931 with a healthy £104 in hand.

A dinner to celebrate George Mason’s leadership at the end of the 1930 season. It includes references to players Jack ‘Tiger’ Payne, Charlie Rothney and Bill Heron. Siggs Bakery and four other stores were burnt down on Christmas Eve 1930

1931  

The depression was now palpable.  Crowds fell away as people lost their livelihoods. The clubs relied less on imports.  With the Templeman, Lawrence and Cooper brothers no team has more farmers in their ranks than Barmedman, and this helped.  They at least had gardens and orchards to provide food and usually some cash coming in. Many town workers gave up playing as injury could mean loss of employment. Tom Long went to Wellington, Charlie Rothney to Condobolin and Tiger Payne took up the licence of the Federal Hotel in Temora.  These losses were more than balanced by the continuing good work of coach Mason, the extraordinary talented Len Cooper, a point-scoring machine at the peak of performance, and a crack South Sydney hooker named Charlie Fennell who consistently won most of the scrums. Barmedman held the Maher Cup for five challenges.

19 April 1931: Temora 18 Barmedman 14
26 April 1931: Jack Hore Gold Cup – Temora 10 Barmedman 10
29 April 1931: West Wyalong 20 Barmedman 17
3 May 1931: Junee 28 Barmedman 8
16 May 1931; Goulburn 15 Barmedman 24
17 May 1931: Goulburn 18 Barmedman 28
24 May 1931: Wagga 8 Barmedman 17. Len Cooper and Laurie Smith played for Country
31 May 1931: Barmedman 18 Wagga 12
3 June 1931: Maher Cup – Barmedman 31 Cootamundra 7
17 June 1931: Maher Cup – Barmedman 31 Harden-Murrumburrah 3

Mr Fry refereed Harden’s challenge

24 June 1931: Maher Cup – Barmedman 7 Cootamundra 2
8 July 1931: Maher Cup – Barmedman 13 Wagga 5
15 July 1931: Maher Cup – Barmedman 11 Tumut 5
22 July 1931: Maher Cup – Barmedman 2 Young 3
5 August 1931: Weissel Gold Cup – Barmedman travelled to Junee to take the Weissel Cup by forfeit and Junee was at Young seeking the Maher Cup. It was later ruled that Junee had no rights to change the date for Barmedman’s challenge.  Junee were undefeated in 16 challenges till then.
9 August 1931: Daniel Crawford Cup – Temora 57 Barmedman 7
12 August 1931: Weissel Gold Cup – Barmedman 17 Wagga 3
19 August 1931: Weissel Gold Cup – Barmedman defeated Harden-Murrumburrah
26 August 1931: Weissel Gold Cup – Barmedman 12 Junee 29.  Junee were set for revenge to get their cup back.  Police to called to quieten players at times.
6 September : Wagga 34 Barmedman 13
13 September: West Wyalong 24 Barmedman 5
27 September: Batros Cup – Barmedman 45 West Wyalong 3
Unable to get a Maher Cup match Barmedman’s season petered out and Junee and Temora came to be regarded as the teams to beat. In October Barmedman footballer Bill McCawley died aged 22 when under an aesthetic for a routine operation.

1932

While George Mason and Charlie Fennel returned to Barmedman for another season, Len Cooper, the  team’s star coached West Wyalong.
1 May 1932: Stag Lager Cup – Temora 16 Barmedman 8
8 May 1932: Batros Trophy – Barmedman 17 Griffith 13
15 May 1932: Griffith 20 Barmedman 18
22 May 1932: Batros Trophy – Barmedman 31 West Wyalong 8
29 May 1932: Young 39 Barmedman 9
8 June 1932: Weissel Gold Cup: Temora 13 Barmedman 2. George Mason got a broken rib
12 June 1932: Condobolin 20 Barmedman 0
26 June 1932: Grenfell 7 Barmedman 11
With a chance at the Maher Cup at last Barmedman came favoured.  They had won the Cup to date more often than anyone bar Cootamundra.
13 July 1932: Maher Cup – Tumut 10 Barmedman 4 in a match the Gundagai Independent declared that the Maroons played the better football.
24 July 1932: Jack Hore Gold Cup: Temora 15 Barmedman 0
Due to play Cootamundra for the Weissel Cup on 27 July they forfeited, unable to constitute a competitive team because of injuries.
31 July 1932: Walder Cup – Barmedman 14 Leeton 0
14 August 1932: Jack Hore Gold Cup – Temora 28 Barmedman 4
28 August 1932: Peter Dawson Cup – West Wyalong 15 Barmedman 34
31 August 1932: Batros Trophy – Barmedman 6 West Wyalong 8
Stan Cooper and George Mason were selected in the Group 9 team which toured northern NSW toward the end of the season, and Heron and Eberle were replacements.
4 September 1932: Griffith 27 Barmedman 17
7 September 1932: Maher Cup – Junee 22 Barmedman 5

1933

George Mason moved to Grafton. He later played with Canterbury-Bankstown in 1936, coaching them in 1937.

