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Blackall celebrates 100 years

The Blackall Magpies came together at the weekend to celebrate 100 years of rugby league.

As you drove into town for the weekend, the Magpies flags and streamers were on display in the businesses and local houses.

When you arrive in Blackall, there is a shop set out for the weekend with plenty of Magpie merchandise for sale as well as a complete history of the club, including a photo from the 1930s of the Blackall Women’s team.

On Friday night, a meet and greet was held at the local Bowls Club where a large crowd gathered for a barbecue and a few quiet drinks.

Many old boys attended, joining the current team who arrived after their final training run before their big game on Saturday against Barcaldine.

There were obviously several stories told and a lot of catching up done throughout the night with some guys not seeing each other since they finished playing.

Game day kicked off with the local under 15 and 17 Central West teams taking on Blackwater, followed by the under 7s who had just completed their Tackle Safe program with new game development officer Troy Duncan.

All junior games then followed up to the Under 13s just prior to the A Grade at 6pm - a full day to celebrate the 100 years.

A large crowd was in attendance during the whole day. There was also an appearance by the very popular Magpies cheer squad made up of local school girls.

The Blackall Magpies cheer squad. Photo: Peter Rafter
The Blackall Magpies cheer squad. Photo: Peter Rafter

Prior to the game, the cheer squad and old boys formed a guard of honour for the team, who were wearing replica jerseys from 100 years ago.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s silence observed for all past Blackall Magpies players.

The Magpies were pumped and started the game accordingly, getting away to a fast start; but after the break, Barcaldine came back into the game and made an exciting finish for the huge crowd to get involved in.

The Blackall Magpies run onto the field in their replica jerseys. Photo: Peter Rafter
The Blackall Magpies run onto the field in their replica jerseys. Photo: Peter Rafter

Much to the pleasure of the vocal Magpies faithful, Blackall ran out eventual winners, 26-12.

After the game, the club was presented a 100-year plaque from QRL Central chair Danny McGuire on behalf of the Queensland Rugby League.

Patrick 'Hector' Heumiller,  Danny McGuire, Phil 'Flop' Rooney and Peter Rafter.
Patrick 'Hector' Heumiller, Danny McGuire, Phil 'Flop' Rooney and Peter Rafter.

With 2020 not happening as far as local footy fixtures, the club auctioned off their replica playing jerseys from the night as their only fundraiser for the year.

No matter how hard things might be in the Outback, there are always some generous supporters wanting to give back to their local club and a huge amount was raised to keep the club moving forward in the future.

Drought can't suppress rural spirit

The night finished off with the usual post games celebrations and music.

It was certainly a wonderful weekend supported by some very grateful supporters of rugby league and the Blackall Magpies.