Hay Magpies

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Hay Magpies
Club information
Full name Hay Magpies Rugby League Football Club
Colours      Black
Founded 1931
Current details
Competition Group 20 Rugby League
Group 17 Rugby League
Premierships 12
The Hay Magpies home ground

The Hay Magpies is a rugby league football club based in the town of Hay, in the western Riverina of New South Wales, Australia. Since 2007 the club has competed in Group 20 in South Western NSW, which is governed by the Country Rugby League (CRL). Prior to this the club had competed in Group 17. The Hay Magpies were the most successful team in the history of Group 17, winning 12 premierships. The team colours are black, white and silver and the club is named after the ubiquitous Australian magpie.

History of rugby league in Hay[edit]

Rugby league was first played in Hay during 1931, a tentative beginning in a township where the dominate football code was Australian Rules.  It wasn't until 1936 that Hay Rugby League Club was officially formed and matches scheduled on a more regular basis.  The core advocates of the new club were the young school-teacher Sam Willis, three publicans ‘Silver’ Sullivan, Dan Sutherland and Jim Dixon, and a road-contractor, Bill Jackson.  Dan Sutherland was elected first president.  The colours of maroon and white were chosen for Hay’s uniform (from Willis' old school team, Fort Street Boy's High).  Jim Dixon and another avid League supporter, Frank Walker, donated ornate silver trophies for an inter-town competition between Hay and the surrounding townships of Hillston, Merriwagga and Goolgowi.  The same trophies later became objects of contestation in the Group 20 competition.

Senior rugby league was suspended in the district during World War II.  In 1947 district clubs reformed into what was known as the Western Zone competition, comprising Hay, Darlington Point, Goolgowi, Carrathool and two teams from Hillston ('Town' and 'Country').  Hay won the premiership in 1950 under the coaching of ‘Johnno’ Johnston; playing in black and white jerseys they had a hard-fought 7-5 win over their arch-rivals Goolgowi.

In 1954 the CRL reshuffled the boundaries and formed the Group 20 competition comprising the Western Zone teams plus Ivanhoe, Deniliquin, Barellan and Coleambally.  In 1959 Hay won their first Group 17 title under the coaching of Laurie Foley.  The win was the first of a hat-trick of premierships for the Magpies and the beginning of the club's ‘golden’ era.[1]

The club is supported by a fanatical group of fans, who love their club and follow through thick and thin. The club is proud of its status as a family club, and its efforts to promote the sport of rugby league by staging its Annual Pie in the Sky matches which feature former NRL, State of Origin and Test players alongside the current Magpie team.

Players used in Pie in the Sky matches have been David Furner, Andrew McFadden, Wayne (Snoopy) Collins (2006 v Goolgowi); Gary Belcher and Darren Smith (2007 v Griffith Black and Whites); Mark Toooookey (2008 v TLU ) Simon Woolford, Shane (Billy) Millard and Ben Roarty (2009 v DPC).

Former Melbourne Storm premiership player Ben Roarty played the season with the Magpies in 2009 and was a member of the premiership winning side.


The Club named "The Little General", Neil John Nisbet as Magpie of the Century. The team of the century named was Fullback Alf Dancey, Wingers Philip Carver, Dean Whitehead, Centres Laurie Foley (Captain) and Colin Wright Five Eight Les Jackson, Half Back Neil John Nisbet, Lock Neil Scobie, Second row Michael Johnston and Michael Fitzpatrick, Props Billy Curtis Allen (Nugget) Schiller, Hooker Danny Byrnes, RESERVES - Geoff Snowden, Gary Crawford, Billy Poole, Fred Hobbs, Peter (Zi) Scott, John Curtis. Coach : Kevin Goldspink.

DEBUT SEASON IN GROUP 20 In 2011, the club gained full Group status with a First Grade, Reserve Grade, Under 18, Under 16 and League Tag combinations.

Former Welsh International prop (eleven caps) Gareth Price was appointed Captain/coach of the first grade team.[2]

The season started with the Magpies playing an all star team coached by Arthur Beetson, captained by Mal Meninga, and containing superstars Gary Belcher Laurie Daley, Bradley Clyde, Marcus Bai, Matt Geyer, Ken Nagas, Andrew McFadden, Jason Croker, David Furner, Ben Roarty, Mark Tookey, Simon Woolford, Quentin Pongia and Shane Millard, with the match referee Bill Harrigan. Game won by All Stars 50-8 ( Ken Nagas 2, David Furner 2, Bradley Clyde, Matt Geyer, Simon Woolford, *Mitchell Rosser, * Setelo Tuimoala (Hay players*)tries, David Furner 4, Matt Geyer 2, Andrew McFadden goals) Hay Magpies 8 (Ryan Gash, Damien Kennedy tries) Crowd (estimated) 2500...FANTASTIC WEEKEND OF RUGBY LEAGUE [3]

