Axedale Ploughing Match 1879

From: The Bendigo Advertiser, 31 July 1879, page 3

The Axedale annual ploughing match was held yesterday at Mr. M. Boyle’s paddock, about a mile and a half from the Perseverance Hotel, Axe Creek, or thirteen miles from Sandhurst. The weather being exceedingly propitious for the day’s outing, a fair proportion of visitors attended the match from Sandhurst, including Mr. D. C. Sterry, the Mayor of the city, but the general attendance was not very large, and chiefly consisted of the farmers and their families, from the immediate neighborhood, who, however, appeared to take a lively interest in the match, and displayed great concern as to the result.

The convincing ground, which is rather prettily situated on the banks of the Axe Creek, was, although perhaps not the best that might have been choson, on account of the circumstance, that when the paddock was ploughed last, the furrows were cut very deep and run crosswise, was fairly suitable for the purposes of the match.

Notwithstanding tho slight disadvantages mentioned, however, the competitors appeared to be quite satisfied, and the work done was, as a general rule, of an excellent character. The committee, which consisted of Messrs. T. Donnellan, T. O’Rourke, D. Mills, J. Burke, A. Whitlock, J. White, W. S. Cahill, W. Cuthbert, R. O’Brien, J. W. Bywater, T. Craike, J. Martin, J, Harris, and J. O’Loughlin, deserve every credit for the interest they took in getting up the match, which it was at one period feared would have fallen through, and Mr. H. F. Dodd, the secretary, who was untiring in his energies in collecting subscriptions, ably backed up the committee in their efforts, which proved an unqualified suc-cess, and must be highly gratifying to these gentlemen. The judges were Messrs. J. D. Bywater, J. Patten, and F. Poynting, who performed their duties admirably.

The booth on the ground for the supply of comforts for the inner man was conducted by Mr. Drake, of the Campaspe Hotel, Axedale, who also catered for the committee, and served up a very good cold luncheon. As usual on such occasions some of the card sharping fraternity were in attendance, but business with them was apparently any thing but brisk.

Of the ploughing nothing but praise can be written, and on the whole, for its general excellence, the competitors in each class are to be highly complimented, the judges in some cases finding it exceedingly difficult to discriminate as to the merits of the work done by different competitors.

In Class C. (boys) the work was considerably beyond mediocrity, and it compared in a very favorable manner with the ploughing in the senior classes. The youngsters, however, had some advantage over the competitors in the adult classes, as the ground allotted to them was the pick of the field, that upon which the others operated being of a crumbly nature which rendered it hard to show off a crown to advantage, and the want of some rain to bind it together hotter, militated considerably against the appearance of tho work in the senior classes.

In Class A, the champion class, there were only four competitors, and the first prize was awarded to A. Mills, of Axedale, who used a plough of Lennon’s make, The chief points in Mills’ work were the neatness of his furrows and the excellence of his crown and finish.

The taker of the second prize, A. McKinley, of Redesdale, who used a Gardiner plough, did remarkably good work; his finish, however, was somewhat faulty, a point which greatly influenced the opinion of the judges, but his crown was so wall finished that he was awarded first prize for it as being the best of the whole.

The third prize was awarded to T. Mofiitt, of Axedale, who handled a plough of McVey’s make. His crown also was very good and the furrows were very straight and well packed.

In class B there were twelve competitors, the first prize being given to J. McGachey, of Bagshot, who used a Lennon plough. The furrows were exceedingly neat, although the ridges were perhaps a little narrow, but they were well packed, and the crown and finish being excellent the judges were fully warranted in giving him first prize.

The second prize was given to J. Slattery, of Leichardt, with a Leslie plough, who did good work, and the third to A. Wallis, of Marong, also with a plough belonging to the same maker.

The prize for the best finish in this class was given to J. McGachey, In class C, or the boys’ class, the work was of a really excellent character, and reflected great credit on the youthful competitors, among whom were several boys under fifteen years of age.

Out of eight who competed,, Wm. Wallis, of Marong, with a Leslie plough, was awarded the first prize, with W. Lyons, also of Marong, with the same make of plough, gaining second prize, and M. White, of Axedale, with a McVey plough, being awarded third honors. The work done by each of the competitors being of a first class description.

Annexed is the result of the competition:-

lass A.—1st prize, £5; {2nd, £3; 3rd, set of swingle trees, valued £1 1Os., presented by Mr. Cuthbert. Open to all, except those whom the committee shall consider as professionals. Entry, 7s. 6d.
A. Mills, Axedale (Lennon) … 1
A. M’Kenly, Redesdale (Gardiner) … … 2 .
Mofitt, Axedale (M’Vey) … … … 3
P. O’Sullivan, Wagamba, (Lennon) 0

Class B.—1st prize, £4; 2nd, £2; 3rd, set of plough back bands, valued 17s. 6d., presented by Mr. Probts, saddler, Clare Inn; 4th, pair of swingle trees, presented by Mr. M’Vey. No ploughman allowed to plough in this class who has ever won a 1st or 2nd prize in class A, or 1st prize in class B. Entry, 5s.

J. M’Gachey, Bagshot (Lennou) … … 1
John Slattery, Leichardt (Leslie) … … 2
A. Wallis, Marong (Leslie) ….3
J. Conroy, Axedale (Henderson) … … 4
T. White, Axedale (Cockburn) ….0
W. O’Loughlin, Sweeney Creek (Lennon) … 0
J. Martin, Axedale (M’Callum and Gade) … 0
M. Donnellan, Axedale (M’Vey) ….0
H. Ryan, Axedale (M’Vey) ….0
J. J. Sullivan, Wagamba (Lennon) ….0
A. Wirth, Axedale (M’Vey) … 0
M. Fitzpatrick, Axedale (Lennon) … … 0

lass C.—For youths not exceeding 17 years of age. 1st prize, £3; 2nd, £2; 3rd, pair of elastic-side boots, value £1 Is., presented by Mr. Whitlock. Entry, 2s. 6d.

W. Wallis, Marong (Leslie) … … … 1
W. Lyons, Marong (Leslie) ….2
M. White, Axedale (M’Vey) ….3
M. Hawkins, Axedale (Lennon) ….0
M. Quin, Axedale (Lennon) ….0
J. Harris, Axedale (Lennon) ….0
J. Whitlock, Axedale (Lennon ….0
J. Lynch, Axedale (Lennon) … 0

For the best crown, Wallis secured first prize and for the best finish,
J. Whitlock was awarded first honors. Besides the prizes above stated, several others, consisting of articles of clothing, were given, which allowed each competitor to have a prize. After the judges had given their decisions, the assemblage dispersed, although a good many left the ground before that time, as it was nearly dark before the results were made known, and some of the visitors had to travel long distances over bush roads.

It was remarked that the committee would have acted wisely if they had appointed more judges, or allowed the competitors in the champion class to judge the work in Class C., which would have been the means of facilitating the judging.

In the evening a ball was held at Drakes Campaspe Hotel, Axedale, which concluded the annual contest. In a pecuniary sense the match was so successful that after all prizes and expenses are paid, a surplus will remain, to go towards next year’s match, at which it is proposed to offer a silver cup, valued at £10 10s., to be competed for in Class A.

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

“AXEDALE PLOUGHING MATCH.” Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918) 31 July 1879: 3. Web. 2 Nov 2020 <;.

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