Puppy Play: Chester Hill Hornets JRLC
During the week, Bulldogs TV visited the Chester Hill Hornets JRLC to catch up with the kids from the under 8s.
The origins of Chester Hill Hornets began in 1946 when a C Grade team was formed in the District centred in the Western Suburbs Junior Competition and registered as Sefton. A big percentage of the players came from the Sefton-Chester Hill area.
In 1947, the club was reformed as Sefton-Chester Hill and entered B and C Grades in the Western Suburbs competition.
In 1948, most C Graders, being over the age of 18, it was decided to enter a B Grade side only under the name of Chester Hill.
On approaching Western Suburbs Juniors to register, their Committee, for some unknown reason, ruled that we were not eligible to play in their competition and told us to approach Canterbury-Bankstown Junior Rugby League.
On approaching Canterbury-Bankstown Junior Rugby League, our Secretary and Manager, Mr Frank Morgan, was told that there was no room for Chester Hill in their competition.
Frank Morgan then made representations to Parramatta Junior League and, after much discussion, they reluctantly agreed to register us as Chester Hill in their B Grade competition. We subsequently went through to win this competition, beating Merrylands 16-12 in the Grand Final, after losing only 2 games in the season. P Bruce was the captain/coach of the 1948 B Grade premiership winning side.
The next year, 1949, Parramatta ruled that having won a B Grade competition we were only eligible to play A Grade and having only a limited number of players and playing in open company, injuries took their toll and crippled our team and our record was very poor.
The following year, 1950, Chester Hill could not field a team and it was in this year that the club was eventually accepted by Canterbury-Bankstown Junior Rugby League and a C Grade team was entered in the competition.
Chester Hill won its first CBDJRL premiership in 1959 taking out the F/Grade (now under 15's). Chester Hill lost the game 9-6, but were awarded the premiership after a successful protest.
A young player first made a name for himself in 1968 at Chester Hill winning Best & Fairest for his N-Grade side. His name was Terry Lamb and he would play all his junior football at Chester Hill until the end of 1979 when in the following season he made his first grade debut for Western Suburbs Magpies.
In an attempt to add colour and character to the club it was decided to adopt a new emblem and name in 1971. A competition was held and all players in the club were asked to submit entries. Many entries were received covering a wide range of animals, birds and insects. It took many hours of debating and discussion before the decision to become the 'HORNETS'.
Chester Hill enjoyed great success in the late 1970's winning the Club Championship for six successive years from 1975 to 1980. The Hornets also won the International Club Championship in 1978 and 1979 and the Junior Club Championship in 1978 (and later on in 1995).
In 1977, a young front-rower by the name of Geoff Robinson made his first grade debut for Canterbury-Bankstown. He played for the Berries and Bulldogs until the end of 1986 representing the club in 239 grade games including three first grade grand finals and represented City Seconds in 1984.
In 1986, the Chester Hill Hornets produced its first International with the selection of Terry Lamb in the Australian Rugby League team. In the same Test match Bankstown Sports junior Steve Folkes also made his Test debut. Bankstown Council decided that both Terry Lamb and Steve Folkes would be honoured with sporting fields named after them. Chester Hill's ground which incorporates Abbott Park, Frank Bamfield Reserve and later on the Bill Lovelee Centre will be known as the Terry Lamb Complex in the late 1980's. Terry Lamb would go on to play 8 Tests, 8 State of Origins and 350 first grade matches in his professional career. He captained Canterbury to premiership success in 1995 and was named in the Top 100 Rugby League Players of All Time in 2008.
In 1989, Terry Matterson, another local junior from Chester Hill made his State of Origin debut for NSW. Terry Matterson represented the Brisbane Broncos with distinction between 1988 to 1996. He also played with the Eastern Suburbs Roosters and London Broncos. Terry Matterson won numerous awards when at Chester Hill including the 1974 CBDJRL Bill Delauney Medal.
In 2005, Corey Payne made his first grade debut for the Dragons. Corey Payne played all his junior league football for the Hornets and captained the Bulldogs at SG Ball level. Corey Payne regularly helps out the Hornets and in 2012 was acknowledged by the club with a special presentation for his achievements on and off the field. Corey Payne in 2012 was a member of the Bulldogs Grand Final squad, won the Bulldogs Clubman of the Year award, received a Churchill Fellowship Award and was named the NSW Young Australian of the Year. He announced his retirement in early 2013 to focus on his off field career.
In 2008, Jamal Idris made his first grade debut for the Bulldogs. Jamal Idris played for several clubs as a junior, but it all started for him in 1995 at the Hornets. He has since played one State of Origin for NSW and one Test for Australia.
Also in 2008, the Hornets won the Mini Club Championship for the first time with all three under 7's sides making the Grand Final.
With Belmore unavailable in 2009 one of the Grand Final days was held at the Terry Lamb Complex. The day was acknowledged by the junior league as being very well organised. The 2009 executive produced an outstanding day of success.
In 2011, the Hornets rebranded its club logo to become more modern and give it the change it needed as it seeked to move into the future. The 2011 season was a successful one for the Hornets winning four competitions and also taking out the Mini Club Championship. Only twice in its history before 2011 Chester Hill won four titles being in 1979 and 1992.
In 2012, after a very tough start to the season the Chester Hill Hornets took out the CBDJRL Club of Year for being the best managed club in the district - a fine honour for the all the people at the club. After missing out on hosting Grand Finals in 2010 and 2011 after the successful 2009 Grand Final Day the club was asked to host one of the Grand Final days for the second time. The day proved to be a great success.
The Under 13/1's side took out the club's 80th premiership in the Canterbury-Bankstown Junior Rugby League in 2012 when they defeated the Bankstown Bulls 20-6 at Lidcombe Oval. The same side backed up the following season in the Under 14's when they defeated St George Dragons 17-10 at Belmore Sports Ground to claim the club's first premiership under the Sydney Combined Competition (SCC) banner.
The 2014 season sees the Hornets fielding 18 sides an increase of two sides from the 2012 season, which was an increase from the 15 it fielded in 2012.