The Gwydir League juggernaut continued rolling on last Saturday with a 70-4 destruction of some very plucky, but out gunned Roosters at the Ashford Recreation ground. This follows similar treatment in the past few weeks to Tingha and Armidale and sets up the season’s most awaited game, the Bingara/ Warialda newcomers against last year’s premiers, the Glen Innes Magpies at Glen next Saturday.
Despite the score line, Ashford certainly played tough and every metre was enthusiastically contested. However Gwydir’s class simply piled on the tries, many from their own half.
Thirteen tries were scored by the joint venture club with the backs contributing eleven. Mitch Porter got four tries, Dave McGrady (2), Todd Simpson (2) and one each to Harold Duncan, Ashley Churchland, Nathan McGrady, Tyler Dennison and Michael Hodges. Simpson kicked 6 goals, Churchland 2 and Dave McGrady 1. The various awards saw Porter, Casey Bowman, Dave McGrady, Caleb Austin and Simpson feature.
Players’ Player was Porter. However there were many wonderful performances and the following were also great; Matt Cleal, Brendon Crichlow, Ben Kennedy, Aaron Rodilossi, Steve Garrett, Darren McGregor and Jayden Fields. Actually it was a big day for Fields, following a top display at lock in the reserves, he made his first grade debut from the bench and easily slotted into the game.
Following a substandard game against Armidale, the Reserves got back on track with a polished display to down the Roosters 50-4 after leading 30-0 at half time.
The most pleasing feature is that probably the full squad could step up to first grade if needed and most will get their chance as the season progresses. Try scorers were Sam Cooper (2), Lachlan Dennison (2) and one each to Darren McGregor, Rocky Hall, Andrew Wynne, Mark Sankey, and Steve Calman. Hall also kicked seven goals. Sankey had a great game and was the Player’s Player.
The various point’s awards went to Sankey, Sam Armstrong, Sam Cooper, Mick Wade and Rocky Hall. Others to go well were Ron Hammond, Jason Hobday, Jayden Fields, Mick Hancock, Jordie Bachlelor, Tim Grant, Jayke Aleckson, Caleb Austin and Daniel Robertson.
The Ladies League Tag players certainly improved on their last performance but met a hot Ashford side to lose 8-34. At 4-16 at the break, the girls had a chance; however a runaway try to the home side immediately on resumption stalled any comeback.
Players’ Player was Codie Ryan and it was well deserved as she also scored both Gwydir’s tries. Other points winners were, Danika Fields, Gemma Hawkins and Lizzie Gordon.
However all the girls contributed, including Steff Rogers, Stacey Duff, Tiarna Molloy, Melissa Molloy, Melanie Austin, Emily Annis- Brown, Danielle Riley, Jaimi Dixon, Lucinda Moore, Steffi Duff and Carly Rose.
In other first grade games, Inverell d Armidale (32-16), Moree d Tingha (30-26). Reserve grade, Glen Innes d Uralla (26-24), Armidale d Inverell (60-22), Moree d Tingha (54-6), Ladies League Tag, Tingha d Moree (22-4), Glen Innes d Uralla (30-6) Inverell & Armidale (14 all)
Next Week, Glen Innes v Gwydir, Uralla v Tingha, Ashford v Inverell, Armidale v Moree.