SENIOR RIVERINA REPRESENTATIVE PLAYERS...(while at Magpies) 1967 Geoff Snowdon, Phillip Carver (both played against touring NZ Kiwis) 1975 Michael Johnston, Neil Scobie (both played against touring Great Britain team) 1983 Dean Whitehead (fullback for Riverina in CRL Championship match V Newcastle) 2016 Matt Wakefield, Luke Serevi (Riverina team playing in 2016 Country Championship) 2016 Rachael Pearson, Megan Pearson (Riverina LeagueTag team in Country Championship)

GROUP 17 first-grade premierships[edit]

  • 1959 – Hay vs. Ivanhoe (score: 7-5); coached by Laurie Foley.
  • 1960 – Hay vs. Darlington Point; coached by Billy Poole.
  • 1961 – Hay vs. Goolgowi; coached by Billy Poole.
  • 1967 – Hay vs. Coleambally (score: 17-9); coached by Geoff Snowdon.
  • 1972 – Hay vs. Deniliquin (26-9). coached by Bill Curtis.
  • 1975 – Hay vs. Goolgowi (score: 25-11); coached by Michael Johnston.
  • 1982 - Hay vs. Hillston (score: 22-14); coached by Kevin Goldspink.
  • 1989 - Hay vs. Goolgowi (at Rankins Springs; score 20-18) coached by Neil John Nisbet.
  • 1990 - Hay vs. Goolgowi (at Barellan) coached by Neil John Nisbet.
  • 1991 - Hay vs. Hillston (at Goolgowi; score 14-6) coached by Neil John Nisbet.
  • 1994 - Hay vs. Hillston (at Rankins Springs; score 29-18); coached by Chris Aylett
  • 1995 - Hay vs. Rankins Springs (at Barellan; score 38-10); coached by Jamie Byrnes

Group 20 reserve grade premiership[edit]

  • 2009 - Hay v Griffith Black and Whites at E W Moore Oval Griffith won 26-24 coach Ian Woods (non playing)

Group 20 Under 18 premiership[edit]

  • 2010 - Hay v Griffith Waratah Tigers at E W Moore Oval Griffith won 22-18 coaches Rene Woods/Jermaine Dixon..Strength and Conditioning coach Robert (Fruity) Anderson.

Group 20 LeagueTag premiership[edit]

  • 2015 Hay Magpies defeated Leeton Greens at E W Moore Oval Griffith 12-4. Coaches Rachael Pearson/Neil-John Nisbet. (Rachael Pearson 2 tries, 2 conversions - Awarded Player of the Match in the Grand Final.)

LEAGUE TAG RECORDS HELD BY RACHAEL PEARSON (as at 31st May, 2016 Group 20 Player of the Year...2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015. Most tries scored in a match - 6 (v Yanco Wamoon 2015) Most goals in a match - 12/12 v Griffith Waratah Tigers 2016) Most points in a match 40 (6 tries 8 goals v Yanco Wamoon 2015)40(4 tries 12 conversions V Waratah Tigers 2016) She is the only player in the Group 20 competition to have posted 100 points in a season - and she has done it every full season she has played - with the exception of 2010 when kicks for goal were not allowed. That season she scored 88 from 22 tries. In 2011 she posted 184 in competition matches PLUS another 34 during the final series. 2012/2013 she was absent during studies in Canberra. She returned in 2014 and posted 138 points, plus another 10 in the finals. 2015 Rachael's tally reached 194 - before finals.

Group 20 First Grade semi-final 2014.[edit]

First time in Club history - Coached by Phil Crosby. Defeated by Darlington Point/Coleambally and eliminated

Hay Magpies Rugby League Club Hall of Fame members[edit]

H S (Sam) Willis, J V (Johnno) Johnson, Allen (Nugget) Schiller, Bill Curtis, John Curtis, Neil-John Nisbet, Michael (Salty) Ireson, Robert Matthews, Derek Moriarty, Dean Whitehead, Colin Wright, Peter (Parra) Montgomery, Geoff Snowdon, Danny Byrnes, Laurie Foley and Michael Johnston, Ken Beissel, *Cecil Kem, *Wayne Dunbar, *Donald Payne, *Ron Gash, *Harold James (Jimmy) Little * inducted at Hay Magpies 80th Year Function, Hay War Memorial Hall Saturday April 16, 2016

(see Hay Magpies Website - www.haymagpies.leaguenet.com.au)


External links[edit]