An all too brief history of the shortlived BEVERIDGE FC (1915)
By the time of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 the neighbouring townships of Beveridge – including Wallan Wallan, Wandong, Darraweit Guim, Clonbinane, Donnybrook and Kilmore etc all had been competing in the variously named local football Associations, that had been were formed (and disbanded) over the preceding years.
Until this time no record appears to have survived of Beveridge ever being able to raise sufficient numbers to put together even a social football team, though that is not to say that scratch matches were never played amongst the locals on occasions.
The Beveridge township when surveyed in 1852 (initially incorrectly as Beverage) – the immediate District area in general, and then heading southwards towards todays north end of KalKallo was commonly referred to by the unofficial name of Mercers Vale. Indeed when the township was surveyed a large parcel/block of crown land was set aside (61 & 62) as a Water Reserve. Later the land became known as the Springs Reserve, with the Eastern Portion (61) later being used as the township Sports Reserve, with a Pound was later established in the top NW corner of parcel/block (62).
In 1901 the Beveridge population was recorded at about 105 persons (90 of whom lived in the township), and in a period of some 60 years (between 1891 and 1951) the towns folk were able to raise sufficient numbers to form its own cricket club. In many seasons they entered the various named local cricket Association/s, and on occasions enjoyed premiership success.
At least one 1920s Beveridge CC home game scorecard that has survived refers to a cricket match against Darraweit Guim as being played at Thanes. So far as this research is aware a W Thane owned a property that included at least parcels/blocks 52 & 53 (and possibly more) at one time – parcel/block 52 being immediately south of the sports reserve (where his residence possibly once was), and parcel/block 53 being immediately to the east of parcel/block 52. It appears that there was possibly once a track (accessed via Spring St) that ran the length of the southern boundary of the Water Reverse. This track ended at the eastern end of parcel/block 61 (ie. at the southern and eastern ‘corner’ of sports reserve) and the northern boundary of the W Thane parcel/block 52.
The cricket oval at the Sports Reserve was situated on the Eastern parcel of the crown land (61) , with the batting wicket running north-south (the remnants of the old cement cricket wicket were still visible well into the 1980s, and maybe beyond). The Beveridge Pony club having the use of the facilities in latter years
From the summer of 1928/29 the Beveridge Tennis club, intermittently entered a team in the local Tennis Association/s, and were able to continue doing so for many seasons up until the late 1970s. The tennis court being alongside on the Eastern boundary of the cricket oval (with a clubhouse also built at some stage). The tennis court site may well even predate the late 1920s, and is believed to have also enjoyed the occasional premiership success in its later years.
The MIDLANDS FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION (formed 1913)
In 1913 a new Association in the Midlands Football Association (MFA) had been formed locally, after the folding up of both of the former local Central Mernda after the 1911 season (comprising of Wallan Wallan, Broadford Independents, Kilmore and Darraweit Guim in its final season) and Dalhousie Football Association (comprising of Darraweit Guim, Kilmore, Romsey and Lancefield) after the 1912 season. The Wallan Wallan club in 1912 having been left Association-less when their application to join the Dalhousie Association was rejected because of their distance away in particular from the townships of Lancefield and Romsey
The founder MFA clubs in 1913 were Wallan Wallan, Broadford Independents, Kilmore Juniors* and Darraweit Guim were the founder MFA member clubs with the latter named club being captained by _ Lyon who was from Beveridge.
* the Kilmore Junior team were in effect essentially the Kilmore Second team (though there was no actual age restriction on the Junior team members as the name ‘may infer’ to some modern day readers). The Kilmore Senior team were at this time playing in the Waranga North-East Association.
The Broadford Independents did not seek readmission the following season and and they were replaced by Wandong (who had reformed for the first time since 1909). A fifth team in Wallan East had also formed for the first time in 1914 with the intention of also joining the MFA . However no sooner had the Wallan East club been formed, and it having easily defeated a visiting Oakleigh team in a practise match playing 13 April 1914 (the Easter Weekend) – than the club was then quickly disolved.
For further information specific on the MFA in the period 1913-1914 (and the Wallan East FC 1914) can be found in other Sports articles here at oldplaces.com.au. – by way of two Sports articles titled ‘THE GOLDEN ERA (of the Wallan Wallan FC 1907-1915’ and ‘Football at Wallan East’).
The 1914 football season had of course been played as dark clouds began to hover over Europe, and many a local footballer had already answered the call of assisting the ‘motherland’ by enlisting into the Australian Expeditionary Forces (AIF).
Formation of the Beveridge FC (1915)
Local football enthusiast FJ Anderson Jnr. convened a Meeting held at the Shire Arms Hotel, Beveridge on Sat 16 March 1915 with hopes of raising sufficient interest in the forming of a Beveridge township football team. The meeting was well attended and the outcome of the evening was an apparent overwhelming success, with the Beveridge FC subsequently being formed that very night.
The following election of the primary Office Bearers was also made by the newly formed Beveridge FC –
James Henry Dew (President), Frederick James Anderson Jnr (Secretary), with Frederick James Anderson* & _ Fitzpatrick (Club Delegates)
* whether this was Frederick James Anderson Snr or Jnr is not exactly known, but in all likelihood was Jnr……
Then nearly two months later at the Annual Midland Association meeting was held in the Woodman’s Arms Hotel in Wallan Wallan on Friday 7 May 1915, with five district football clubs being represented – in Wallan Wallan, College (Kilmore), Wandong, the Kilmore Senior team and Beveridge. FJ Anderson and _ Fitzpatrick represented Beveridge in their capacity as for the first time as club Delegates at this meeting, at which the newly formed Beveridge FC was readily accepted into the local Association.
