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Statewide score wrap: Father and sons get it done in Border thriller

What started as a flat out 'no' when Peter Bourchier floated to sons Bill and Jack the idea of playing bush footy together turned into a moment they will never forget at Inglewood on Saturday.

The trio shared in wild scenes of jubilation after Roosters centre Brent Hearne slotted a penalty goal from 42 metres out and 10 metres in from touch after the hooter to secure a 14-13 win in a thrilling Border Rugby League grand final.

Lining up for a season alongside his boys was always a goal for 44-year-old second rower Peter, with the stars aligning with both Bill, 19, and Jack, 22, in senior footy and on the comeback trail from shoulder surgeries last year.

"It was a few mixed emotions there. I can't explain how I felt, but it was definitely a feeling that we wanted to get," he said.

"Footy is like a family thing for us.

"I was playing footy when we were younger. They grew up and then I started coaching (under) 8s, 9s right up through the 16s and then obviously they moved into senior league.


The moment… the man… the myth… the LEGEND! Get it Brent Hearne 🐔🏈

Posted by Inglewood Rugby League Football Club on Saturday, September 2, 2023

"I thought we'd have a game and we've sort of been playing together (at Goondiwindi) for the last couple of years on and off.

"We came over (to Inglewood) for the social side of things. I played football with Locky (Prior), the coach years ago and he just invited us over.

"We didn't even expect to be playing in the grand final, that's the honest truth, and we just came over to play footy.

"We were a couple of games in and I said to the boys, 'I think we've got a good side here'."

The travel commitment was the only thing that put Bill off originally - the three of them travelling one hour from Goondiwindi and back twice a week for training - but after participating in the pre-season round robin tournament, which Inglewood won, he felt right at home.

"The club is a good club and just the blokes, they all play for each other," Bill said.

They put his shoulder to the test, too, throwing the usual centre into hooker for a full game, week on week.

For it to come as far as seeing a crowd and bench rush on for absolute scenes when Hearne's kick went over, and lifting the trophy with his dad and his older brother, is still hard to fathom.

"It's pretty special. You don't really read about brothers and their dad going out to win the grand final together, and then it was Father's Day the next day, which is even better," Bill said.

Peter Bourchier holds the trophy alongside coach Locky Prior and sons Jack and Bill.
Peter Bourchier holds the trophy alongside coach Locky Prior and sons Jack and Bill.

As for the game, it went so quick it was all but a blur, with Bill highlighting Hearne and Angus Ramsey as the difference makers for Inglewood, who also went through the season undefeated.

Five-eighth Ramsey scored the opening try in the sixth minute, before Texas bounced back in the 11th via opposing halfback Clayton Syme to level it up.

In the 18th minute, Roosters halfback and captain Brent Osborne capitalised on pressure built by repeat sets to score, leading to a 12-6 halftime score.

With defence dominating, it took a moment of brilliance for the Terries to tie it up again - Syme chipping a kick over for his five-eighth Malik Woodbridge to regather and beat a number of players to score.

Texas looked to have it won when Woodbridge struck a field goal with two minutes remaining before Hearne's long-range heroics.

"Just the way it was unfolding and how it was at the end there, it was tight the whole game. I couldn't believe how tight it was," Peter said.


These photos are amazing!! Thanks Paul N Ellana McNulty for these fantastic photos from Saturday!

Posted by Inglewood Rugby League Football Club on Sunday, September 3, 2023

"I actually had pretty good confidence in the team, what we'd done all week at training, but then for (Texas) to come over and stick it to us the way they did, it was nerve wracking."

The win was Peter's first premiership since 2005 with Goondiwindi Boars.

And with his leadership, experience and defensive quality, Bill still thinks his dad has another year, and another win, in his legs.

QRL Central region

South Burnett Ken Mills Isuzu Men's A grade

Grand final

Kingaroy Red Ants 28 def Cherbourg Hornets 12

Sunshine Coast Gympie Rugby League Men's A grade

Preliminary final

Kawana Dolphins 20 def Maroochydore Swans 18

Next week: Grand final: Beerwah Bulldogs v Kawana Dolphins

Sunshine Coast Gympie Rugby League Open Women

Preliminary final

Kawana Dolphins 22 def Caloundra Sharks 14

Next week: Grand final - Caboolture Snakes v Kawana Dolphins

Hutchison Builders Toowoomba Rugby League Men's A grade

Major semi-final

Dalby Diehards 38 def Toowoomba Valleys 34

Minor semi-final

Gatton Hawks 30 def Warwick Cowboys 24

Next week: Preliminary final - Toowoomba Valleys v Gatton Hawks

Toowoomba Sports Club Women's A grade

Elimination final

Newtown Lions 28 def Highfields Eagles 6

Qualifying final

Gatton Hawks 36 def Oakey Bears 0

Next week: Preliminary final - Oakey Bears v Newtown Lions

Border Rugby League Men's 2023

Grand final

Inglewood Roosters 14 def Texas Terriers 13

QRL South East region

Brisbane Rugby League Premier A grade

Preliminary final

Wynnum Manly Juniors 28 def West Brisbane Panthers 20

Next week: Grand final: Bulimba Valleys Bulldogs v Wynnum Manly Juniors

Rugby League Gold Coast A grade

Preliminary final

Tugun Seahawks 16 def Currumbin Eagles 6

Next week: Grand final - Southport Tigers v Tugun Seahawks

Ipswich Jets A Grade Cup

Preliminary final

Fassifern Bombers 22 def Swifts Bluebirds 18

Next week: Grand final - Redbank Plains Bears v Fassifern Bombers

QRL North region

FNQRL Men's A grade

Preliminary final

Cairns Brothers 26 def Ivanhoes Knights 18

Next week: Grand final - Innisfail Leprechauns v Cairns Brothers

Northern Peninsula Area Regional Rugby League

Grand final

Alau Eagles 22 def New Mapoon Warriors 20

Rugby League Mackay & District NQBE Men's A grade

Grand final

Mackay Magpies 26 def Mackay Brothers 6

Mackay Airport Women's A grade

Grand final

Mackay Brothers 18 def Moranbah Miners 4

Rugby League Townsville District Men's A grade

Preliminary final

Souths Bulls 36 def Charters Towers Miners 18

Next week: Grand final - Brothers Townsville v Souths Bulls

Rugby League Townsville District Open Women

Preliminary final

Centrals Tigers 24 def Burdekin Roosters 14

Next week: Grand final - Western Lions v Centrals Tigers

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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