Bulimba Cup Referees

The Bulimba Cup was a representative rugby league competition contested by the Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba Rugby Leagues. In 1931, the Northern Rivers Rugby League (Lismore) also participated. It was first contested in 1925 and was concluded in 1972. The competition was normally played as a round-robin with each team playing each other twice. On the rare occasions when teams finished evenly at the conclusion of 6 games, a playoff was held to determine the winner. In 1929 an extra round was played. From 1969 onwards, a final was held.

Due to the public interest, especially from the Ipswich and Toowoomba press, almost every administrative decision and detail was debated in the public forum. Referee selections were problematic. In 1926, it was decided that each league would submit three names (usually from the respective referees’ association) and prior to the kick off to the game, both leagues would decide on the neutral referee. In this manner, the two (2) Ipswich v Toowoomba games in any given year were officiated by Brisbane Referees. From 1968, the visiting team nomination would be appointed.

Due to the plurality of the neutral referee system many selections had to be made by the Queensland Rugby League Referees’ Association as the arbitrators. Sometimes the referee announcement was made within hours of the scheduled game. The Brisbane press, in particular were critical of outside referees and the Brisbane Rugby League regularly attempted to overturn the neutral referee system. During 1931 to 1938, the selection method was made by the hosting league regardless of the referees’ association.

According to one source1, the referee had to overcome a strong Queensland (or maybe Brisbane) prejudice against refereeing from the blind side and later states that both Frank Moynihan and Laurie Kearney (both former Brisbane test referees) were against the style. Nevertheless, the Brisbane referees’ selected in the games, held the honour and in many instances, being a former Bulimba Cup referee was regarded with respect.

  1. Anon. Praise for Referee, Sydney Morning Herald 23rd July 1945 p7
YearRefereesYearReferees
1972Des Creedy (I), Lloyd Cronin (T), Ron Harbottle1971Henry Albert, Tom Barrett (T), Des Creedy (I), Lloyd Cronin (T), Ian Wallace (I)
1970Henry Albert, Edgar Carter (T), Des Creedy (I), Dale Coogan1969Des Creedy (I), Lloyd Cronin (T), Don Lancashire
1968Henry Albert, Des Creedy (I), Lloyd Cronin (T), Errol Gilbert (T), Don Lancashire1967Henry Albert, Bob Diflo (I), Errol Gilbert (T), Don Lancashire
1966Henry Albert, Jack Lee (I), Roy Massey (T)1965Henry Albert, Nev Bousen (T),Bob Diflo (I), Don Lancashire
1964Henry Albert, Nev Bousen (T), Bob Diflo (I), Don Lancashire1963Nev Bousen (T), Bob Diflo (I), Don Lancashire
1962Ken Castles (T), Bob Diflo (I), Nev Kelly, Don Lancashire1961Henry Albert, Bill Gayler (I), Roy Massey (T), Nev Kelly
1960Ken Castles (T), Bill Gayler (I), Nev Kelly, Jack Purtell (T), Col Wright1959Jack Casey (I), Bill Gayler (I), Jack Purtell (T), Col Wright
1958Jack Casey (I), Nev Kelly, Jack Purtell (T), Col Wright1957Jack Casey (I), Jack Purtell (T), Col Wright, Vic Vercoe (T)
1956Jack Casey (I), Nev Kelly, Col Wright, Vic Vercoe (T)1955Jack Casey (I), Norm Castley (T), Col Wright, Vic Vercoe (T)
1954Frank Ballard, Johnny Hoffman (I), Vic Vercoe (T)1953Frank Ballard, Johnny Hoffman (I), Vic Vercoe (T)
1952Stan Chambers, Johnny Hoffman (I), Harry Riethmuller (T), Vic Lynagh, Vic Vercoe (T)1951Stan Chambers, Johnny Hoffman (I), Harry Riethmuller (T), Col Samford (I)
1950Frank Ballard, Johnny Hoffman (I), Vic Lynagh, Harry Riethmuller (T)1949Frank Ballard, Stan Chambers, Johnny Hoffman (I), Harry Riethmuller (T), Fred Russell (T)
1948Stan Chambers, Johnny Hoffman (I), Harry Riethmuller (T), Harry Riethmuller (T), Vic Vercoe (T)1947Frank Ballard, Les McMahon (I), Harry Riethmuller (T)
1946Stan Chambers, Les McMahon (I), Fred Russell (T)1945Stan Chambers, Pat Duggan (I), Les McMahon (I), Fred Russell (T)
1944Stan Chambers, Eddie Felgenhauer (T), Ray Fuller (T), Les McMahon (I), Ron White1943No games
1942No games1941Stan Beavis (T), Len Jacobsen, Frank Moynihan, Cyril Walsh (I)
1940Stan Beavis (T), Stan Chambers, Stan Robertson, Cyril Walsh (I)1939Stan Beavis (T), Jack Brady, Frank Moynihan, Cyril Walsh (I)
1938Frank Moynihan, Cyril Walsh (I), Les Wood (T)1937Frank Moynihan, Cyril Walsh (I), Les Wood (T)
1936Frank Moynihan, Jim Simpson (I), Les Wood (T)1935Frank Moynihan, Jim Simpson (I), Les Wood (T)
1934Frank Moynihan, Jim Simpson (I), Cyril Walsh (I), Les Wood (T)1933Frank Moynihan, Jack Quinlan, Frank Partridge (T), Jim Simpson (I)
1932Alf Matsdorf, Mick O'Connor, Frank Partridge (T), Jim Simpson (I)1931Alf Matsdorf, Frank Partridge (T), Jack Quinlan, Stan Russell, Jim Simpson (I)
1930Jack Quinlan, Frank Partridge (T), Jim Simpson (I)1929Cecil Broadfoot (T), Reg Leighton, Jack Quinlan, Jim Simpson (I)
1928Cecil Broadfoot (T), Reg Leighton (I), Ernie Silverton1927Reg Leighton (I), Jack Quinlan, Ernie Silverton, Jack Steele (T)
1926Reg Leighton (I), Alf Matsdorf, Jack Steele (T)1925Reg Leighton (I), Jim Ollier (T), Jack Roche
(I) Ipswich, (T) Toowoomba

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