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Blackall community proud of their beloved Magpies

The Central West Rugby League season culminated earlier this month with the grand final being played at Ilfracombe for the first time in the club's history.

This followed an epic major semi-final tussle in Blackall between them and the Magpies, with the Scorpions scoring near fulltime to break the deadlock and win 18-12.

The minor premiers had to get to the final the long way, defeating the Barcaldine Sand Goannas in the preliminary final to earn a second crack at the Scorpions who have played in the last nine consecutive grand finals.

The Magpies and Scorpions met three times during the season with the Scorpions having the upper hand, clinching two of the three victories.

A crowd of more than 1200 people gathered with expectations of their team winning this year's Central West honours.

With a combined total population of the two towns to be around 1800, the crowd showed that the people in the Outback love their footy and get behind their local teams.

The first half was tight as expected, with Blackall up 10-8 at halftime.

The second half continued with fast, open footy and meaningful defence from both sides.

The Blackall Magpies ran out winners at the final siren 22-8, winning the premiership for the first time in 30 years.

The moment the siren sounded. PHOTO: Lisa Alexander
The moment the siren sounded. PHOTO: Lisa Alexander

Both teams can be proud of their efforts throughout the season and of the spectacle they put on for their supporters in the big dance.

The Blackall team is made up of mostly locals who have grown up in the area and are very proud of the town.

With an average age of 24, this current team could dominate the Central West Rugby League for a number of years if they stick together.

These guys are not just a footy team, but a team the Blackall community are proud to call members of their community.

The club gives plenty in return to the town who supports them, just a couple of examples include acting as waiters for the Blackall Anglican Flower Show and participating as a club in the ANZAC Day March.

The club also hold a bi-annual charity match, where they auction their jerseys after the game with last year's match raising over $24,000 for breast cancer.

Rugby league is not just a sport in the Outback, it's a community event which brings everyone together to enjoy each other's company and forget about the tough times that are currently being experienced.

Footy is certainly alive and well in the Outback thanks to the hard-working clubs who continue to support their community and stay loyal.

Blackall celebrate their premiership success. PHOTO: Sally Cripps (Queensland Country Life)
Blackall celebrate their premiership success. PHOTO: Sally Cripps (Queensland Country Life)

*Peter Rafter is the Queensland Outback QRL Operations Manager