Barmedman were all locals.  Jim Lawrence, born in 1905 was one of four Maher Cup playing brothers – the others being Bill, Jack and Don. Brilliant, he had represented NSW at age 18 (McLaren, p.136).  He was also a club stalwart, commonly the captain and often the unpaid coach. He was killed in a level crossing crash at Tubbul in 1944 aged just 38.

Jim Lawrence flanked by members of the 1939 team.

In an attempt to say goodbye to the wrangling and protests that had tarnished the Maher Cup Group 9 decided to try to supplant it by establishing a Sunday competition. Barmedman was in the Western Division with Junee, Temora, West Wyalong, Griffith, Leeton and Yenda.  Meanwhile West Wyalong and Temora were involved in a protracted Maher Cup dispute resulting in Barmedman’s not getting a challenge until the second half of the season.

19 April 1933: Barmedman 7 Condobolin 13
23 April 1933:  Barmedman 15 West Wyalong 13
30 April 1933: Condobolin 18 Barmedman 2
7 May 1933: Barmedman 5 Temora 5
14 May 1933: Temora 10 Barmedman 19
21 May 1933: West Wyalong 11 Barmedman 11 – in the first Group 9 competition match and a very rough game.
28 May 1933: Barmedman 16 Yenda 9
4 June 1933: Griffith 17 Barmedman 0
11 June 1933: Barmedman 13 Junee 5
18 June 1933: Leeton 22 Barmedman 4.  The former ‘crack’ team was now reported as a cracked team.
25 June 1933: Barmedman 24  Temora 14
28 June 1933: disputed Maher Cup match at Barmedman -West Wyalong v Temora
2 July 1933: Bye
9 July 1933: Barmedman 14 West Wyalong 10
At this point Barmedmen were running second in the competition, on 13 points, one behind Leeton.
16 July 1933: Yenda 14 Barmedman 3
23 July 1933: Barmedman 13 Griffith 7
26 July 1933: Maher Cup: Temora 12 Barmedman 2
30 July 1933: Junee 31 Barmedman 22
6 August 1933: Barmedman 3 Leeton 8
9 August 1933: Ariah Park 12 Barmedman 3
13 August 1933: Barmedman 18 defeated Temora 9. Temora fielded a reserve grade team as they were more interested in the Maher Cup, which they probably would have held for the complete season is not for West Wyalong’s protest.
3 September 1933: Group 9 Western Division Semi-Final: Leeton won after Barmedman, depleted by injuries, forfeited.

1934

In the bleakest year of the Depression era, £70 in debt and fined for forfeiting at Leeton, Barmedman was almost down and out.  Beaten by West Wyalong 42-5 on 13 April the next week they couldn’t form a reserve team to play at West Wyalong. They then pulled out of the Group 9 inter-town competition (now called the Gleeson Shield). Further misery was extracted when the team bus turned over at Reeton on the way to play Temora on 13 May.  On 5 August they couldn’t gather enough players for a much anticipated visit to Ungarie, and forfeited their Maher Cup challenge. Bill Heron was the captain. The only bright not was that Arthur Naylor was still one of the top referees around. Young Bill Lawrence took up refereeing when injuries cut short his playing career. He soon handled the biggest matches. In October there was a dream announcement that Eric Weissel would take over the management of Thom’s Barmedman’s store. However it all evaporated in January when he accepted a position with Vacuum Oil at Narrandera and went on the create a powerful League team in an Australian Rules town.

1935

According to Moore’s Directory Barmedman had in 1935 two banks, three hotels, three refreshment rooms and a billiard room; a hospital, doctor, dentist and solicitor, the Barmedman Broadcaster newspaper, two newsagents, two schools, two butchers, two bakers, two barbers, a bootmaker, a draper, a builder, a blacksmith, two motor garages, a machinery depot, a court house, two halls and a school of arts.

They sought to resurrect the team by appointed a paid coach Oliver Duckworth. One of seven brothers of Balmain.

28 April 1935: Barmedman 25 West Wyalong 5
2 June 1935: Cootamundra 26 Barmedman 3
9 June 1935: McGill Cup: Barmedman 9 West Wyalong 15
23 June 1935: Bartos Trophy: West Wyalong 20 Barmedman 9
3 July 1935: Maher Cup: Tumut 14 Barmedman 3
18 August 1935: West Wyalong 19 Barmedman 3
No further games

1936

Oliver Duckworth came back to coach but with mediocre results. The big story however was the battle for the five Templeman brothers between West Wyalong and Barmedman. In May Group 9 ruled that players must play for their nearest team. The two clubs submitted plans of the Templeman’s farm at Bellarwi to prove their case. The upshot was it depended which gate one used.  It was decided to abide by the status quo with Frank and Fred continuing to play with Barmedman with Stan, Dud and Les remaining with West Wyalong.

