Group 9 History: 1923

As Harden-Murrumburrah was determined by the NSW Rugby League to be the headquarters of Group 9 in April 1923 the Harden secretary wrote to all clubs in the area to invite them to a meeting.  The main purpose of the meeting was to organise selection trials so that this year a properly representative team could contribute to the Southern Districts side for Country Week.  A four hour plus foundation meeting was thus held at the Grand Hotel, Harden on Thursday 26 April finishing at 12.20am.  It was agreed to divide the group geographically into three sections for the trials:
Section 1 – Harden, Murrumburrah, Binalong, Young, Wambanumba, Monteagle and Bendick Murrell.
Section 2 – Cootamundra, Junee, Wagga, Gundagai, Tumut and Adelong.
Section 3 – West Wyalong, Barmedman, Griffith. Temora, Leeton, Ariah Park and Mildil.

This all got off to a rather inauspicious start, when, after three of the club delegates from villages close to Harden and Young had left the meeting to catch their branch line train the remaining delegates narrowly passed a resolution to move the headquarters to Cootamundra. While this may have made good geographical sense, the motion would have been lost if all the delegates had been able to remain.  Thus the bad feelings that often erupted between Young and Cootamundra were established on day one.

After the selection trials the following team was chosen to represent Group 9 against Group 8 at Goulburn : Fullback: Bill Lesberg (Cootamundra); three-quarters; Eric Weissel (Cootamundra), W. Collier (Barmedman), Pickard and C. McVeigh (Young); halves, Charlie Carthew (Junee), Tom Peck (Binalong), Jim Cornett (Leeton); forwards Dadie Quinlan (Cootamundra), Leo ‘Curly’ Joyce (Young), Bill Brogan (West Wyalong), Glen King (Barmedman), A. Miller (Harden), and Ollie Armour (Junee).

While Group 9 wanted the game played on a Wednesday, Goulburn insisted that only Saturday was suitable.  For whatever reason the team that took the field had six changes from that originally selected and needed a local pickup to fill in for the brilliant kicker Lesberg who couldn’t make it at the last minute, thus: fullback; Bert Wilson (Goulburn); three-quarters, J. Horne and J. Green (Leeton), Eric Weissel (Cootamundra) and W. Collier (Barmedman); halves, Charlie Carthew (Junee) and Jim Cornett (Leeton); forwards, Dadie Quinlan (Cootamundra), Glen King (Barmedman), Ollie Armour (Junee), Bill Brogan (West Wyalong), George Bacon (Barmedman) and B. Berecry (Griffith). They lost 29-13 and only Weissel, Cornett, Quinlan and Brogan were selected to represent Southern Districts in Sydney.

This time Southern Districts defeated the North Coast, 19-7. Weissel and Brogan were then chosen to play for NSW Country against Newcastle.

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