40 Internationals Who Played Maher Cup

In Maher Cup country you may have had to be a football hero to get along with a beautiful girl…as the song goes, but you didn’t need to be an International Australian representative. However 40 men on the Kangaroos Register (13 locals and 27 imports) did both represent the nation and play Maher Cup. In some 314 matches (43% of the total), at least one past, current or future international participated. On 23 September 1925 at West Wyalong four such men took to the field: Bill Brogan and Dick Vest for the home team, and Eric Weissel and Jack Kingston for the challengers.  All were locals.  It was indicative of the quality in the early days and a hint of why the Cup became such a phenomenon.  Having phenomenal players helps. Continue reading

New Gallery

You may notice changes in the Maher Cup Gallery page.  A separate gallery has been created for each town with the pictures presented as a controllable slideshow.temp3

If you have pictures you want to contribute to the site you could scan them and email to me at neijpollock@gmail.com, or, upload them on the Maher Cup Country Facebook page, post them to me (I promise to promptly send everything back after scanning) at 6/51 Piper St Lilyfield 2040, or call on 0448-440-110, as I can  travel to scan pictures and collect information. Regards Neil

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The 2016 Maher Cup Reunion 13 February

Well it’s all done and dusted and a good time was had by one and all at the Cootamundra Country Club.   At least 180 folk came to swap yarns, plus many of the visiting Temora bowlers joined in.  Below are some links to local media reports.

The Harden-Murrumburrah Twin Town Times has a video in its report featuring the chief organiser Tom Spain.

Coota men with the Cup

Coota men with the Cup – Source: Cootamundra Herald

Continue reading

‘Scoop’ Sullivan’s Talk at the 2001 Reunion

Vale 'Scoop' Sullivan

Vale ‘Scoop’ Sullivan

Below is a speech by Gundagai Independent Publisher Pat ‘Scoop’ Sullivan delivered at the 2001 Maher Cup reunion at Tumut. The 400 strong crowd responded with a rousing ovation. Scoop’s talk was edited and published in the Tumut & Adelong Times on 6 November 2001 – from which it is reproduced below.

Sadly ‘Scoop’ passed away in 2015. His talk vividly illustrates why he is such a loss to the Maher Cup community.  At the 2016 reunion at Cootamundra Barry Madigan read Scoop’s words to a most receptive crowd.  Here they are, with some images added: Continue reading

Harden Brothers in Arms

This great video from about 1960 is courtesy of Matt from the Twin Town Times. It includes Harden v Temora and Harden v Young. How many players can you identify?

Eric Kuhn and Friends

Courtesy of the Twin Town Times this video pays homage to Harden’s ‘Mighty Atom’ Eric Kuhn. You will also find Maher Cup Reunion organiser, player and referee Tom Spain reminiscing, while local legends Tom ‘Bristles’ Apps, Nick Cullen, and Paul ‘Wings’ McCarthy all put in an appearance.

The Cup Is Back In Coota

At Wyalong and Tumut, Wagga and Cowra, and all the places in-between, people are preparing for the Maher Cup Reunion at the Country Club on Saturday 13 February. It look as though more than 120 folks may be coming. This impressive display at the Camera Arts Centre at 266 Parker Street has been prepared by Susan Chambers and Tisha McTavish.

Maher Cup display in the Camera Art Centre

Maher Cup display in the Camera Art Centre

There were 728 Maher Cup matches, approximately 3,000 players, total attendances would easily have topped a million people, and the memories are countless.

At Cootamundra, Fisher Park last hosted the ‘Holy Grail’ more than 45 years ago on 6th June 1970 with this team: Colin Powell, David Cook, Ron Shergold, John Kennedy, R. Miller, Peter Lawson, Barry Black, Tony Hardwick, Bill Miller, D. Luck, Bob Glanville, Brian Wilson, and Ray Gaffey.

Thanks Tisha McTavish for the photo

Thanks Tisha McTavish for the photos

Cootamundra’s final challenge for the Cup was at Alfred Oval, Young on 29th May 1971 with, according to Wal Galvin’s annotated program, the following players: Peter Lawson, L. Gehrig, Keith Thompson, Gary Luck, Ron Shergold, Jim Piffero, Col Powell, Bill Miller, Bob Sheedy, Mick O’Toole, Brian Wedgwood, Brian Wilson and Ray Gaffey.

Remember that the reunion is for anyone interested in preserving and sharing in memories of life and football in the golden age of our small towns and villages.  Places that were both united and divided by the determination to deliver The Old Tin Pot home by whatever means.

Maybe you, or your parents, or grandparents will find the same joy of being photographed with The Cup on 13 February as these folks below did way back: Continue reading

The Hall Brothers

The Hall Brothers

Sid Hall aged 92 in 1994

Sid Hall aged 92 in 1994. Source: Daily Advertiser 26 May 1994.

The danger in writing of the Hall brothers is that most of the population of Young and places thereabouts seem to be related to them, and thus will find errors and omissions.  The advantage is that you will be gracious and contribute stories, corrections and improvements.

There were other prolific sporting families about, such as the Weissels of Cootamundra, footballing families like the Broads of West Wyalong, the Lawrences of Barmedman, and the Templeman brothers of Bellarwi, but nothing quite like the Hall brothers of Belowra, Wambanumba, Murringo, Bendick Murrell and Young.  It’s not that the family lived in all these places, but being in the vicinity they represented them all in some way. Continue reading

Group 9 in the 1920s.

This is the first instalment of a brief history of Group 9 Rugby League.

Rugby League emerged in the Riverina in 1911, at West Wyalong. By 1921 it had replaced Union throughout the southwest. The NSW Rugby League, recognising the need to join up clubs and to organise this rapidly expanding sport, proposed prior to the 1922 season to divide the rural parts of the state into twelve groups. Group 9 was to include the teams Harden, Wagga, Cootamundra, Gundagai, Tumut, Temora, Barmedman, Wyalong, West Wyalong, Mildil, Ariah Park and Ardlethan. Continue reading