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Almost all of the content for "From the Beginning" comes from two sources. Firstly, there is a beautifully bound 394 paged large book titled "Newcastle Rugby League  1908 - 1946" by Eric Humphries. Originally the details were recorded by Eric Humphries on both sides of 70 sheets of cardboard (36" by 18"). Through the efforts of Jack Hutchinson, Mrs Humphries graciously acceded to loan the documents to enable Eric's definite history of the Newcastle Rugby League to be recorded. The records are a permanent memento of Eric's achievements. Secondly, there is a smaller 159 paged bound book titled "The Saga of the Western Men" by Bob Power. The book provides detailed information and photos of the Western Suburbs Rugby League Football Club from prior to 1910 to 1966. As an introduction to the book Bob Power wrote the following poem..........As an artist would paint in colour, So I will write with the pen, The glorious passing chapters, Of the mighty Western Men............'Tis a picture though crudely painted, But a moral it surely imparts, Of the records achieved down the ages, And tells where the West story starts............All times on the green fields of Rugby, They battled our prestige to rise, Sure the rainbow had Red and Green colours, And it's up mighty high in the skies 

 

1931

No successes in 1931 - however West Under 20's made the final......

The 1931 competition saw 10 teams compete - North, Central, Kurri, South, West, Morpeth, Cessnock, East, Maitland and Waratah. West just finished outside the top 4, and failed to make the semi finals. The First Grade Grand Final played on 26 September, ended in a 7 all draw between Kurri and North, with Kurri winning the competition 9 - 0 in the Grand Final replay on 3 October. North defeated West 24 - 4 in the Reserve Grade Final (there was no Grand Final) to be Major and Minor Premiers in this grade. The West team was M Blundell, C Hamilton, W Williams, Jim Williams (2 goals), H Harding, B Mood, J Bell, R Gearing, F Wivell, J Pringle, A Nesbitt, J White and T Farrell. This game was played on 19 September. After the Grand Final North Reserve Grade issued a challenge to play any team, any grade. The challenge was accepted by the Carrington Rugby Union Club, who were Premiers in 1931. The match was played as the early fixture to the First Grade Grand Final on 26 September. The game was played under Rugby League rules, and North 7 defeated Carrington Rugby Union 5. The West Captain / Coach in 1931 was former Norths centre, Alex Rice, and although West won 6 of their first 8 games they again disappointed. West Under 20's were beaten in the final by North - so there were no major prizes in 1931. West were financially "poor", and at the end of the season, the First Grade playing bonus was set at 3/6d. To avoid a financial loss for the year, West Juniors gave West Seniors 20 pound to balance the books - hard times indeed for West!  1931 saw West qualify for the semi finals in Reserve Grade. What would happen in 1932? Well, that's next weeks story.  To follow the series "From the Beginning" from 1910 click on "News" on the top menu bar, then click on "From the Beginning") (The website Editor acknowledges excerpts from "The Saga of the Western Men  - Bob Power - 1966" and "Newcastle Rugby League - 1908 to 1949 - Eric Humphries") (Click on the scan to enlarge) 

Round  Date  Results

Round 1

 18 April

 West 20 def Morpeth 5

Round 2

 2 May

 West 15 def Central 9

Round 3

9 May 

West 51 def East 5 

Round 4

16 May 

Maitland 16 def West 5 

Round 5

23 May 

West 22 def Waratah 0 

Round 6

30 May 

West 29 def South 10 

Round 7

8 June 

North 21 def West 8 

Round 8

13 June 

 West 15 def Cessnock 11

Round 9

20 June

 Kurri 8 def West 3

Round 10

27 June

 Morpeth 8 def West 5

Round 11

4 July

 Central 18 def West 15

Round 12

11 July

 West 10 def East 7

Round 13

 18 July

 West 14 def Maitland 5

Round 14

 1 August

 Waratah 21 def West 17

Round 15

 8 August

 West 16 def South 2

Round 16

 15 August

 West 9 def North 7

Round 17

 22 August

 Cessnock 10 def West 4

Round 18

 29 August

 Kurri 20 def West 9

First Semi Final

 5 September

 Kurri 8 def Central 6

Second Semi Final

 12 September

 Cessnock 20 def North 15

Final

 19 September

 Kurri 24 def Cessnock 14

Grand Final

 26 September

 Kurri 7 drew with North 7

Grand Final Replay

 3 October

 Kurri 9 def North 0

 

1932

The same 10 teams entered the Newcastle Rugby League Competition in 1932. 

The same 10 teams entered the Newcastle Rugby League Competition in 1932. West won 6 games, drew 1 and lost 11 games to again miss out on the semi finals. In Reserve Grade West just missed out on the semi finals as they won 8 games, drew 1 and lost 9. On the Representative scene three Newcastle teams played 3 St George teams on 30 April, with Newcastle winning "3rd" grade 2 - 0, "Reserve Grade" 11 - 7 and the "First Grade" was a 6 all draw. West's Captain / Coach in 1932 was Hans Mork, who came from Newtown and has represented City. Hans boarded at the Marquis of Lorne Hotel at Lambton, looked after by "mine hosts" John and Aida Beisler. Despite the efforts of Hans Mork, West did not make the finals. On 22 May 1932 New Lambton Sports Ground (later named Harker Oval) was opened by the Mayor of New Lambton, Alderman E Dunkley. Hans Mork a "fine footballer and a gentleman) left Lambton in August 1932 - a great loss to West. One good happening for West in 1932 was on the schoolboy front. Keith Froome, Jack Bell and Art Kentish were selected in the NSW Schoolboys team to play Queensland. All these lads played First Grade for West, and Keith Froome went on to play for Australia. West also entered a team in the midweek Chappel Cup (see attached photo)  1932 saw West without any semi final appearances. What would happen in 1933? Well, West would very nearly make the First Grade semi finals, but, that's next weeks story.  To follow the series "From the Beginning" from 1910 click on "News" on the top menu bar, then click on "From the Beginning") (The website Editor acknowledges excerpts from "The Saga of the Western Men  - Bob Power - 1966" and "Newcastle Rugby League - 1908 to 1949 - Eric Humphries") (Click on the scan to enlarge) 

 

Round  Date  Results

Round 1

9 April 

West 14 def North 2 

Round 2

23 April 

West 11 def South 7 

Round 3

25 April 

Waratah 11 def West3 

Round 4

2 May 

West 9 def Central 5 

Round 5

7 May 

Cessnock 22 def West 12 

Round 6

14 May 

East 21 def West 12 

Round 7

21 May 

Maitland 15 def West 5 

Round 8

28 May 

West 33 def Morpeth 2 

Round 9

6 June 

Kurri 12 def West 5 

Round 10

11 June 

North 13 def West 5 

Round 11

18 June 

South 16 def West 12 

Round 12

25 June 

West 7 def Waratah 3 

Round 13

 2 July 

West 22 def Central 6 

Round 14

 16 July 

West 8 drew with Cessnock 8 

Round 15

 23 July 

East 50 def West 2 

Round 16

30 July 

Maitland 35 def West 13 

Round 17

 6 August 

Morpeth 11 def West 10 

Round 18

  13 August

Kurri 35 def West 15 

First Semi Final

20 August 

Maitland 16 def Kurri 12 

Second Semi Final

27 August 

Cessnock 18 def East 10 

Final

3 September 

Cessnock 17 def Maitland 12 

Grand Final

17 September 

East 20 def Cessnock 17 

 

1933

West finished equal 4th in 1933, but lost the playoff to Waratah....

After defeating West in the playoff for 4th place, Waratah made it through to the First Grade Grand Final, only to be defeated by Minor Premiers in the Grand Final (20 -0). A sad event occurred on 16 September on the day in which Waratah played North in the Semi Final. The Reserrve Grade semi final was between Maitland and North. At full time it was 11 all, after 20 minutes of extra time it was 16 all. Two North players, George Huff and J Passmore were taken from the field on stretchers towards the end of the extra time, and because of the injuries, a second period of extra time was called off. George Huff was taken to hospital by ambulance, but collapsed and died shortly before half time in First Grade. Newcastle League Officials then called off the First Grade semi final at half time, with Waratah leading 5 - 4. In the replay on the following week, Waratah won 10 points to 4. Maitland were also Minor and Major Premiers in Reserve Grade, defeating Cessnock 5 -4 in the Grand Final. For West the season started out well - winning 6 out of the first 7 games. However, things went downhill from there, as many players left the club to travel away to obtain employment during the depression years (some players went to Bega to obtain work on road building projects). The players were paid one pound a game, not a fortune, but one pound a game more than they were to be paid in 1934. How would West fare in 1934? Would they be again in the doldrums? Well, that's next weeks story. For a year by year history of the club from 1910, click on "News" on the top menu bar, then click on "From the Beginning"  

 Round  Opponent  Result
1 - 22 April North Won 19 - 16
2 - 25 April Morpeth  Won 11 -0
3 - 29 April South  Won 15 - 9 
4 - 6 May  Kurri  Lost 15 -7 
5 - 13 May  Central  Won 14 - 12 
6 - 20 May  Maitland  Won 8 - 7 
7 - 27 May  Waratah  Won 15 - 7 
8 - 10 June  Cessnock  Lost 28 -6 
9 - 17 June  East  Won 17 - 10 
10 - 24 June  North  Lost 29 - 3 
11 - 1 July  Morpeth  Won 16 - 13 
12 - 8 July  South  Lost 5 - 2 
13 - 15 July  Kurri  Won 19 -16 
14 - 22 July  Central  Won 18 -5 
15 - 29 July  Maitland  Lost 13 - 11 
16 - 5 August  Waratah  Lost 24 - 10 
17 - 12 August  Cessnock  Lost 17 - 2 
18 - 19 August  East  Lost 18 - 7 
 2 September - Play off for fourth Waratah Lost 14 - 5 
 30 September - First Grade Final  Maitland 20 def Waratah 0  Maitland -Minor and Major Premiers

 

1934

West again struggled in 1934 and missed the semi finals in both grades...... 

West again struggled during the 1934 season. During the year they won 6 games from 18, to again miss a place in the semi finals. However, they did win the Len Morris Cup, a cup for those that did not qualify for the semi finals. This meant it was a cup for the 5th and 6th placed teams. On 15 September West defeated North 13 - 3 to win the Len Morris Cup. The West team was C Hincks, R Gray, W Hawke, E Rutherford, G Brown, J Wilson, V Lewis, A Price, G Cameron, B Austin, G Hamilton, W Breeze and R Johnson. In the First Grade final Maitland defeated Waratah 4 - 2. In Reserve Grade West won 9 games to just finish outside the semi finalists. In 1934 all home games were played at Hobart Park, because New Lambton Oval was being topdressed and grassed. One success for West in 1934 was the Under 18's who defeated South 8 -5 in the final. West Under 18's included the following players - Tom Richardson, F England, G Johnstone, R McGaw, G McIntosh, C Kentish, R Notley, G Watt, R Sheldon, A Payne, J Ernest, J Mowbray, C Jukes and Spec Pears. West also won the Under 15's Presidents Cup. In the outlying districts West Wallsend won the A Grade Premiership. What would 1935 bring? Semi Finals - well, no, but it was an interesting year. However, that's next weeks story. (For the Series "From the Beginning - 1910" click on "From the Beginning" under "News" on the top menu bar.)

 Date    (1934)  Opponent  Result
Round 1 - 14 April East  Lost 8 -7 
Round 2 - 21 April Morpeth  Lost 29 -9 
Round 3 - 25 April  Central  Won 10 - 0 
Round 4 - 28 April  Waratah  Lost 11 - 7 
Round 5 - 5 May  Kurri  5 all draw 
Round 6 - 12 May  North  Won 16 - 9 
Round 7 - 19 May  Maitland  Lost 9 - 5 
Round 8 - 26 May  Cessnock  9 all draw 
Round 9 - 2 June  South  Lost 16 - 3 
Round 10 - 16 June  East  Lost 13 - 7 
Round 11 - 23 June  Morpeth  Won 21 - 5 
Round 12 - 30 June  Central  Won 3 - 0 
Round 13 - 14 July  Waratah  Won 10 - 5 
Round 14 - 21 July  Kurri  Lost 23 - 5 
Round 15 - 28 July  North  Lost 3 - 0 
Round 16 - 4 August  Maitland  Lost 20 - 7 
Round 17 - 11 August  Cessnock  Won 13 - 2 
Round 18 - 18 August  South  Lost 14 - 13 
 8 September - First Grade Final Maitland 4 def Waratah 2   
 8 September - Reserve Grade Final Cessnock 5 Maitland 5   
 15 September - Reserve Grade Final replay Cessnock 12 def Maitland 2  
 22 September - Reserve Grade Grand Final Cessnock 14 def Maitland 11   

 

1935

No luck again for West in the 1935 season......

From the Beginning - 1935

West again struggled during the 1935 season. In First Grade West won 9 games and had 1 draw to again miss out on the semi finals. Reserve Grade had 6 wins and a draw to finish in the lower half of the competition. In First Grade Minor Premiers Central were defeated 14 - 4 by North in the Grand Final. But 1935 was an interesting year for West. The New Lambton Oval grandstand was opened in May 1935, grand old player "Nugget" Nash passed away, No 1 supporter "Ubber" Johnson was at his vocal best, West defeated the previously undefeated Muswellbrook 13 - 12 in an end of year game and legend, Tommy Grahame, played his first game for West on 1 June 1935. West enjoyed success in the Suburban League competition to win the Les Higgs Cup, and West Under 20's and Under 16's won their competitions. What would 1936 bring? Semi Finals - well, no, but a Challis Cup win. However, that's next weeks story. (For the Series "From the Beginning - 1910" click on "From the Beginning" under "News" on the top menu bar.) (The photo is of the successful West Under 16 Team - click to enlarge)

 Date    (1935)  Opponent  Result
Round 1 - 25 April South  7 all draw 
Round 2 - 27 April Cessnock  Won 29 - 14 
Round 3 - 4 May  Maitland  Lost 16 - 9 
Round 4 - 11 May  Kurri Lost 17 - 16 
Round 5 - 18 May  Central Lost 37 - 9 
Round 6 - 25 May  Morpeth Won 26 - 15 
Round 7 - 1 June  Waratah Lost 21 - 14 
Round 8 - 8 June  East  Won 45 - 11
Round 9 - 16 June  North  Won 13 - 6 
Round 10 - 22 June  South Lost 25 - 3 
Round 11 - 29 June  Cessnock  Lost 31 - 8
Round 12 - 6 July  Maitland  Lost 15 - 9 
Round 13 - 13 July  Kurri  Won 19 - 16 
Round 14 - 20 July  Central  Won 18 -11 
Round 15 - 27 July  Morpeth  Won 22 - 8 
Round 16 - 10 August  Waratah  Won 18 - 16 
Round 17 - 17 August  East  Won 41 -8
Round 18 - 24 August  North  Lost 21 - 18 
Grand Final - 5 October North 11 defeated Central 4  

 
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