THE Dagma Gleeson Memorial Trophy will remain in Chinchilla for at least the next twelve months – and now it rightfully belongs there – after the long lost silverware was won by the Bulldogs at the weekend following a 36 year hiatus.

The trophy, named after the matriarch of one of country Queensland’s well known rugby league families, resurfaced for the first time in decades on Saturday when the Chinchilla Bulldogs hosted the Miles Devils to kick off round two of the south western competition.

Dagma Gleeson’s family had donated the trophy in her honour following her death in 1981, to be awarded to the winner of neighbouring town rivalry games between Chinchilla and Miles.

It was last won by the Devils in 1986 but, as club president Ken Brown told the Caller last week, the trophy never made it to Miles because the team “must have partied so hard that night that we forgot to bring it back home with us”.

It was dusted off and revived for the clash on Saturday to coincide with the Chinchilla club’s annual Ladies Day, and Bulldog Park was in full flight with hundreds of spectators by the time A-graders took the field.

Chinchilla Bulldogs A-grade captain Matt Eising with sponsor representative Fred Betham from Lawrence & Hanson

Chinchilla put on some quick tries but it was clear the Miles Devils, who ran out as underdogs, had turned up with the belief they could win.

Three of the Devils’ modern greats – centre Luke Kuhl, fullback Jamie Kerwick and utility forward Wayne Collie – strapped the boots back on for the local derby, and their experience helped keep the visitors composed despite early setbacks on the scoreboard.

By half time it was 14-6 to the Bulldogs and the scoreboard didn’t change until the final twenty minutes when Chinchilla found another gear.

Fullback Romada Barnes and centre Declan Bell were among the Bulldogs try scorers, while Kerwick and Kuhl combined for a nice Miles backline try in the dying minutes to bring the final score to 28-12 to Chinchilla.


What followed after full time was a huge Ladies Day celebration to highlight the role of the girls and women involved with the Chinchilla Bulldogs.

A-grade’s pink jerseys were auctioned off to a crowd of hundreds with proceeds being put back into the club.

The average price was close to $1,000 while the top price was more than $2,000 for the jersey worn by Bulldogs captain Matt Eising.

Bulldogs president Charlie Redgen said the success of the Dagma Gleeson Memorial Trophy and Ladies Day highlighted the growing strength of the club.



“I think the club is really turning around. We had a great preseason and got good numbers back at training,” Redgen said.

“There’s a lot of good things happening at Bulldog Park and I have to mention the efforts of our vice president, Tom Brett.

“He’s had the fields looking brilliant, especially before those few frosts we’ve had. He’s here three days a week, moving and fertilising and staying on top of it.

“We’ve got a new scoreboard and a new cold room and all of the facilities are working well. We’ve got all the right people in the right places and we’re really grateful for the hard work of the women involved in the club for putting on a great Ladies Day.

“Our sponsors are great, they’ve been very loyal and we really appreciated their support.

“The main thing is the culture of the club, that’s our main focus. We want to get back to winning lots of footy and enjoying it. It was good to get the win over Miles and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

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