The Winton Devils have won the last six premierships in the Central West Rugby League and in 2016 they hosted the grand final at home against the Ilfracombe Scorpions who have played Winton in five of the past six years and been unsuccessful.
In front of the good sized local crowd, 2016 finally finished differently from previous years for the Scorpions.
Ilfracombe came out firing in the first half and Winton had no answer to their sparkling attack with the halftime score favouring the visitors 22-6.
However, the defending premiers the Devils showed they meant business in the second half and were not going to go down without a fight.
For the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Devils continually hammered the Scorpions line and were able to get an early try.
The defence from both teams in the second half was relentless with neither team willing to have their line crossed.
Ilfracombe though were able to put on two late tries to seal the victory, running out winners 30-12; claiming their first ever Central West premiership.
Some of these opposing players have played against and with each other in local teams and rep sides for many years and the mateship between the two teams will be everlasting.
Two Central West Rugby League legends in Nathan “Nudie” Brotherton from Winton and Tom Elliott of Ilfracombe said immediately after the game that retirement is now.
We’ll wait and see who signs up in 2017.