Players bitter sweet reflections
THE 1980s started with the Brahmans winning the North Queensland B Grade Final in Townsville in 1980, 1981 and 1982 under the leadership of Edgar Fossey, Mick Maloney and Steve Hansard.
The 1980 team had been beaten 23-15 by Cloncurry the previous year but managed to reverse the result a year on by beating them 24-16.
This side contained Laurie Goldman at the end of his career and Eddie Muller at the beginning of his, while Doug Garrity won the Heatley Blazer.
Muller would later say that he played with some of the better forwards in Australia like David Gillespie, Peter Kelly and Peter Tunks but none dominated a game like Goldman.
The 1981 team, minus Muller, beat a strong Richmond team 11-5. This team was basically the 1978 Proserpine under-20 team with Mick Maloney, Luchie Gardel, Laurie Goldman and Col White.
In 1982 Proserpine appointed Steve Hansard as captain/coach. Hansard quickly combined a lethal backline with Brahmans North Queensland halfback Billy Lade and Queensland Country player John McDonald, Whitsunday backs Mel Deicke and Graham Shoebridge, Whitsunday forwards Luchie Gardel, Ross and Lindsay McNeill and Eddie Muller.
They once again went to Townsville and non-stop lock forward Lindsay McNeill won the best player award when they won 41-13 against a Cloncurry side.
After sunshine there is normally rain and the departure of Eddie Muller to Souths in Brisbane and Graham Shoebridge to Easts coincided with Collinsville signing Frank Baker.
The strength of Collinsville at one point in the mid-1980's could be gauged by the fact that eight of their players were in the North Queensland team. Frank Baker, Paul Bleakney, Michael Smith, David Brunker, Rodney Brunker, Les Morrissey, Ricky Batchelor and Adrian Brunker all wore the sky blue and white of North Queensland in this period.
Players like Bowen's Mike McLean who later played for Queensland, Graham Buckingham, Greg Ellis and Murray Schultz always made for an interesting game.
However Collinsville dominated with trips to Townsville in 1983,1984,1985,1988 and 1989 with a resurge by the Brahmans in 1986 and 1987 when they were beaten 10-4 by Hughenden and 30-22 by Cloncurry.
For more information about the reunion phone Andrew Colborne on 0417629501 or simply book online at Whitsundaytickets.com.au