The small New South Wales town of Barooga first boasted a football club in 1894 when it competed in the Murray Border Football Association. Its first premiership was achieved in 1897 after transferring to the Federal Football Association, but in both 1898 and 1899 the club proved unable to field a side. Resuming in 1900, Barooga competed unsuccessfully in the FFA until 1907 when it joined the Goulburn Valley Football Association. In 1912 the name of the club was altered to Boomanoomana Rovers, a move which spawned almost instantaneous success as the side claimed the following season’s flag with a 5.2 (32) to 3.6 (24) grand final defeat of Muckatah.
Boomanoomana Rovers did not resume after world war one until 1921, but the following season saw the club going into recess until 1929, when it reformed under its original name of Barooga. The 1930s and 1940s saw the side competing in various competitions without success but a move to the Murray Football League Second Eighteen Football Association in 1948 sparked a dramatic upturn in fortunes. Between 1949 and 1958 the Hawks contested nine out of ten grand finals, emerging victorious from those of 1950 against Finley, 1952 and 1953 versus Yarrawonga, and 1956 against Deniliquin. The 1956 triumph was especially noteworthy as the side went into the match as rank outsiders but produced a magnificent team display in winning by 9 points, 13.13 (91) to 12.10 (82).
In 1959, feeling itself ready for a sterner challenge, the club successfully applied to join the Picola and District Football League. It would go on to spend a highly successful thirty season stint in this competition, claiming a total of no fewer than ten senior grade premierships. The Hawks’ strike rate in grand finals was little short of sensational as they only finished as runners-up twice.
Since 1989 Barooga has been affiliated with the Murray Football League in which, at least initially, it continued to enjoy regular success, contesting a total of seven grand finals in 20 seasons for four wins. The Hawks' most recent grand final appearances came in 2007 and 2008 but both resulted in defeat against Nathalia. However, the club’s all round strength was amply demonstrated in the latter season as the reserves claimed an undefeated premiership. Over the past decade or so the Hawks tended to struggle somewhat initially but starting in 2014 they qualified for the finals on five consecutive occasions including a grand final loss to Nathalia in 2018. The 2019 season brought a slump in fortunes as the side only managed half a dozen wins from 18 matches to finish in 10th place out of 14 teams.
John Devaney - Full Points Publications