The Kilmore Senior club withdrew from proceedings early into the evening after they found that it would be impossible for the MFA to suspend matches on several dates that coursing matches were be held in Kilmore – this sport being extremely popular in the Kilmore District at this time (of note the MFA did later permit the College team to reschedule two of their scheduled matches later in the season………the students being unavailable – possibly due to school holidays/break)
James Henry Dew the butcher at Beveridge (his premises were situated across the road from the former delicensed Gleenson’s Inn) per was his interest in public affairs, was elected as one of the four MFA Vice-President positions (so he in all likelihood may have also accompanied the two Beveridge Delegates to the Annual MFA meeting).
The Darraweit Guim FC regular participants in local Associations since 1908 had not been represented at this meeting, having already advised that due to so many young men of theirs having answered the call of the Empire, that they regretfully were not in a position to be able to field a team for the upcoming season.
It was decided once again to adopt the 1913 Midland Association rules with the season to be played over 12 rounds (ie each club playing each other four times). As for the finish of the competition was concerned – a Semi-Final would be played between the top two teams.
If the minor premiers won the Semi-Final match (to be played on a neutral ground), they would then be declared the premiership winning team. However if the second placed team won the match, the defeated the minor premiers were then entitled to a Final rematch, known as a ‘Challenge Match’ or ‘Challenge Final’ (per Rule 8) – a common rule of that time, and one that many statewide competitions adopted right up until the late 1930s. If the minor premiers lost the Semi-Final (sometimes referred to as a Final) they then had to still officially advise their Association of their intention to Challenge other wise the second place team would be declared premiers. The Challenge match would then be played on the ground of the leading clubs choice, which invariably would be the minor premiers home ground……….
There was only the one instance locally whereby the minor premiers after being defeated in the Semi–Final (Final) then did not utilize their ‘Right to Challenge’ match – and that occured in the Dalhousie Football Association in 1912 when second placed Darraweit Guim defeated the minor premiers Lancefield – thus the former named club were awarded the premiership.
It was decided that the hotel keepers of Kilmore, Wandong and Beveridge were to be asked to subscribe to a trophy for the competition.
Though as it eventuated that no Kilmore team (Seniors or Juniors) were to enter the MFA in 1915, possibly the local Kilmore hoteleries may not later have been approached…………..?
The Beveridge FC then elected W Cummins as Captain – who had been a prominent player and the Captain of the Darraweit Guim FC team the previous season (1914) when in the MFA.
The Beveridge FC chose to play in Red & White colours (guernsey).
As to the precise design of the Red & White Beveridge FC guernsey – that will now, likely never be known with the passage of time. Players may have ‘turned up’ and played in adhoc uniforms ‘based’ on their team colours (this can clearly be demonstrated in many an old football team photo from this era). The guernsey’s may well have been of the hand-me-down second hand acquired variety, indeed there are several possibilities that may be suggested.
However per the following pics (taken from the early 1900s through to the Great War) are some distinct likely/possible examples of the Beveridge FC guernsey design. These suggestions have been ‘taken’ from the guernsey designs worn by a team that had the same colours as the Beveridge FC – in the South Melbourne FC that played in the VFL.
Red & White SMFC Guernsey worn pre 1905
Red & White SMFC Guernsey worn 1905 to 1906
Red & White SMFC guernsey worn 1907-1919 (red sash over left shoulder)
The final photo (which is unfortunately only in black & white), shows two
SMFC players in 1907-1919 period, seated side by side and wearing the red
sash over opposite shoulders. The red sash over the right shoulder was
indeed a minority guernsey (worn by only maybe 2 to 3 players at most, in
most of SMFC team photos from this period).
The Captains of the other Midland Association teams were – B Hempill (Wallan/Wallan), Chris Carroll (College) and ‘the veteran’ Billy Collins (Wandong). It is also known that V Ryan was the Vice-Captain at Wallan Wallan.
The Beveridge FC chose to play its matches on the sports ground, which was used by the Beveridge Cricket Club in the summer months. It is presumed here (per the lay of the cricket ground/pitch) that the goals likely ran north-south….. The goal posts may well only have been little more than roughly cut saplings with the boundaries being marked with a furrow (ditch) – both of which were of common practice in this era and beyond.
It was possibly not actually known that at the time when the new Beveridge FC club was formed at the Shire Arms Hotel back March 1915 that the Darraweit Guim FC would themselves not be reforming for the 1915 season (though they may well have had an inclination) – due to the loss of several of their players, most of who had joined the AIF and leaving the Darraweit Guim club desperately short of numbers. However the Beveridge club were to be the beneficiaries of several of the young men who still remained in the Darraweit District that had played with the Deep Creek villagers in the previous season/s – with many of the remaining young men there electing to play with the newly formed club. In fact half of the Beveridge team was to be made up of former Darraweit Guim footballers………..
Already by the start of competition already more than 20 playing members (from the four 1914 MFA clubs) had already left the District by early 1915 to join the fight overseas.
Two matches were to be played each weekend over twelve rounds. Harry Lewis a respected umpire from Beveridge was appointed as a permanent umpire of one game each round with a VJFA umpire (from Melbourne) to be appointed for the other match. So in fairness for all the clubs with Lewis having an affiliation with Beveridge, all matches involving his home town team, it was agreed upon would have the VJFA umpire appointed for all the Beveridge games. The usual umpire fee in this period is believed to have been about 1 Guinea (21/-) plus any travel expenses (the more so for the VJFA umpire who would have had a minimum of additional expense of at least a train fare).
The only pre-season warm practice game reported on was played on 1 May when Wallan Wallan 7-15 defeated the visiting College team 5-11 in a keenly fought out affair.
The 1915 Midland Football Association season commences
For the second half of the season the draw was to be reversed. However due to subsequent unforeseen events – to be detailed further on, there were to be several alterations and amendments made later to the 12 round draw.
Rd 1 (15 May) at Beveridge in the opening round Wallan Wallan defeated Beveridge 3-8 to 0-4 (VJFA – Umpire A Tibballs) with Norman Robertson later of the AIF) being the pick of the players from the new club.
Whilst the other new team in the College won their first ever local Association match when they defeated Wandong by a score line of 7-7 to 2-4.
A feature of the Wallan Wallan Rd 1 team selected was the inclusion of a young 15yo Greg Stockdale debuting in their team against Beveridge, and he was named as one of his team best players on the ground that afternoon – however it was still to be a few more seasons before he was to be recruited into the big time football league with Essendon, where he enjoyed an illustrious playing career (more on details on his later VFL and VFA career is recorded in the article ‘THE GOLDEN YEARS Wallan Wallan FC (1907-1915)’ here at oldplaces.com.au).
An ever present player and student from the College team during the 1915 MFA season was another 15yo in a talented Angus MacIsaac, who after after leaving the College he returned back to him home town of Mooroopna. When football resumed once again after the Great War he played with his local team there in 1920-1921 season. Then followed a short but successful career in the VFL between 1922-24 & 1926-27 whilst he still returned home to play occasionally with Mooroopna between 1923-24. (again more on his latter VFL and VFA career is recorded in the ‘THE GOLDEN YEARS Wallan Wallan FC (1907-1915)’ here at oldplaces.com.au).
One of the ‘banes’ of the early day local football Associations were the number of protests made by defeated teams, thus the Delegates often had to meet one evening mid week attend such Hearings – the co-ordination of the Association arranging this in itself must have at times been no easy task. The protesting team aside from having to notify the Association of their intentions within a certain timeframe, then also had to lodge a deposit (that varied between 5/- to 1 Guinea that was refundable if the protest was successful or deemed not frivolious). Many a time the protests were made solely because pride may have been at stake or if the favored team had lost somewhat unexpectedly. However more often than not many of the protests were the result of teams bringing in ‘ring-in’ players from out of the District or even from the VFL competition in Melbourne – and the offending club then getting caught out. This form of cheating was to cost the Darraweit Guim FC both the 1911 and 1920 premierships after they were ‘caught out’.
Protest lodged by Beveridge against Wallan Wallan and counter Protested by Wallan Wallan against Beveridge
Beveridge following the Rd 1 match against Wallan Wallan submitted a protest in that Wallan Wallan had played J Stockdale in the team who was ‘not a resident of the district’ (per Rule 9 in that a player must have been a bona-fide resident of the town and that they lived no more than 7 miles away from the PO). J Stockdale however had actually been born and bred in the village. Wallan Wallan countered the protest in that Beveridge had played P Daly and Norman Robertson (per Rule 11) in that neither had not obtained clearances from the Wallan Wallan Club, and in addition that Beveridge had also played _ McDonald (again per Rule 9) who was from ‘outside the 7 mile radius’ from the local PO as permitted in the Association rules. The outcome of the protest is detailed chronologically further on.
Rd 2 (22 May) the College defeated a gallant Beveridge team by just 1 pt on the College ground, with the final score line of College 2-8 to Beveridge 2-7 (VJFA umpire LJ Delaney). Whilst Wallan Wallan accounted for Wandong 8-4 to 2-3.
Rd 3 (29 May) away Beveridge 3-6 lost to Wandong 5-5, the latter team having the services of a few Kilmore boys (primarily those who could not get a game in their local Senior team), in a game umpired impartially by LJ Delaney (VJFA) much to satisfaction of both the players and onlookers alike. Best for the Beveridge team were skipper W Cummins (who followed for four quarters), P Cummins, A Smith and _ Anderson.
In the top of the table clash inaccurate kicking at the sticks by Wallan Wallan meant that they were only to prevail by 9 pts (despite having 9 more scoring shots). Final score – Wallan Wallan 4-14 to College 4-5
Hearing of Rd 1 Protests by the MFA Delgates – resulting from the Beveridge vs Wallan Wallan game
On the evening of Monday 31 May, a meeting of the MFA Delegates was held at the Tower Hotel, Wallan Wallan, where a letter was received from Mr W Fawcett the Hon. Sec. of the Victorian Junior Football Association, to bring under the notice a scheme called the ‘Local Supreme and Wounded Soldiers Fund’ and having as its object the establishment of a fund for the purposed or tendering a welcome to any of the local soldiers who may have been invalided home from the front. The MFA decided to support the scheme, and to devote the whole of the proceeds of the Semi-Final and Final matches at the end of the season to the fund.
At the same meeting the countering protests were then held from the Rd 1 match between Beveridge and Wallan Wallan, where it was alleged that Wallan Wallan had played J Stockdale (he was to later play subsequent games during the season with Wallan Wallan) was not a resident of the District. Per the Rules should have been residing in the District for the past 14 days, at a distance of not more than 7 miles away from the local PO.
With the Wallan Wallan counter the protest that Beveridge had played P Daly, Norman Robertson and _ McDonald contrary to the rules of a MFA. It was claimed that P Daly and Norman Robertson had not obtained clearances from the Wallan Wallan FC and that _ McDonald was from outside the permitted 7 mile radius.
The protests lead to a long discussion in the course of which Cr McBain said the Secretary several times ‘came to wordy collisions’. He added that he’ would like to know who was the Secretary of the Wallan Wallan FC as nobody at Beveridge knew who was as Mr Anderson signed as Secretary, but when asked he said ‘that Mr Grills was’. Mr Grill responded with ‘ it was only a quibble as Cr McBain knew right enough’. He then referred to the protest just read from Beveridge in which’ referred to Mr Anderson as the Assistant Secretary’.
The Beveridge protest against J Stockdale was reported that had been ‘born a bred lived in the village’ all his life, and when put to the vote the MFA Delegates dismissed the protest by 4 votes to 2. Possibly Stockdale had been absent from the township of a short period of time before the season commenced………(indeed in this period especially some of the Stockdale family were known to stay with other family members, especially up Rushworth way ) ? Whatever the specific reasoning behind the Beveridge protest, it was then dismissed by the MFA Delegates.
The Wallan Wallan protest regarding P Day and N Robertson was tied at 3 votes each way, only to then be dismissed 4-3 on the casting vote of the Chairman. Whilst the protest regarding _ McDonald not living within the permitted radius was dismissed conditionally in that the Beveridge FC forward a certificate from the Shire Engineer Mr Munis stating that the player indeed resided within the District.
So with all protests now dismissed the Rd 1 results between these two club now stood per the original result. However –
Cr McBain then immediately advised the Delegates present that the Beveridge club would now be taking their appeal to the VJFA regarding the J Stockdale protest being dismissed. The Wallan Wallan immediately responding in advising that they too would also appeal their counter dismissed protests to the VJFA as well.
Rd 4 (5 June) in a match that was reported on the great difference in the sizes and weights of the two teams –the Maroon’s (Wallan Wallan) so named because of their Guernsey colour (the team was commonly referred to as such in the Press for many a season) – looking very small beside the Red and Whites. The weather was exceedingly cold and there was a fair attendance including a small army of lady supporters coming with Beveridge…… Indeed it appeared for most of the match that the Beveridge team may well cause an upset at Wallan Park. With neither team able to score in the third quarter and the visitors retained their six point lead. In an effort to foil the home team from scoring in the final quarter Beveridge, the visitors changed their game plan that had been successful for three quarets – and had practically every player playing on the ball. Eventually however the Wallan Wallan team broke through with a goal and then followed up with another five behinds, and the Beveridge resilience had finally given way. It was reported that in a ‘difficult match’ it was well umpired by AE Wellington (VJFA) as be appeared to please both sides . The score line at the end of each quarter being –
In the other match the College team defeated Wandong 7-8 to 2-4 (also recorded as 1-4) at the Kilmore Showgrounds
|(after Rd 4)||W||L||Pts|
Rd 5 (12 June) third placed Wandong caused a slightly unanticipated upset when the beat the previously undefeated Wallan Wallan 5-3 to 3-9 (also recorded as 5-2 to 3-16), a result that indeed injected some real enthusiasm into the competition. The Wallan Wallan team by this time were now starting to lose even more players who had commenced the football season, but had by now registered into the AIF.
At Home in what was anticipated to be a keenly fought encounters the heavier Beveridge team were no match for the College team (referred to as Assumption College) and were convincing defeated 2-1 to 9-7 in a match umpired by E Davies (VJFA) – with C Carroll kicking 4 goals for the victors. Many present, were to depart from ground after the final whistle feeling very disappointed with the Beveridge team’s performance. The College team were now starting to become the team that just maybe, had the ability to upset the highly favoured Wallan Wallan team and now be the capable of winning the seasons premiership………
Hearing of ‘a’ Rd 1 Protest by the VJFA – from the Beveridge vs Wallan Wallan match (previously dismissed by the MFA Delegates)
Though no further reported/recorded details can be found regarding the findings of the VJFA from the Rd 1 protest between Beveridge and Wallan Wallan – the VJFA did in the week ending Fri 11 June acknowledge in the Melbourne Press of their receipt of the Beveridge FC protest against the Wallan Wallan FC (no reference was made at all to any protest being received by the VJFA from the Wallan Wallan FC).
THEN after the round Rd 5 had been completed – the MFA recorded the positions of the clubs, with the Beveridge FC now having 4pts (yet they had lost all their games up until to this point of time), and Wallan Wallan now only had 12 pts (though they had won all the four of their five matches to this point)
So it appears with certainty that the Beveridge protest was eventually upheld about this time by the VJFA (with the Wallan Wallan counter protest possibly never even being forwarded to the VJFA…….?). So in effect the VJFA determined that Beveridge were now being awarded the Rd 1 match and the 4 pts (including the respective percentages) from their first match against the Wallan Wallan club. So now in effect both of the Association ‘new clubs’ in Beveridge and the College had won their opening round matches………!
The Ladder after Round 5 – per actual on ground results
* the Wallan Wallan and Beveridge percentage and pts at this time reflected the actual score line before, before it was later reversed by the VJFA later in that week. The adjusted ladder per the VJFA decision then became –
|Adjusted Rd 5 ladder (per VJFA decision)||W||L||%||Pts|
The College team at about this time applied and was granted permission by the Kilmore Agricultural Society to play their remaining home games at the Kilmore Showgrounds – they had played on this ground earlier in the season. It is not known why they no longer wished or were able to play their remaining home games on the College Oval.
Rd 6 (19 June) from this point in the season several adjustments were made to the MFA draw. The Beveridge home game against Wandong was postponed (for unknown reasons) and was rescheduled to a later date (the game was later played on 17 July), whilst Wallan Wallan rallied in defeating the College team by 4pts, to reclaim top position on percentage.
At the half way point in the season (after Rd 6 on 16 June) the ladder now stood as –
|Wallan Wallan *||6||4||2||188||149||126.17||16|
* Rd 6 when Wallan Wallan defeated the College by 4 pts (with exact scores not known – for the purposes of the above (For & Against Columns ) ‘a score line of 34 to 30 has been used’………..!
** Rd 6 match was postponed and not played until 17 July
Rd 7 (26 June) the round was cancelled altogether – and was later rearranged to be played the following weekend as a mark of respect after news reached home of the death of Wallan Wallan and Port Melbourne (VFA) footballer Pte. William Stockdale at Gallipoli. TL Todd had been appointed by the VJFA to umpire the match at Wallan Wallan against Beveridge. In effect this put the seasons draw back one weekend.
The rescheduled Rd 7 (3 July) matches produced two nail biting results, and it was now becoming apparent that the difference between all four teams in the MFA competition was getting very much closer.
The Wallan Wallan team as previously detailed were fast losing players who were enlisting, and they met a vastly improving Beveridge team, and were fortunate to record a 1 pt win in a match umpired by HA Harper (VJFA) – the second time Beveridge team had been defeated by a solidary behind. The final scores being Wallan Wallan 4-6 to Beveridge 4-5 after a strenuous struggle.
While Wandong caused an upset of their own in defeating the top team College 4-11 to 4-9
Rd 8 (10 July) at home the Beveridge team claimed their first actual ‘on ground win’ for the season by a margin of 18 pts, umpired by W Bedford (VJFA) Scores – Beveridge 5-6 to College 2-6. The College team after having had won four of its first five games for the season after this defeat to Beveridge had now recorded three consecutive lost games. The Wallan Wallan team on the same day rebounded to defeat Wandong 46pts to 13pts (the final score line likely being Wallan Wallan either 6-10 or 7-4 to Wandong 2-1 or 1-7).
The College team then had a request granted by the MFA for their matches scheduled for 17 and 24 July against Wandong and Beveridge to be rescheduled for 31 July and 7 August respectively, as the College boys would be away on both these dates (possibly school holidays…..?)
(17 July) in the only match played on this date, that being the postponed Rd 6 game between at Beveridge against Wandong. The ground was unfortunately in a disgraceful state with crab holes all around the ground, whilst a large sheet of water covered both ends of the ground. The match was marred by the visitor’s rough play in which three of the Beveridge players (F Anderson, _ Fitzpatrick and ‘L Fulay)’ were all severely injured and required medical assistance. Unfortunately, the VJFA umpire (EJ Judd) supplied was not up to standard and Wandong went on to win the match. However the Beveridge FC advised the MFA that they would be claiming the match on protest (per Rule 7) as the match had not commenced until after 4.30pm due to Wandong team arriving late.
Per the MFA rules Beveridge would have been successful in having the protest upheld as per Rule 7 in that all matches shall start at 3pm, with 30 minutes grace, and in the event of a match starting later than 3.15pm, the captains shall decide whether 20 or 15 minutes shall be played in each quarter – then in the event of the captains disagreeing, the central umpire shall be called on to decide. Clubs unable to start at the expiration of the time shall lose the match, unless sufficient explanation be given to the Association for their delay or non arrival.
1915 SEASON ABANDONED
At this point in the season a hastily arranged MFA meeting was held and it was decided to abandon the 1915 season altogether with so many of the Districts young men were by now helping in the war effort by volunteering for service abroad – all clubs aside from the College were finding it difficult to field a team each week. Indeed it was at the Wallan Wallan team instigation (who were again leading the competition) that the meeting was held. With only 4 rounds remaining the Wallan Wallan club were almost certain to finish in one of the top two positions, and likely may well have claimed the minor premiership. However per the Press report, the WWFC they had apparently used their influence at the meeting to ‘close the competition’, stating that their club alone in a matter of weeks had lost over half its team with players having enlisted into the services.
Several of the young Beveridge district men had also enlisted – though many of these appear to have done so before the 1915 season had commenced (per this research), thus the impact of player shortages at the Beveridge FC cannot be clearly ascertained.
The 1915 season ladder at the time of the season being abandoned after Rd 8 the ladder stood as (though never published was as follows) –
|Wallan Wallan *||6||2||230||161||142.86||24|
Per the above the exact final score lines of only two matches played during the season are not known, though the results are, as follows
* It is recorded that Wallan Wallan had a 4 pt win over the College in Rd 6 (thus no figures have been included this ‘latter’ final ladder in the For & Against columns – thus a true percentage has not been reflected/calculated).
** the other scoreline not known is from the Rd 8 protested game between Beveridge against Wandong which was possibly never heard (due to season being abandoned). That Beveridge had lodged protest strongly suggests/inclines that they were indeed defeated – and though match report survives the final scores were unfortunately not given – so again on For and Against details are included, thus also effecting the true percentages also. Had the protest been upheld (which in likelihood would have been per the MFA rules) Beveridge and Wandong would then have been both on 12 pts and Beveridge would have gone ahead of Wandong on percentage – with both these teams now being 4pts (plus a ‘hefty percentage) behind the second placed team.
At this point (per this research) the liberty has been taken to now reflect on what the ‘true’ ladder was after the Rd 8 protest been heard, and by using two estimated score lines from the matches were the exact scores are not known –
* Rd 6 – Wallan Wallan defeated College by 4 pts (a score line of 34-30 has been estimated here)
**Rd 8 – Wandong defeated Beveridge, the result per MFA rules would have likely been overturned by Protest, (a reversed score had been estimated here)
|(Season Abandoned)||W||L||For||Agst||Est. %||Pts|
|Wallan Wallan *||6||2||264||191||138.22||24|
|College (Kilmore) *||4||4||286||203||140.89||16|
In respect to all of the clubs during the season every team whether the victor or vanquished, in most of the games played all teams were very competitive, with the some ‘upset’ and some narrow results keeping interest very much alive within the competition at the season progressed. All teams were by the end of Rd 8 demonstrating the closeness of the competition.
Only the 17 July match between Beveridge and Wandong was recorded as having been played with any ‘malice’
Despite the Beveridge FC technically having recorded only one ‘on ground win’ in 8 rounds (they had also only lost to both the leading teams in Wallan Wallan and College by a margin of 1 pt in two of the games).
All four clubs still would have/may have claimed that they still had a realistic chance of qualifying for the Finals had the season not been abandoned – all teams other than the College were finding it more and impossible to find sufficient players to fill their team as the season further progressed.
The Beveridge FC had been improving in almost every match regardless of the opposition team. Though the Wallan Wallan team likely may have ‘held on’ to secure the minor premiership, they may well have faltered, as had the College team been in the most recently completed rounds – though the latter were not losing players as the ‘recruitment booths’. The Wandong performances were indeed somewhat inconsistent in their results (and they may have been relying on occasions for the inclusion of several Kilmore Junior players to make up their numbers if/when available….?).
Though in fairness the Beveridge FC had recorded only one ‘on ground’ win in the eight rounds (against second placed College), which indeed the most impressive of statistic. Two games lost against each of the leading clubs in Wallan Wallan and College by a solitary behind. In addition there was also the protest win obtained by Beveridge in the opening round and and ‘a likely’ second successful protest following their final match played. The ‘heavy’ Beveridge indeed had several experienced players in their team – and it just may have been possible for the team even to have been able to secure second position at the seasons end (possibly also relying on othe results), and thus have obtained the right to play off in the Semi-Final match………..!
Known former Darraweit Guim players (in an incomplete list) who played with the Beveridge FC in 1915 included W Cummins (capt) his brother P (possibly Patrick J) Cummins (later of the AIF), and possibly _ McDonald.
The A Smith who is recorded playing for Beveridge may well have been Ab Smith a keen sportsman from Darraweit (he is known to have served in the AIF, but as to the date when he enlisted is not known per this research)
The names of several Darraweit Guim FC players from the 1914 however are known who may have played with the Beveridge FC in 1915 including – Chas. Stockdale, Tom Aungier, J Lobb, _Daly (possibly detailed above), L Smith, J Moore, J McRae _ McKenzie, C Dillon, _ Corrigan and George Wilson, whilst P Lyon (who was actually from Beveridge had played for Darraweit Guim in at least a couple of seasons), amongst a few other possibles (known to have played with the DGFC up until at least the end of the 1913 season (but whose names were not recorded in any 1914 Press reports). A few of these above mentioned names however would possibly have breached the 7 mile run had they had indeed played with Beveridge…………!
The only other known Beveridge players identified in the press are McBain (x2 – one possibly being John S McBain), _ Daly, Norman Robertson (later of the AIF), F Anderson (possibly JF Anderson Jnr), Bert Anderson (later of the AIF) – who is recorded for his prowess on the football field, _(E?) Fitzpatrick, and L Fulay.
J Cummins who enlisted in April 1916 was another possible player. Whilst one further clue to possible Beveridge FC players may be considered when looking at the 1914/15 cricket scorecards for the local cricket team that had been playing in the local cricket Association – some additional names who played at that time with the Beveridge CC included G Holmes, L Hansen, J Cummins, D Rowe, M Ryan, H Nurse, T Nurse, and H Franklin.
The difficulty in identifying many players is that generally only the best and the occasional goalkickers were ever recorded in the Press, and other known names only per the protested matches. There was a tendency for the Press Correspondent to record the same names repetitiously in many games (though likely the same players did stand out in many of the games played). Whilst the home team/winning team (ie whoever compiled the press report) frequently would not know the name of many of the lesser known opposition players. Players names from the Kilmore and Wandong clubs per their regular Correspondent reports to the local Press are more readily identifiable for the 1915 season.
There were eight outstanding matches not played due to the season being abandoned as follows –
Rd 9 (24 July) Beveridge at Wandong (A Tibballs from the VJFA was the appointed umpire) Rd 9 (31 July) Wallan Wallan at College Rd 10 (7 August) Beveridge at Wallan Wallan & Wandong at College Rd 11 (14 August) College at Beveridge & Wallan Wallan at Wandong Rd 12 (21 August) Wandong at Beveridge & College at Wallan Wallan
Semi-Final (28 August) at a venue to be decided upon by the MFA – between the two top teams, and if the minor premiers won, they would then be declared the premiership team
Challenge-Final (4 September) at a venue to be decided by the leading club – only if required if the second placed team defeated the minor premiers in the Semi-Final, the minor premiers could advise the MFA that they wished to play a Challenge-Final (basically a replay), against the Semi-Final winners to determine the eventual premiership team.
So with the total abandonment of the 1915 season came with it the unanticipated premature end of the Beveridge FC, and they never again were to reform. The Red & Whites had played just the eight games………..
A list of other District football clubs that entered a local Association/s (some of which may not ‘geographically’ be considered as ‘local team’s, but none the less joined a local Association) and played very few competition games in total include –
|High Camp Plain (CDFA)||1907||0||withdrew|
|Wallan East (MFA)||1915||0||disbanded *|
|Emu Flat/Pyalong (CDFA)||1905||6 or 8||Combined team|
|Oddfellows (Broadford) (BSFA)||1904||8||Runners-Up|
|Mickleham ? (WDFA) **||1907||6 or 8|
|Clonbinane (CMFA) ***||1908||9|
|Kilmore Imperials (MFA) ****||1925||9||withdrew|
|Broadford Juniors (CMFA) ******||1906||11|
* disbanded prior to commencement of season (club later reformed in 1935) ** possibly entered a team ? (this season is a ‘ bit of a mystery’ as no reports/results were contributed to the local Press – likely due to the non participation of any team from Kilmore or Broadford) *** essentially became the Wandong FC that was formed in 1909 **** withdrew after Rd 9 – it may be adequately argued that this was the same team as the Kilmore Juniors (Seconds team), playing under another name. The Kilmore Juniors had fielded a team in 1913-1914 seasons. ****** the Broadford Juniors in 1906 were in effect a Broadford Seconds team (and were a separate club to the Broadford Independents
Also in 1904 Reedy Creek (BSFA) = 7 games, and in 1907 Tyaak (CMFA) = 11 games each competed in a local Association. It is difficult (despite conflicting Press reports of the time to ascertain if these were actually different clubs or one and the same). The seasons fixture list published for 1907 records the team as Reedy Creek, however many of the Corresepondent Reports to the press record the team as Tyaak during the season. With the two townships being in the same locality a suggestion is that the 1907 home games were possibly played at Tyaak…….!
NB: aside from the Emu Flat and Pyalong team Combining for the one season in 1905 – the Pyalong FC itself also entered Associations in 1895 (Lancefield District Association), 1905 (Central Dalhousie Association), 1914 (Heathcote District Association – in which they made the Semi-Final) and in 1931 when it entered a team into the newly formed Hume Highway Association but withdrew prior to the seasons commencement.
Also per the above Chart and the Abbv. name of Associations used, are as follows –
|LDFA||Lancefield District FA||1894-1895|
|CDFA||Central Dalhousie FA||1904-1905, 1907 & 1912 (as Dalhousie FA)|
|BSA||Broadford Shire FA||1904|
|CMFA||Central Mernda FA||1906, 1908-1911 & 1919|
|WDFA||Wallan District FA||1907|
|MFA||Midlands FA||1913-1915, 1920 & 1924-1926|
Beveridge FC Results (1915)
|Rd||Date||H/A||Home Team||Away Team||Result||VJFA Umpire|
|1||15/5||H||Beveridge 0-4||Wallan Wallan 3-8||Won 22 pts *||A Tibballs|
|2||22/5||A||College 2-8||Beveridge 2-7||Lost 1 pt||LJ Delaney|
|3||29/5||A||Wandong 5-5||Beveridge 3-6||Lost 11 pts||LJ Delaney|
|4||5/6||A||Wallan Wallan 4-9||Beveridge 2-4||Lost 17 pts||AE Wellington|
|5||12/6||H||Beveridge 2-1||College 9-7||Lost 48 pts||E Davies|
|7||3/7||H||Beveridge 4-5||Wallan Wallan 4-6||Lost 1pt||HA Harper|
|8||10/7||A||College 2-6||Beveridge 5-6||Won 18 pts||W Bedford|
|6||17/7||H||Beveridge ?||Wandong ?||Won**||EJ Judd|
* Result successfully protested to the VJFA
** Protest never heard by MFA per season being abandoned (however per MFA Rules – Protest would almost certainly have been successful)
Beveridge FC Home/Away Record (on ground)
|Home||0||4||76||142||inc. Rd 7- 1 pt loss to W/W|
|Away||1||3||93||106||inc. Rd 2 – 1 pt loss to College|
Beveridge FC 1915 Home/Away Record (after Protests results)
|Home||2||2||100||120||inc Rd 1 successful Protest & Rd 8* Protest|
** Rd 8 loss which though technically was never heard, the result would almost certainly have been reversed by MFA (estimated scores only ‘used here’ at 30-25)
Some statistics on the 1915 MFA season (with many of these including games played in by the Beveridge FC)
|61 pts||Beveridge 1 lost to College 9-7||Rd 5|
|48 pts||as above||as above|
|4 pts||Beveridge 0-4 lost to Wallan Wallan 26||Rd 1 **|
|“||13 pts||Beveridge 2-1 lost to College 9-7||Rd 5|
|“||13 pts||Wandong 2-1 lost to |
Wallan Wallan 7-4 (or 6-10)
|1pt||College 2-8 defeated Beveridge 2-7||Rd 2|
|“||1pt||Beveridge 4-5 lost to Wallan Wallan 4-6||Rd 7|
|College 4-7 lost to Wandong 4-9 at KS*||Rd7|
|4||Wallan Wallan (*** reduced to 3 |
games after Rd 1 protest)
|Rd 1 to Rd 4|
|“||3||Wallan Wallan||Rd 6 to Rd 8|
|Most consecutive losses||6||Beveridge (****reduced to 5 |
games after Rd 1 protest)
|Rd 1 to Rd 5 & |
Rd 7 (Rd 6 had
been cancelled and played
at a later date)
** per result overturned after successful protest to VJFA *** reduced to 3 wins (per detailed Rd 1 protest) **** reduced to 5 losses (per detailed Rd 1 protest)
After the abandonment of the 1915 season there was to be no further local Association play in the District until 1919, though occasional scratch matches still played in the 1916-1918 period by several teams.
The sole reference to football at Beveridge in this period dates from a July 1917 a reference that survives from a Correspondent writing to the Kilmore Advertiser regarding football at Beveridge. However however the local paper refused to comment or print on the letter and no personal contact details (name and address) had been supplied with paperwork received (nothing more is known per this research on this matter).
The local football competition was revived in the 1919 and 1920 seasons. However the local competition then went into recess for the next three seasons (1921-1923). Several of the better District players in this period chose to play further afield in either the Waranga North-East Association (primarly with Kilmore or Broadford) or the Riddell District Association (primarily with either Romsey or Riddell).
On a none competition level the Wallan, Donnybrook and Wandong teams between 1921 and 1923 are known to have played occasional scratch/social matches against each other in this period.
After Wallan Wallan were defeated by Donnybrook in their first meeting in 1923, at their second meeting played n Saturday 24 August 1923 it is recorded that a combined Beveridge/Wallan team (captained by J Robinson) visited Donnybrook to play their local team. Jim Lewis* (of Beveridge) was recorded as being in fine form for the Beveridge/Wallan team, though the form of his team mates was recorded as patchy. The Donnybrook club reported that it was the best game ever played in the ‘career of the local team’ and that they went on to win 10-7 (V Ryan 6 goals) to Beveridge/Wallan 0-1. The match was umpired by T Skermer.
In all likelihood the Wallan team would have been relying on players who lived further afield be able to field ‘their’ team (thus the sole reference to a Beveridge/Wallan team, at the ‘whim’ of the Press Correspondent for one reported match) – so maybe all of the Wallan 1923 matches were actually a Beveridge/Wallan combination ?
Then the following weekend on 1 Sept 1923 at Wandong the local team totally out played and defeated Donnybrook by a score line for 19-3 to 2-3 highlighting that Wandong were indeed most likely the strongest of the three District teams that winter (though as to how many Wallan or even Beveridge players made up either teams numbers that day, if any is not recorded)
Then followed a ‘third’ meeting (counting the above recorded Beveridge/Wallan game), when the Wallan team (again likely having relied on the inclusion of some Beveridge men), challenged Donnybrook to another match, and that ‘whoever lost in the match was to pay for dinner’. Unfortunately, though the result of this match if indeed the challenge was accepted, does not appear to have survived time.
* it is possible that Jim Lewis from Beveridge (detailed above) may have had a trial with the Fitzroy FC at some point – though no documentation can he found in the press ‘of the time’ per this research to substantiate this claim. Lewis was still regularly playing football in the late 1920s as a member of the strong Midland Rovers FC – which was a combined Wallan and Darraweit Guim team that survived for four seasons (1927-1930). This combined team entered the well established Bourke-Evelyn Association – after the final collapse of the last ‘truly local’ football association in the Midland Football Association after the 1926 season. The final MFA premiership team in Wandong would also likely ‘have been’ part of the combined Midlands Rovers team (sometimes referred to as Wallan-Darraweit in the Press), however the Wandong club decided to continue and ‘to go it alone’ in 1927, themselves also entering their team into the Bourke-Evelyn Association. (More on the story of the Midland Rovers FC can found at oldplaces.com.au the article so named ‘Midland Who…………..? The story of a long forgotten football team’).
From the following 1927 Midland Rovers FC photo one (possibly two) former Beveridge FC players from 1915 appear in the team as players, in Jim Lewis (back row – 4th from right) and the other player in the photo who ‘may also have played’ with Beveridge is Albert ‘Ab’ Smith * (front row – 2nd from left)
* Ab Smith (a returned serviceman) as previously detailed lived at Darraweit Guim, where he played most of his football for the local team – from at least 1911 (and likely earlier) to 1914, 1920 and between 1924-1926 . He also was a member of the Darraweit Guim premiership teams of 1912, 1924 and 1925 – playing often as a Follower. It is not known for certain however if the A Smith recorded who played in the Beveridge 1915 team was indeed Ab (as he did enlist into the AIF and serve overseas at some point during of the Great War). Ab. appears to have concluded his playing career in the Midland Rovers team, and was later a keen administrator with the Darraweit Guim club when they reformed in 1935.
Per this research – the next and final reference to football at Beveridge was from Thursday 18/8/1932 when the Beveridge SS are recorded as defeating the Wallan SS by two goals, with Jack & Greg Stockdale, E Smith and W McDonald recorded as giving ‘yeoman service’ for the winners.
After which time any further reference to football being played at Beveridge has/cannot be found.
REFERENCE SOURCES USED – Kilmore Advertiser, Kilmore Free Press, Treasures Trove Newspaper Archives (for Melbourne newspapers), State Library of Victoria, Boyles Football Photo Collection.
Any corrections or additions to the this article, even old photos of the Beveridge Sports Reserve will be greatly received, and this article and new reference source updated accordingly.