The Inglewood Junior Rugby League played host for the 2016 Warwick & District Junior Rugby League grand finals on Saturday, September 3 on a cold and blustery day.
There was some excellent junior rugby league played throughout the day, with the first grand final going the way of the Tenterfield Tigers Under 11s over Goondiwindi Boars.
This was the first grand final success for this small but proud junior club in the WDJRL competition after joining the competition in the mid-1990s.
There were a couple of more highlights for the day; the first one being the inaugural girls LeagueTag grand final for Under 16 girls.
This game was taken out by a very fast and skilful Goondiwindi team who beat the Millwood Girls team 22-0.
The WDJRL was happy to present the inaugural “Cathy Hamel Girls LeagueTag Premiership Trophy” in honour of Cathy who is a WDJRL life member – especially considering the NRL are celebrating 10 years of Women in League this year.
Six out of the seven clubs in the WDJRL nominated a girls LeagueTag team this year and this competition was one of the major highlights for the WDJRL competition in 2016 with approximately 100 girls participating for the year.
Last but by no means least, was the closest match of the day in the match between the Collegians White and Collegians Blue teams in the Under 14 boys.
An initiative of the WDJRL in 2016 was to encourage clubs to nominate an extra team if they had more than 30 players registered in one age group.
This option was taken up by the Warwick Collegians club in 2016 with great success, culminating in the club’s two Under 14 teams facing off in the grand final on Saturday.
The final result went down to the wire with Collegians White victorious in the dying seconds of the match against the Collegians Blue team 24-23.
The Collegians club and coaching staff need to be congratulated for taking the initiative in nominating the two teams for the 2016 season and allowing the boys to play as much rugby league as possible throughout the season.
Even though the players all trained together throughout the season, they certainly left their friendships on the sideline in the grand final to provide one of the most entertaining games of the day.
It was great to see the both teams taking the grand final winning photograph after the match together and celebrating a great occasion for their club.
This is what junior rugby league is all about, participation before premierships.
The WDJRL enjoyed an increase of 10% in player participation this year and hope to see more players, especially more girls participating again in 2017.
WDJRL grand finals (McIntrye Oval Inglewood, September 3, 2016) Results:
Tenterfield 24 (W. Holley, G. McGrady, B. Clark, C. McGrady goals; W. Holley, G. McGrady, B. Clark, F. Koch) def Goondiwindi 0
Goondiwindi 24 (A. Bate 3, T. Bennetto 2, B. Shepard, E. McGrady) def Collegians 0
Collegians 50 (J. Lippi 3, Z. Beckwith 2, N. Carrie 2, A. Ridley 2, H. Reardon goals: M. Byrne 3, N. Carrie, K. Clarkson) def Goondiwindi 8 (H. Bolton, J. Kopittke)
Collegians White 24 (C. Tate-Roche 2, T. Spence, K. Bell Goals: C. Stewart 2, J. Gross 2) def Collegians Blue 23 (T. Bell 3, R. Balint, N. Ryan goals: T. Ross Field goal: T. Ross)
Under 16 Girls LeagueTag
Goondiwindi 22 (A. Armstrong 2, A. Bulmer, C. Coote, K. Anderson Goals: A. Peckham) def Millwood 0
Goondiwindi 22 (C. Trost, G. McGrady, M. Horton, W. Robinson goals: G. McGrady 3) def Collegians 16 (N. Cooney, T. Lloyd, C. Martin-Brown; goals: D. Lippi 2)