12 April 1936: Temora 36 Barmedman 6
19 April 1936: Barmedman 11 Tallimba 0 (Tallimba recognised as grade 1 team.)
26 April 1936: Tallimba 5 Barmedman 3
3 May 1936: Temora 20 Barmedman 10
10 May 1936: Temora 12 Barmedman 8
17 May 1936: Walder Cup – Barmedman 14 Ariah Park 15
20 May 1936: Maher Cup – Temora 17 Barmedman 10
24 May 1936: Junee 15 Barmedman 20
31 May 1936: Barmedman 17 Junee 9
14 June 1936: West Wyalong 14 Barmedman 0
15 July 1936: Maher Cup – Temora 18 Barmedman 5
19 July 1936: Batros Trophy – West Wyalong 41 Barmedman 0
No further scores

1937

Jim Lawrence was appointed unpaid coach. Barmedman was so weak it was doubtful that they would seek to affiliate as a first grade club.  They did but hardly won a game. The Group 9 home and way competition was resurrected but fizzled out as the cups were still king.

2 May 1937: Barmedman 0 Cootamundra 19
9 May 1937: Cootamundra v Barmedman (score unknown)
16 May 1937:  West Wyalong Reserves 3 Barmedman 14
23 May 1937: Barmedman 0 West Wyalong 12
30 May 1937: Tallimba v Barmedman (uncertain if eventuated)
6 June 1937: Barmedman v Tallimba (uncertain if eventuated)
13 June 1937: Junee v Barmedman (uncertain if eventuated)
16 June 1937: Young 34 Barmedman 8
20 June 1937: Johnny Walker Cup – Temora 20 Barmedman 7 also reported Eric Weissel Gold Cup Temora 10 Barmedman 5 around the same date.
27 June 1937: Grenfell 12 Barmedman 8
4 July 1937: Barmedman 8 Grenfell 0
11 July 1937: Burge Cup (now a reserve grade cup) – Temora Reserves 12 Barmedman 8
18 July 1937: Barmedman 14 Griffith 8
11 August 1937: Maher Cup – Cowra 18 Barmedman 8
22 August 1937: Batros Trophy – West Wyalong 21 Barmedman 3
29 August 1937: Barmedman 11 Quandialla 12
1 September 1937: Maher Cup: Cowra 4 Barmedman 0

1938

Jim Lawrence now in his twentieth year of playing for Barmedman was honorary coach.  The Group 9 competition at last became permanently established.

In April West Wyalong defeated Barmedman twice, including 24 April 1938: West Wyalong 18 Barmedman 3
1 May 1938: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 8 Cowra 5. Cowra sent a second grade team)
8 May 1938: Group 9 Competition: West Wyalong 17 Barmedman 2
When Barmedman president Artie Kelly backed Cowra in their Maher Cup protest about West Wyalong playing some of the Templeman brothers, the realtionship with West Wyalong, never good, soured.
15 May 1938: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 7 Temora 16
22 May 1938: Group 9 Competition: Young 66 Barmedman 5
29 May 1938: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman Harden Murrumburrah (Score unknown. If match played Barmedman did not win)
5 June 1938: Quandialla 5 Barmedman 18. Barmedman had a bye in the Group 9 competition.
8 June 1938: Maher Cup: Young 11 Barmedman 7
12 June 1938: Group 9 Competition: Cootamundra Barmedman. No report of this match.  Possibly not held.
15 June 1938: Maher Cup: Young 25 Barmedman 11
19 June 1938: Group 9 Competition: Cowra 18 Barmedman 0
26 June 1938: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 10 West Wyalong 18
3 July 1938: Group 9 Competition: Temora 13 Barmedman 8
10 July 1938: Group 9 Competition: Temora 13 Barmedman 8
17 July 1938: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman Young. Score unknown
Barmedman Hospital opened
24 July 1938: Bye in the Group 9 Competition
31 July 1938: Cowra 11 Barmedman 12 (Cowra selected a reserve team as the firsts were drawn for the Maher Cup the same day. Reported as Weissel Cup.
24 August 1938: Maher Cup – Young 8 Barmedman 2

1939

Harry ‘Two Ton‘ or ‘Fatty’ Averyfrom the North Coast‘ who was a postal officer coached with Jim Lawrence remaining captain.  Avery didn’t play in any Maher Cup matches but was coach into August. Again Barmedman struggled.

