Group 19 will conduct the minor semi finals at Bingara on Sunday with the first game at 10.15am when Boomerangs v Tingha (Ladies League Tag).This will be followed at 11.30 by Tingha v Uralla (Under 18s) Gwydir v Glen Innes(Reserves) and at 2.15 pm Gwydir v Tingha (First grade). The gates will open at 9 am.
The day represents a magnificent first year for the joint venture Club and a credit to the Coaches, Peter Stevens (Firsts), Mick Wade (Reserves) and Wayne Ford (Ladies League Tag). While the Ladies did not make the play-offs, they made an enormous contribution to the Club and they will only be stronger for 2014 as additional players are recruited.
However the day belongs to the players as a just reward for all the hard work and dedication. Also the careful recruiting policy of attracting quality players to fill critical positions certainly paid off. Mitchell Porter at fullback, David McGrady at five eight, Harold Duncan on the wing are all class players and can score from anywhere on the field. However quality does not stop there as Ashley Churchland, Sam Armstrong and Northern Division centre, Matty Cleal have been terrific. In the forwards, Ben Kennedy and Brendon Crichlow have provided plenty of grunt up front and Mick Hodges would be best defensive hooker in the Group. Casey Bowman turns 19 years on Sunday and can look back on a dozen first grade games, a marvellous performance from the lanky second rower just out of under 18s. The squad also contains some quiet achievers, Nathan McGrady slots into a wing spot and his positional play is top drawer as he finishes many back line movements, no flair, just scores the tries. Also great were Todd Simpson, Steven Garrett, Tyler Dennison, brothers Aaron and Adam Rodilossi, Rhys & Jayke Aleckson, Caleb Austin, Andrew Wynne, Sam Cooper, George McClymont, Rocky Hall and Andrew Cleal. The list of top players goes on with Chris Churchland, Steve Calman, Jordie Batchelor, Lachlan Dennison, Michael Dennison, Jack Faint, Jayden Fields, Luke Smith, Mark Sankey, Jay and Shaun Fletcher, Daniel Robertson, Graham Rampling, Willie Price, Brett McGrady, Jack Laidlaw, Mervyn Jarrett, Jason Hobday, Ron Hammond, Tim Grant, Wayne Ford, Michael Hancock, Brent Sampson and Brayden McGrady. League followers will recall the impact 16 years old Brayden made when he scored seven tries in his first grade debut against Ashford.
Gwydir certainly has the players to win both games on Sunday, however it will be tough. In the first grade, Tingha are a quality opposition and won the last encounter against Gwydir on their home ground and their recent form has been good. On the other hand, Gwydir is also hitting form after a mid season slump and this makes for a terrific clash. Glen Innes reserves also won the last clash with Gwydir and this will also be a cracker of a game while Moree and Uralla will start favourites in the other games.
In expectation of a huge crowd, the Club is organising some seating on the Eastern side of the ground and plenty of space will be also available for people who wish to bring their own chairs.
The Club is also looking for people who can help out on the day and anyone interested can contact Rod King 0428 241 500 or call at the Newsagency.