The Amalgamation

Letter sent to members of both clubs 2 July 1990:
"As most of you would have heard by now our two clubs are contemplating an amalgamation in time for the 1991 season, we are jointly taking this opportunity to inform you of the facts.
To date sub-committees of both Clubs have held two meetings to investigate the possibilities of an amalgamation.
Representing Napier High School Old Boys are: Bill Reilly, Graham Wall, Gary Macdonald, Jim Fitzsimons and Neil Tilton-Mist. From Napier Marist Old Boys are: Dennis Buckley, Ian MacRae, Kevin Murphy, Joe Kelly and Eddie Wilson.
As Chairmen of both Clubs we feel it is important that our members are kept informed through regular communiques as to our progress in these discussions, rather than hearing speculative comments from other sources."

Signed: Bill Reilly, Chairman Napier HSOB & Dennis Buckley, Chairman, Napier Marist Old Boys.


'Daily Telegraph' quotes: Mr Buckley said; "There had been no stumbling blocks in the joint discussions so far," and like Mr Reilly had previously indicated that he was hopeful that the combined working party could work out details to members of both clubs' satisfaction. "We want to advance quickly but we want to be seen to be doing it very correctly."
Both men applauded the co-operation between the two clubs to date. "If we are going to merge it will be by the end of the season so we can start operating together over the summer," said Mr Reilly. There was, however, considerable work to do before achieving that position. "Special meetings of both clubs will have to be called and will have to approve the proposal."



The Amalgamation continues.....

As something of a forerunner to a possible amalgamation ocurred in 1989 and again in 1990 when Napier Old Boys and Marist fielded a combined XV in the Division 3 grade which was coached by Barry McBride, as neither club had quite sufficient numbers to make up a competitive team in this grade on their own.
Napier Old Boys only other team at this stage had been relegated the previous year to Division 2. Under coach Jim Fitzsimons, Old Boys won the Division 2 grade in 1990 and the right to promotion back into Division 1 in 1991. Marist fielded a Division 1 (Premier), Division 2, Division 3A, (+ the Division 3B combined XV), Colts and Under 19 sides.



The Amalgamation begins....


 FLASHBACK - Those Were the Days - TeamTalk 1991


Under new Premier team coach Jim Fitzsimons Old Boys Marist kicked of the their pre-season rugby by picking up new clubs first silverware in winning the Hawkes Bay Sevens title at the Waipawa hosted tournament. The proven first five-halfback duo of Magpies Peter O'Shaughnessy and Neil Weber departed for an early season five match Australian tour as members of the NZ Divisional team.

The 1991 Spillane Tournament was replaced by a one-off national New Zealand Marist tournament hosted by the Marist St Pats Club in Wellington at Easter. Some 28 affiliated clubs from throughout the country participated in the 7 division event, which saw the the four metropolitan affiliates Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland clubs playing in division one. In division two Napier OBM played against the winners of the 1990 South Island Marist tournament Hokitika Wests RFC in their opening pool game winning convincingly 44-6.

In Easter Mondays final the new Napier club who led the other sections day one winner Hamilton Marist 22-6 at the break, went on to notch up a 40-12 win to take out the division two title and more silverware.

Napier's efforts were recognised by their consistent performances over the weekends competition with prop Greg Halford, lock Aaron Bartlett and the 'Leinster Express'  Mick Dennehy on the wing being selected for the New Zealand Marist XV.

Mick's nickname came courtesy of the Irish media when he played a season with the Skerries RFC as the Marist's Irish exchange player, and he proved his worth as a prolific try scorer in the Leinster competition. Mick also carried this through as a Magpie representative with his hat-trick in the Bays 43-6 win over neighbours Poverty Bay.


In this inaugural season for the new Club, Havelock North ended the Premiers Maddison Trophy hopes 15-26 in the semi-finals. The much bigger loss to the clubs Premier team was to Old Boys Marist's general Peter O'Shaughnessy who suffered a second bout of concussion in successive weeks. This unnecessary injury accounted for his premature early retirement from the game as a player and a major loss to both the new club and to Hawkes Bay rugby.

Peter's vast experience club, provincial and international levels has since been of great benefit to the club in the coaching field both at Premier and Junior levels.


The new club's first Hawkes Bay club competition game played at McLean Park was against old rivals Taradale resulting in a hard fought 15-6 win to Old Boys Marist.

The team finished the first round as runners-up winning 10 of their 11 matches, losing only to Clive 15-18.

The Premiers leading point scorers for the first up 1991 season were Peter O'Shaughnessy with 264 from 16 games club games. And Mick Dennehy with 21 tries from 16 games.


Teams fielded by the club in 1991 included - Premier, Division 2, Division 3, Division 4, Colts, Under 19. The Junior Club fielded 15 teams in the first year and six of their players were selected for the Napier Ross Shield XV. Karl McDonald went on to make the Hawkes Bay Ross Shield side.  Our Shamrock Golden Oldies team presented the club with a cheque for $1000 toward the purchase of gear for our Junior rugby division.


