A Champion Rugby League Team

    A Champion Rugby League Team. Sporting stars emerge from small towns.
    Champion School Team photo Back row L-R Phillip Pankhurst, Nick Rose, Michael Fitzpatrick, Paul Gillogly, Steve Rampling, Gavin Galvin (Capt) Middle row Trevor Galvin (Coach) Peter Whitton, Shannon Barratt, Adam Williams, Shane Rampling, Brad Allen, Chris Hill (Manager) Bottom row Jamie Craddock, Nick Brien, Peter Fitzpatrick, Matt Rose, Shane Rampling, Anthony Patch

    A champion rugby league team

    Sporting stars emerge from small towns.

    And, it is happening now as many kids from Bingara Central represent at zone, region, and state. Every one of these kids is a “star” in their own right.


    Most little towns are the same, and these school stars help sustain senior team sports. However, in the digital age sport often ranks after many other attractions, and sadly, fewer players move to the senior sport.

    This is certainly the case at present in Bingara. The Bullets Rugby League Club was once sustained by the inflow of kids, but this is not the case now, there are simply not enough numbers.

    Rugby League has been dormant for a number of years and it will take a great effort to get the club going again. But, it would be wrong to just blame it on the lack of kids coming through as there are many things at play. All team sports are suffering as people have other priorities.

    But, this was not always the situation. Twenty years ago a miraculous group of kids emerged from Bingara Central in what can be described as a lifetime event.

    Most of them had played minor league, starting in the under eight years and they gradually moved through the age groups. The skills they gathered improved as they progressed and it was obvious many would become quality players.

    But, it takes a lot more than quality players to rise to the very top and become a significant part of a town’s history. And, their rise to the top is certainly a story worth telling.

    Let me explain.

    Group 19 Minor Champions 1991.

    In 1989 Trevor Galvin, a Northern Division representative from the 1960s, coached the Bingara Minor League under 14 years team in the Group 19 competition.

    After defeating Warialda in the final, the team lost the grand final 26-30 to East Inverell. Unfortunately, the players had to sit out 1990 due to lack of numbers, but everything came together for 1991.

    Trevor was again appointed coach and after losing the first game to Glen Innes 16-26, the team won the next nine games. The players scored a massive 282 points for with only 136 against.

    Included in the wins was a 28-8 revenge over Glen Innes in the second round.  This set the stage for a terrific tussle in the semi-finals.

    Bingara lost the major semi-final 12-16 to Glen, defeated Inverell 32-0 in the final, and the team travelled to Inverell for the grand final against Glen Innes.

    In what would have been an anti-climax, the teams played out a 16 all draw and were declared joint champions. However, a draw should not detract from the performance. Glen Innes, with a population about four times bigger than Bingara, was a rugby league powerhouse.

    For Bingara the joint title capped off a great year following their performance in the state-wide competition.

    Commonwealth Bank NSW Country Central School’s competition

    During the season Bingara Central School had nominated an under 16 years team in the Commonwealth Bank NSW Country Central School’s competition.

    It was conducted on a knock-out basis with the top four schools playing the finals in Dubbo.

    Trevor, who was employed by the school, was asked to coach the team which contained most in the minor league under 16 years. Plus, a few younger kids.

    To say it was a successful campaign is an understatement.

    The toughest game for Bingara was a second-round 36-10 win over Holy Trinity Inverell. Earlier was a 34-4 win over Ashford and later a 36-4 defeat of Bonalbo. It was then off to Dubbo for the finals.

    Coleambally was crushed 26 2 in the semi-final and followed by an equally impressive grand final win of 36-7over combined Cootamundra–Harden.

    Paul Gillogly was judged the player of the series.

    However, it was a team of stars who Trevor had molded into a champion team.

    Champion team

    There is no doubt that the 1991 team contained an exceptional number of super players who went on to have extended careers in the game.

    When Trevor was asked how he coached so many talented players, he explained:

    ‘I convinced them that simple things like draw and pass would win games, rather than individual performance. This was a real challenge because they were all so good, but the team had to come first.

    The other thing I worked on was always back up. For example, lock Mathew Rose was fast enough to support the backs. And once the players got the idea that backing up worked, the teamwork had started to flow.’

    The forwards were awesome and Trevor built his game around them. Paul Gillogly and Steve Rampling were in the front row with hooker Anthony Patch, the second rowers were Shannon Barrett and Shane Hancock, with Rose at lock.

    In wrapping up his memories of the year, Trevor also paid tribute to the three Barraba boys, Troy Odell, Matthew Jobson, and Trent Brindle who joined the squad to play minor league.

    He also acknowledged the Bingara boys who attended school elsewhere but played minor league when home on holidays.

    Captain Gavin Galvin was a stand-out. To amass seventeen best & fairest awards is a testament to his ability. He played halfback in 1991 and later moved to five-eight, a position he filled when playing first grade for North Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, and South Grafton.  He had few peers in the bush and it’s surprising he was not contracted by Sydney or Brisbane-based clubs.

    By 1992 most of the players had left school to pursue work. Gavin joined the Bullets while still, sixteen had a season in reserve grade before becoming a star first grader. He was soon picked up by South Grafton.

    As for the others, a few details follow.

    Steve Rampling secured a contract with Manly and was their run-on front-rower in the under18 years’ team. However, after a year of city living, much to the despair of his club, he returned home. He signed with Moree Boars in Group 4 and was judged the player of their grand final win over West Tamworth. He was only 19 years. While he had many years with the Bullets, injuries were a continuing problem.

    Shane Rampling Steve’s older brother was picked up by the Brisbane Broncos. He moved to the London Broncos and then coached in England for about five years. He now coaches Boggabri in the Group 4 competition.

    Brett Nay was a fearsome competitor on the field who gave great service to the Bullets. He also played in Warialda’s first-grade premiership teams.

    Brad Allen was only 14 years when selected in the under 16s. He went on to have a wonderful career in rugby union, playing and coaching. Highlights would have been his premiership with the Bathurst Bulldogs and representing the powerful Central West in the country championships.

    Shane Hancock, Jamie Craddock, and Paul Gillogly were long-term Bullets players.

    No specific details are available of the playing careers of the other team members. However, many were known to have continued playing, some at the top level.

    Now twenty years on the memories are still fresh of their contribution to rugby league.  Their performance was up with Bingara’s best, and the players and Trevor deserve their place in history.

    Bingara Minor League Football Team Under 16s 1991

    Group 19 Competition


    NumbersNamesGamesTacklesTriesGoalsBest & Fairest
    1Fitzpatrick, M1021   
    2Fitzpatrick, P9455  
    3Nay, Brett8124149
    4Rampling, Shane9795 3
    5Young, D755   
    6Jobson, M9799279
    7Galvin, Gavin91179 17
    8Gillogly, Paul9698 9
    9Patch, Anthony81439 6
    10Rampling, Steve219   
    11Barrett, S9602  
    12Odell, T548   
    13Rose, Matty9108426
    14Brien, Nick655   
    15Pankhurst, P9351 1
    16Hancock, Shane1035   
    17Craddock, Jamie964   
    18Allen, Brad6221  
    19Williams, A418   
    20Whitton, P310   
    21East, C213   
    22Rose, N215   
    23Brindle, T429   

    Bingara Minor League Football Team Under 16s

    Group 19 Competition 1991

    Joint Premiers with Glen Innes

    Game results

    OppositionsGame ResultBingaraOppositions
    Glen InnesLost1626
    Moree EastWon560
    Moree WestWon2616
    Moree EastWon3012
    Glen InnesWon288
    Moree WestWon1612
    10 Games 282104
    Semi- Glen InnesLost1216
    Final- InverellWon320
    Grand Final Glen InnesDraw1616
    13 Games 342136

    Bingara Central School

    State Commonwealth Bank Shield  Competition

    Holy Trinity InverellWon3610
    Final Cootamundra- Harden  Won  36  7
    5 Games 16827
    18 Games 510163
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