Photo: Ben Turnbull - Bundaberg News Mail
2014 Northern Districts Rugby League Grand Final was hosted by Miriam Vale on a very warm August day in front of a large crowd at Gary Larsen Oval.
South Kolan had the first opportunity to score in the grand final but an error saw a ball turn over and Avondale swooped on the chance with Matt Ross scoring in the right hand corner to open the encounter but Nathan Leather could not add the two.
Kolan were next to score with Sione Moimoi crossing for the Sharks and Anthony Johnstone converting, giving the Sharks a 6-4 lead in the early stages of the match.
Following back to back errors from South Kolan, Avondale looked to be on a roll with good ground made by Corey Chapman and a quick play putting the ball in the air across field saw Nathan Leather jump like a seasoned Aussie Rules player to catch the ball and score but Leather again was unsuccessful in adding the two points.
The Tigers were in again with a beautiful try to five-eighth Clayton Saunders three missed conversations eventually would hurt the Tigers. The Sharks hit back with two quick tries that were converted, taking them out to a 18-12 lead at the break.
The second half started with both forwards putting on big hits trying to wear the opposition down with Kolan scoring again but the Tigers never gave up.
With 12 minutes to go Avondale were 10 points down and put on a nail biting show for the crowd when they crossed for a try with the kick converted leaving them four behind with ample opportunities on their own line.
The majority of the crowd appeared to be backing the Tigers but the vocal supporters could not help the 13 Tigers on the field to break the Sharks defensive line when they had repeat sets of six.
The Sharks played out the last seconds on the Tigers line taking away one last chance for Avondale to level at the final whistle. The final score was 30-26 to the Sharks.
NDRL President Michael McCotter organised a goal kicking competition with the assistance of Steven Plunkett for the kids and adults before the main game which kept the crowd entertained.
Congratulations to the NDRL Committee who have ploughed on during a challenging season and need to be recognised for the many hours they contribute to the league. Thank you to all the sponsors of the League and we hope to see you all back next year supporting a unique product of rugby league.
My final comments for the 2014 season are a huge thank you to Gin Gin youngster Quinn Olsen who was asked by Avondale to run the tee in the Grand Final. Quinn has helped out most of the NDRL clubs at some stage as ball boy, doing the scoreboard, running water, organising strapping gear and lots more. Cheers mate! Enjoy your off season.