The Casino R.S.M. Cobras Football Club of today traces it’s origins as far back as 1933 when senior men’s teams from Casino first battled against teams from Lismore.
Soccer was being played informally prior to WW2 in the Lismore area by locals and by teams of overseas soldiers stationed around Lismore in the final years of the war. There were Americans in Lismore and Casino, English in Evans Head, Dutch and Indonesians in Casino and Indians in Lismore.
In 1948 a formal competition began with just four teams: Casino ‘Rebels’, Lismore City (Premiers), Methodist United, Goonellabah-Stars. That number would grow over the successive years as the Rebels continued to participate in the competition.
Lismore City (Eastwood United/Workers)
Methodist United (Boomerangs)
Church of Christ Crusaders (Thistles)
Lismore City (2)
The Casino “Rebels” (also referred to as the Casino Soccer Club) first game during the 1949 Season was played on the 25th of June 1949 against Lismore City (now Lismore
Workers) at Carrington Park, Casino (now known as Queen Elizabeth II Park).
A newspaper report in September 1949 proclaimed: “Casino beaten, but not disgraced.”
“Lismore City downed Casino Rebels 4-1, but Casino attacker Jack Dalmayer, was given little chance to show his ability and mainly played a defensive game. The report continued; “The loss of Casino back Jack Davy late in the first half was a hard blow to Casino. Davy was knocked unconscious when he was struck on the back of the head by a ball kicked by team mate, Stan Pendrigh.”
A major premiership for the Rebels in 1950 would remain the only top grade title for Casino for at least 47 years. Other memorable titles during this early period include: undefeated Third Division Major Premiers 1956; Third Division undefeated Minor and Major Premiers 1977; Second Division Premiers 1980; Premier Division Major Premiers 1997 and 1st Division Minor and Major Premiers 2014.
Soccer Far North Coast Inc. (1999). The First 50 Years, 1949-1998. Lismore City Printery.
1997 – Casino Cobras Take Cyril Out of Lismore For the First Time in Almost 50 Years
In 1997 Casino Cobras won their first grand final and became the first club from outside Lismore to win the Cyril Mayo Cup for the Premier Division championship in almost 50 years. The long-defunct Casino Rebels won the inaugural grand final and the Arthur Brand Cup in 1950 in a disputed grand final replay against Eastwood United.
In 1997 Casino Cobras finished on equal points with Lismore Workers (their 14th premiership including 10 as Eastwood United) but second on goal difference in the 12-team Premier Division:
|Position||Club||Points||1997 Finals||Results & Venues||Scorers|
|Premiers||Lismore Workers||48||Minor Preliminary Semi-final (4th v 5th)||Lismore Thistles 2 defeated Byron Bay 0 @ Bangalow Recreation Reserve||Lismore Thistles – Chris Harley, Todd Franks|
|2nd||Casino||48||Major Preliminary Semi-final (2nd v 3rd)||Casino 1 defeated Goonellabah 0 @ Oakes Oval, Lismore||Casino – Ken Reichmann|
|3rd||Goonellabah||44||Minor Semi-final||Goonellabah 2 defeated Lismore Thistles 0 @ Nielson Park, East Lismore||Goonellabah – Leo Silva, Greg Huxtable (penalty)|
|4th||Lismore Thistles||38||Major Semi-final||Casino 1 defeated Lismore Workers 0 @ Weston Park, Goonellabah||Casino – Dave Hood|
|5th||Byron Bay||35||Preliminary Final||Lismore Workers 1 defeated Goonellabah 0 after extra time (0-0 at full-time) @ Thistles Park, East Lismore||Lismore Workers – Glen Gilchrist|
|6th||Italo Stars||34||Grand Final||Casino 2 defeated Lismore Workers 1 @ Oakes Oval, Lismore||Casino – Stewart Coughran, Paul WiltshireLismore Workers – Brad Bosworth|
In the major preliminary semi-final Casino defeated Goonellabah 1-0 at a packed Oakes Oval thanks to a Ken Reichmann chip over Goonellabah’s goalkeeper Paul Hickey. This game was played as a curtain-raiser to a pre-season Ericcson Cup (National Soccer League) game between Brisbane Strikers and Marconi which attracted more than 5,000 fans.
In the major semi-final at Weston Park, Casino defeated Lismore Workers 1-0 with a first half goal by Dave Hood, and made history by reaching their first ever grand final. Lismore Workers reached the grand final after defeating Goonellabah 1-0 in the preliminary final after a 108th minute extra time goal by Glen Gilchrist.
The grand final between Casino and Lismore Workers was played at a water-logged Oakes Oval. A wild storm including rain, wind and thunder forced the players off the field after 10 minutes of play. After a 40-minute break the players returned to a drenched surface. Casino scored first when sweeper Stewart Coughran drove a free-kick from just outside the penalty box, around the wall and past goalkeeper Justin Marks. Soon after scoring Coughran was stretchered off with an ankle injury, briefly returned but was substituted before half-time and played no further part in the game. With 15 minutes remaining Paul Wiltshire made it 2-0 to Casino when he scored with a “venomous” shot from 20 metres. With 5 minutes to go Lismore Workers scored with a Brad Bosworth headed goal from a corner. But Casino held on to win the grand final 2-1. The player of the match was Casino’s Wayne Mortimer.
The squads, coaches and support staff for the grand final were:
|Casino Cobras’ Squad||Player||Lismore Workers’ Squad||Player|
|Goalkeeper||Joel Renshaw||Goalkeeper||Justin Marks|
|Left Back||John Hartley||Sweeper||Brad Bosworth|
|Right Back||Mal Kenny||Central Defender||Jason Toniello|
|Sweeper||Stewart Coughran||Central Defender||Matthew Walsh|
|Stopper||Shane Hogan||Left Wing-back||Wayne Marchant|
|Left Midfield||Scott Bruni||Right Wing-back||Matthew Clegg|
|Right Midfield||Dave Hood||Central Midfield||Mark Foster|
|Central Midfield||Paul Wiltshire||Central Midfield||Steve Fredericks|
|Central Midfield & Coach||Jeff Hogan||Central Midfield||Jason Monk|
|Striker||Wayne Mortimer||Attacking Midfield||Anthony Alvos|
|Striker||Nathan Scully||Striker||John Wraight|
|Reserve||Terry Blasche||Striker||Glen Gilchrist|
|Reserve||Scott Creighton||Reserve||Barry Manning|
|Reserve||Rohan Coe||Reserve||Craig Wiblin|
|Reserve||Tim Miller||Reserve||Adam Morrisey|
|Reserve||Glen Armstrong||Reserve Goalkeeper||Andrew McGregor|
|Coach||Jeff Hogan||Coach||Graham Bird|
|Manager||Tony McAteer||Manager||John Walsh|
|Strapper||Gary Shepard||Strapper||Robert Donadel|