After the second world war the Kangaroos competed initially in the North West Murray Football League, gaining a premiership in 1954 with a 9.10 (64) to 7.6 (48) grand final defeat of Bannerton. The following season saw them transferring to the Mid Murray Football League, in which they tended to struggle for the better part of three decades before showing signs of improvement in the early 1980s.
Balranald’s first senior grand final appearance in the MMFL finally arrived in 1989. Opposed to a powerful Tyntynder side which had contested every grand final bar one since 1980 the ‘Roos players produced the performance of their lives in winning a high scoring ‘shoot-out’ by 29 points. A year later they went back to back with a 20.11 (131) to 15.10 (100) grand final triumph over Tooleybuc.
Balranald’s third senior grade MMFL flag was claimed in 1994 when Swan Hill was outscored in the grand final by 17 points, 19.11 (125) to 15.18 (108). Expected to challenge strongly again in 1995 the side succumbed to a classic grand final hangover, mixing victories over strong opposition with losses to lower ranked teams, and ultimately missed the four entirely.
The 1997 season saw a new competition, the Central Murray Football League, established through the merger of the MMFL and the Northern and Echuca Football League. The Kangaroos took a while to settle in these fresh surroundings, but eventually they stamped themselves as one of the competition’s leading lights. They reached their first senior grade CMFL grand final in 2005, but produced a disappointing performance in losing to Swan Hill by more than 10 goals. The following season saw them make amends, however, with a stirring 4 point grand final defeat of Kerang.
The 2007 season brought a third straight grand final appearance, but Tooleybuc Manangatang proved too good, while in 2008 the ‘Roos had to be satisfied with a fourth place finish after losing to eventual premier Swan Hill in the first semi final. The Roos' second CMFL flag was attained in 2009 via a resounding 20.14 (134) to 11.12 (78) grand final defeat of Kerang. They again qualified for the finals in 2010 but this was followed by a rapid and pronounced fall from grace, with a tenth (of eleven) place finish in 2011 being followed by a horror sequence of three winless wooden spoons in five seasons, with the other two seasons yielding a total of just 7 wins. Then, in 2017 there was a modicum of improvement as the Roos managed 4 wins from 16 matches to finish ninth of 11 clubs. A year later there was still more improvement as a tally of 8 wins and a draw procured sixth spot on what was still an 11 team premiership ladder.
The 2019 season proved to be somewhat disappointing as the Roos only managed half a dozen wins to slump to ninth place. Because of the coronavirus pandemic there was no CMFL competition in 2020.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications