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C Grade Champions
Dalby Wheatmen C Grade Match Report
Wheatmen vs Chinchilla River Rats – E.S. Dooney Hayes Trophy – Downs Rugby C Grade Grand Final
After a solid week of training the Icon Steel C Grade side made the venture to Clive Berghofer Stadium last Saturday for the Downs Rugby C Grade title to be decided. The Chinchilla River Rats had been the benchmark of the competition, finishing minor premiers and only losing one game all season.
On what was quite a windy day in the garden city, we decided it would be best if we won the toss and run with the wind to try and get points on the board early. After a pretty even start from both sides, Dalby was able to gain some momentum and get first points with a penalty goal. After that the team was then able to penetrated Chinchilla’s goal line with some brilliant work from prop Dave McCormick, who was able to charge down a clearing kick by Chinchilla and score in the corner. With the wind sailing around somehow fullback Marty Thompson was able to kick the conversion from the sideline and Dalby were out to at 10-0 lead.
Dalby then had to withstand the pressure from our country cousins, giving away numerous penalties and eventually the Chinchilla side scored and got the margin to 10-5. To my Dalby’s boys credit they dug deep and fought back and were once again rewarded with a try in the corner by young gun Zac Storey just before half time. With the score at 15-5 at half time the side knew they had to find something in the second half as Chinchilla would use the wind to their advantage.
During the second half we had a few chances to take penalty goal attempts to further extend our lead, which opted to be a bad call. Chinchilla eventually capitalizing on this and scored two tries in 15 minutes to level the score at 15-15. But the Wheatmen young guns in the side, most of which had never played finals footy found something in attack and were able to get close to scoring, only to be rewarded with a penalty right in front. Half back Sam ‘Ice Man’ Dean slotting the goal under pressure and taking the score out to 18-15 with five minutes to go on the clock. With the game still in the balance the Wheatmen muscled up in defence and were able to hang on to a 18-15 win and take out the C Grade Grand Final. A well-deserved Craig McVeigh was named player of the match.
The E.S. Dooney Hayes Trophy, along with the Cooranga Creek Cup (a trophy played for between ourselves and Chinchilla) made its way back to Dalby. I am very proud of the whole team for the strength and resilience shown throughout this season. While we started the season slowly, we were able to field a strong team and show consistency at the right time of the year.
Coach, Bart Turner