Page 11 of 26
The 1980 Nationals were held at Dumpu with Graham Spackman as umpire. His wife Jenny helped, and was the reporter/photographer for polocrosse magazines. They had visited Goroka earlier to coach the Goroka Club. Three Junior teams competed. To give them more competition they played preliminary games against the C Grade teams. In the final, Goroka (David Hannon, Bill Gardiner, Chris. Lamond, James, Mike Hannon and Jamie Launder) defeated Lae (Mark Buhler, Monique Corielja, Jodie Smith, Jackie Kennedy, Michael Beirne and Pauline Robertson) -11-7.
1980 PNG National Titles
(Back Row) Bruce Jephcott - President, Graham Spackman - Umpire and
Goroka - Paul Frame, Sandy Kosi, Dan Leahy, George Brugh (with AL Rose Cup), Arthur Jones, Bob Hannon
(Front Row) Lae - Neil Donaldson, Heather Pegg, Waubi Tupundi, John Harsent, Charlie Edmunds, Bruce Duffield, Trevor Kennedy
In the C Grade the Hagen Hot Dogs playing in their first Nationals defeated Ramu C 13-4. Playing for the Hot Dogs were Bob Lamond (more usually seen on the racecourse), Geoff and Lyn Gardiner, Joe Godden, Mangus and Sarhi. The Ramu team comprised Lucas2, Lucas1, Barb, William, Yavieng, and Kori.
RamuB (Elias, Osifa, Kunda, Grant, Sandy and Rob) 13 defeated GorokaB (Phil Frame, Brian Greathead, Gordon Spannigal, Steve Hodge, Aitape and Jan Jones).
The tables were turned in the A Grade, first Lae A (Duffield, Edmonds, Neil Donaldson, Harsent, Kennedy and Waubi) 8 defeated Ramu A (Kipas, Ben, Kimao, Mata, Dorothy, Bruce) 6. Lae went on to play in their first A Grade final but lost 11-8 to Goroka A (Jones, Brugh, Hannon, D.Leahy, Kosi and Paul Frame) in a close match. The individual trophies included best 1, 2 and 3 in every grade; the best men's player was Bob Hannon, the Best Lady Player, Dorothy and the new Impact Trophy for the Best Horse was awarded to Dan Leahy's Beau Geste.
Ramu Sugar had bought the Gusap, Leron, Munum and Narakapor cattle stations in 1979. By 1980 the Booker Tate management team was in place, the general manager being Mr.Arthur Beavers. He did not approve of the ranching section staff playing polocrosse. He considered it a privilege that the sugar workers did not receive. After much lobbying, mainly by Bruce and Barbara Jephcott he found out that eleven Gusap stockmen wished to play, and conceded that the ranches, being away from the main centre, needed a sport. Later we arranged a carnival at Ramu Sugar to interest the public there. Some of the ex-patriate management staff and their families not only came to Dumpu as spectators but also played. Carnivals were held in May at Lae, June at Goroka and Ramu.
By 1981, with more women players the carnival at Dumpu on 27/28 June was for A Grade, Mixed, C Grade and Junior competitions. The social arrangements were as usual but the charge was K25 for adults, K10 for National Players and junior players and visitors under 15, and K5 for young children. We tried to get the Clubs to collect for their players and visitors. Ramu hosted another carnival in August, before the Nationals held at Goroka in September. Goroka Club had been strong all year and favoured themselves to take out all grades. Fifteen teams were competing. The visiting umpire and coach was Neville Gilpin. He had visited Dumpu to coach, he also help train racehorses. When Beil (Owned by Ken Fairweather) beat Dumpu's best thoroughbred, Star Prince, in a trail he had a good tip for the Ladies race at Nadzab. e Sandy won a Ladies race too convincingly on Beil, a small horse which also played polocrosse, and went on to win several races. The PNG horses were versatile. Beil was named after the Dumpu tractor driver; they each had crooked noses.
At the Nationals Goroka Juniors defeated both Lae teams. Mathew Tuckerman was the new player in the Goroka team, while Keepas Kamare, Damien and Paul Duffield, Hunter Beirne and Ewen Harsant were in the Lae team. PNG polocrosse was becoming more and more a family sport. Goroka and Ramu each fielded two teams in the C Grade. With the Gusap stockmen back in the Ramu Club it was not short of players, nor was Goroka or Lae. Mt.Hagen also had a B Grade team with new players Laurie Stapleton, D. Stoddart and T.Straun joining J.Godden, Lyn.Gardiner and Bob Lamond.
In the final of the C Grade Ramu (Sulli, Lucas2, Osifa, Yavieng, Anis and Benson defeated Goroka ( Aitape, P.Frame,D.Orth, Meg.Taylor, Jan Jones and William.).
In the B Grade Ramu (Grant, Sandy, Rob.Blomfield, Peter Grant, Kori and Mata) defeated Goroka (Brian Greathead, Steve Hodge, Gordon Spannagle, S.Guy, John Tuckerman, and Gordon Guy).
By then, the Ramu Club members thought we may have done our dash. Rain threatened and it showered during the A Grade final. Goroka (Arthur Jones, George Brugh, Bob Hannon, Dan Leahy, Paul Frame and Sandy Kosi) maintained a slender led most of the time and went in the final chukka three goals ahead. Elias scored three quick goals, supported by Kerri and Ben. It was extra time again. Dot on a big mare, Venus, got the ball out of the line out, and struggled across to Kimao, while Kipas tried to keep the Goroka horde at bay. Kimao scored, Ramu won again in extra time, and unexpectedly. Most of the individual trophies went to the Ramu team also; Elias was Best Player and A Grade No.1, Keri- No.2, Kosi No.3. In the B Grade the winners were Grant, Heather Atherton, Rob.Blomfield; in the C Grade - Sulli, Anis, Osifa and Dumpu's Daybreak was judged the Best Horse. Goroka had been strong all year and were the favourites. We also won the celebrations at the Clubhouse!