The club organised the Coca-Cola Invitation Sevens tournament at McLean Park which featured two teams from Napier Boys High, St John's College, Colenso High and two Old Boys Marist Colts teams. Pool one final saw an 18-14 to NBHS 'A' over NBHS 'B' and in Pool two St John's 'A' defeated OB Marist 'A' 24-4. The Napier Boys High 'A' sevens side went onto win the HB Secondary Schools Sevens title at the provincial tournament.

Of interest the Coca Cola tournament winning teams featured players who later 'teamed up with OB Marist'. From St John's - Clint Chamberlain, Mark O'Shaughnessy, Aidan Gilhooly, Mathew Hannan, Mike Kearney, Eddie Savage.  And from Napier BHS - Scott Taylor and Earl Anderson.


Under the guidance of coach Laurie Kaye the club fielded two teams in the North Island Marist Guinness Sevens which were hosted and run by the College Old Boys Marist Club in Taupo, and played at the Owen Delany Stadium. Sixteen teams from nine of the affiliated clubs participated in this inaugural event. The club's 'A' team recorded wins over Taupo OBM 30-6, Tauranga's Greerton Marist 20-6 and Wellington MSP 20-4 on their way to the Cup final against an impressive Auckland Marist lineup who tookout the title with a 40-14 win. Our 'B' combination had a default win over Marist North Harbour (maybe Sid McCann couldn't find his boots?), a 16-20 loss to MSP 'A', then wins over Palmerston North Marist 42-0, Hutt Valley Marist 22-16 to make the Plate final which saw Napier winning a tough encounter 12-7 against Counties Marist.


Club finances were assisted by what would proved to be a major source of income for several years - Housie. This was initially run from the Onekawa Hotel but then transferred to the club's Latham Street headquarters. This regular income stream was helped pay off two thirds of the club's $100K mortgage.  A great team of volunteers who ran the weekly operation included Joe Kelly, Jim Meredith, Neville Chittenden, Gerard O'Shaughnessy, Peter Loomes, Ron Halpin and the late Ian Winnie to name a few.

Non-playing member Bill Ripley was instrumental in getting an Old Boys Marist Supporters Club going. And John Hogan, one of a band of an enthusiastic 'youngsters' was the driving force behind the club's Shamrocks Golden Oldies team.

REPS 1991
NZ Divisional Team - Peter O'Shaughnessy, Neil Weber.
NZ Colts - Greg Halford.
The Club's first Hawke's Bay 'A' representative players - Aaron Bartlett, Mick Dennehy, Gary Exeter, Alan Gardiner, Greg Halford, Mark McHattie, Neil Weber.
Hawkes Bay Sevens - Mick Dennehy, Gary Exeter, Alan Gardiner, Jonathon O'Dowd, Peter O'Shaughnessy, Neil Weber.

Premier prop Pat Benson, also a noted Ocean Beach Kiwi Surf Club member received Surf Life Saving New Zealand's highest honour when he was named 'NZ Surf Lifeguard of the Year'.

The Old Boys-Pirates and Marist Cricket Clubs amalgamated during the winter to be become the Napier Old Boys Marist Cricket Club in preparation for the new club's teams to enter the HBCA 1991/92 club competition.

The officers of the new cricket club were: Chairman - Lee Ford. Secretary - Brian O'Rourke. Treasurer - John O'Shaughnessy. Club Captain - Lawrence Willis. Committee - Jeff Blake, Matt Browne, Bernie Duley, Phil Stevens, Mike Swaysland.
The club fielded a Premier, Senior 1, Senior 2, Senior 3, Presidents and Womens teams.

And Did You Know?  Who scored the new club's first 'ton' - Stu Gourdie (Senior 2 batsman) with 101 on the opening day of the season. And in the bowling stakes veteran (and also rugby club President) Blair Furlong, after a two year lay-off captured his fourth hat-trick - in a career spanning almost three decades.

Coaches Appointed - At the conclusion of the 1991 season, Laurie Kaye and Graham Weber were appointed coaches of the Premier team for the 1992 season.

The club's NZ Marist Colt on the tour of the Nelson - West Coast regions was Anthony Hannan.

1991 Napier Old Boys Marists first Sportsman of the Year - Shane Gibson.

Napier old Boys Marist Rugby Club's Inaugural Committee 1991


Back row: Bill Reilly, Graham Woolhouse, Graham Wall, Gary Macdonald, Phil Beck.
Middle row: Ian Winnie, Peter Greene, Richard Nichol, Ross McDonald, Mark Tremain, Ian MacRae.
Front row: Jim Meredith, Kevin Murphy, Linda Hogan (Secretary), Denis Buckley (Chairman), Sheril Woolhouse (Treasurer), Blair Furlong (President), Bruce Hawkins (Patron)