Yeo­val Ea­gles soar back through time to cel­e­brate 70 years

Dubbo Photo News - - Sport -

WHILE Easter cel­e­brates new life and re­birth, for the Yeo­val Rugby Club it was also time to re­flect on seven decades of mate­ship, bat­tles won and lost and the con­tin­u­a­tion of some great tra­di­tions.

Names like John­son, Stan­brook, Porch, White, Tre­main, Job Vaughan and so many oth­ers are syn­ony­mous with Yeo­val and a rugby her­itage that be­gan in 1948 in the small farm­ing com­mu­nity be­tween Dubbo and Mo­long.

Although the Club of­fi­cially turned 70, re­search by Peter Tre­main re­vealed that the first Yeo­val rugby team played in 1903 – 115 years ago.

A funny aside was that the first recorded rugby “sledge” was from the Ob­ley team in 1897 want­ing to know “when Yeo­val would form a team”!

Ac­cord­ing to or­gan­iser Peter Tre­main, the fa­ther of re­cently awarded Sh­effield Shield Player of the Year Chris, high­lights of the re­union in­cluded:

z A very en­joy­able Golden Oldies match be­tween about 25 vet­er­ans, with no se­ri­ous in­juries, and a sur­pris­ingly high level of resid­ual skills!

z An “in­vi­ta­tional” team was ac­cu­mu­lated at the last minute af­ter plans for an Or­ange or Mo­long com­bi­na­tion fell through. In true bush rugby style, the In­vi­ta­tional 15 took on the cur­rent Yeo­val side. The team con­sisted of ex-play­ers who had gath­ered for the Re­union, and some mem­bers of neigh­bour­ing clubs in­clud­ing Mo­long. It was an en­ter­tain­ing, closely fought match.

z A good roll up for the Walla Rugby match, giv­ing some of the lo­cal kids who have to play in sur­round­ing towns a chance to play in Yeo­val Rugby colours on their home ground, Yeo­val Sports­ground.

Peter says over 200 peo­ple at­tended a mem­o­rable Re­union Din­ner.

“No orig­i­nal team mem­bers from 1948 sur­vive, how­ever both Jon White (com­menced 1953) and Les Tre­main (com­menced 1954) spoke about the early days.”

In­stead of for­mal speeches, guests were in­ter­viewed. The in­ter­vie­wees in­cluded Jon White, Les Tre­main, Rawson Leach (ex NSW Coun­try), Steve Robert­son (fa­ther of Wal­laby prop Tom), Graeme Porch (ex Aus­tralian Un­der 17s and NSW Coun­try se­niors) and cur­rent Ea­gles’ cap­tain Mitch West­cott.

Above:

The

Golden Oldies

White team:

Back, Brett

Tre­main,

Ste­wart Vi­dler,

Peter Tre­main,

Phil Hunter,

Scott Car­ney,

John Hy­land,

Peter Scully, front, Rawson

Leach, Dave

Par­ish and

Peter Wal­sham.

Right: The

Golden Oldies

Blue team

One of the high­lights of the in­ter­views was Heather John­son, wife of the late great Elvin John­son who rep­re­sented the NSW Waratahs at a time when Coun­try dom­i­nated rugby se­lec­tions.

“Heather gave the ladies per­spec­tive of Yeo­val Rugby in a mov­ing trib­ute to all who had forged the great club,” Peter added.

In an im­promptu mo­ment, Les Tre­main was in­ter­viewed by his grand­son Chris,

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