Barmedman about 1939: back from left – Artie Kelly, Clarrie Gorham, Norm Solah, Arthur Murdoch, Ron Freer, Spencer Penberthy, Geoff Eberlie in hat, Jack Brydon, Lou Collins, Ted Shields: middle – Ray York, Colin Green, Jim Lawrence, Jack Crouch, Cecil ‘Stumpy’ Reid: front – Peter Hindley, Nick Bain & Gerry Hardy

 

9 April 1939: Barmedman v West Wyalong (no score found)
23 April 1939: Barmedman 41 Bribbaree 0
30 April 1939: West Wyalong 23 Barmedman 0
Stumpy Reid and and Col were Green selected in the Group 9 team
14 May 1939: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 8 Young 20
21 May 1939: Group 9 Competition: Cowra 38 Barmedman 0
24 May 1939: Weissel Cup: West Wyalong 6 Barmedman 0
28 May 1939: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 17 Harden-Murrumburrah 10
4 June 1939: Group 9 Competition: Temora 26 Barmedman 12
11 June 1939: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 13 Grenfell 15
14 June 1939: Maher Cup: West Wyalong 2 Barmedman 2
18 June 1939: Group 9 Competition: Cootamundra 35 Barmedman 7
25 June 1939: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 19 West Wyalong 2
28 June 1939: Maher Cup: West Wyalong 8 Barmedman 0
2 July 1939: Group 9 Competition: Young 33 Barmedman 10
9 July 1939: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 3 Cowra 32
16 July 1939: Group 9 Competition: Harden-Murrumburrah 17 Barmedman 6
23 July 1939: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 8 Temora 11
30 July 1939: Group 9 Competition: Grenfell 43 Barmedman 2 or 3
6 August 1939: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman forfeited to Cootamundra. While conditions around Barmedman were very boggy there was an investigation into a claim that Cootamundra paid Barmdman to forfeit.
13 August 1939: Group 9 Competition: West Wyalong 38 Barmedman 8

1940

Jim Lawrence lead the team yet again. However the club was the first in Group 9 to disband (after their second Maher Cup match) as many players enlisted in the war effort.

The houses in town got the power on from the Burrinjuck scheme and they were getting ready for sewerage system.

21 April 1940: Barmedman 7 West Wyalong 2
28 April 1940: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 5 Temora 18
By then Bob Lawrence and Dick Taber had joined the forces while Spencer Penberthy, Col Green and Bob Griffith were already in Palestine.
5 May 1940: Group 9 Competition: Tumut 9 Barmedman 5
12 May 1940: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 7 Harden-Murrumburrah 18
19 May 1940: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 19 Cowra 0
22 May 1940: Maher Cup: West Wyalong 13 Barmedman 2
2 June 1940: Group 9 Competition: Barmedman 14 Junee 2
5 June 1940: Maher Cup: West Wyalong 22 Barmedman 5
After this match the team disbanded for the War Years, although a ‘friendly’ was played on 14 July 1940: Barmedman 0 Mallee Plains 13

During the war Reg Rattey, who played a few first grade matches for Barmedman won a Victoria Cross, Col Green and Dick Taber were killed and  Jim Lawrence still only 38, was one of three men who hit by train at the Tubbul level crossing in May 1944. Fred Marshall, son of Perce, who was a major team sponsor in the early days, also died in the collision.

A couple of matches were scheduled in 1944:
16 July 1944: Barmedman 7 West Wyalong 8
23 July 1944: West Wyalong 33 Barmedman 5

1945

Group 9 Rugby League and the Maher Cup returned even before the war had finished. Archie Powell came in from Cootamundra to set up a barbershop and captain the team.
20 May 1945: Barmedman 5 West Wyalong 13
27 May 1945: West Wyalong 18 Barmedman 21
3 June 1945: Barmedman 16 Mallee Plains 2
1 July 1945: Barmedman 29 Ariah Park 0
11 July 1945: Maher Cup – Young 8 Barmedman 4
15 August 1945: Maher Cup – Young 31 Barmedman 3

A Barmedman team; likely the team to challenge for the Maher Cup at Cowra on 1 May 1946: Players back left: Jim ‘Nipper’ Lawrence, – , – , Arthur Murdoch, Bert Rollason; Percy Reid, – , Ross Maitland, Pat Henman, Archie Powell; Ken Rattey, Don Lawrence, Col Quinlan. The three unidentified men should be: Bill Pleming, Bill Kelly and Merv Minter.

…………to be continued in Part 2, in which tales of glory will unfold featuring legendary stars such as Billy Bischoff, Col Donohoe, Keith Gittoes and Tom Kirk, as well as local heroes Rusty Gorham and Col Quinlan and neighbourly saviour ‘Dookie’ Crowe.

Thanks to the West Wyalong Advocate and the Temora Independent and the following Barmedman people: Maureen Gorham, Beth McLaren for the book Trials and Triumphs: Barmedman, 1874-1974 and Maurie Sheehan for The Maher Cup Story (1962).

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *