Footy at the Lakes (Lake Cargelligo)


by David Ogilvy

When I was at the Bowling club having a quiet drink and keeping dehydration at bay I mentioned to one of my mates the I hadnt got to the footy at Lake Cargelligo this year.

After he announced he’d be a starter ( and he has had 50 years of playing and administering we rounded up another “Traveller” and headed off

None of us had been to Ungarie before (where the match between Barellan and the Lakes was to be played) – its a great drive and the two retired “cockies” were soon discussing crops and rainfall

All of the towns in this league suffer from rural decline and the movement of youth away for jobs and further education is evident. We discussed what could be done and came up with no brilliant ideas for the Politicians

The Ungarie oval is a picture perfect bush oval on the outskirts of town and it was filled with cars and people as there were two senior finals played that day

We manouvered into a narrow parking space and watched the first part game one from the comfort of the car as rain clouds swept the ground. However hunger soon had us over to the food stall ($5 steak sandwiches were well worth the drive)

It wasnt long before I caught up with Peter McFadyen the President of the League ( a Lakes farmer ) and  excellent worker and great community man and his very able Secretary Ian Aubrey as they darted in and out of the time keepers box collecting stats and keeping time

They introduced us to a smiling most affable Pat Daniher (a cousin of the Essendon greats(Pat who has played in more teams and leagues imaginable  was the previous President of the League). He  gave us a run down on the League and teams. Hes having a “sea change” at present following his son in Motorcross across southern and central NSW and farming (so then my mates could get the low-down on whats happening in the district farming-wise as well)

The Lakes match had everthing you could want in a final. No quarter asked by both teams and none given

It was close all day

As I remarked that there were never brawls in this league and unduly rough play a mellee errupted and Barellan lost focus and the Lakes kicked away to score a win(though they lost the two previous games to Barellan this year)

The Lakes have lost a couple of last years Premiership team but a tall teacher from Parkes and champion ruckman has been appointed to the School (what a pick up)

He compliments the skilled “runners” the great ball carriers and the “accurate  kicks” and a dour no nonsence full back (who kept Barellan at bay early) and deserve the shot at another flag

Stan Hague their tireless President (who was very ill last year) told me at the three quarter time huddle that he thought the “boys” could win if they withstood the early onslaught and was beaming as the boys went to the shed to sing the Club song (Pat Daniher remarked earlier that Barellan had “recruited well” but Stan was more blunt -these boys play for us)

We ran into two retired Warnambool farmers travelling north and great country people all through the day

Before long and after more “farm talk ” we were back at the Lakes for presentations and a meal where we mixed with locals players and officials – one big day

I will leave the last words to Peter McFadyen “I will cop phone calls from Barellan tomorrow” and one of our travellers who said “days like this dont get any better”


  1. johnharms says

    I love that a ruckman was recruited from Parkes.

  2. Pamela Sherpa says

    Sounds like a wonderful day out in the country

  3. Great story, David. In the 1920s, the Danihers’ grandad flattened the nose of a fast, cheeky rover – my grandad.

Leave a Comment