Kendall and Comboyne to clash in 2017 Hastings League grand final

Leaders: Kendall Blues captain Beau Kettle and Comboyne Tigers captain Dean Hurrell at Lank Bain Sports Complex. Photo: Ivan Sajko

Leaders: Kendall Blues captain Beau Kettle and Comboyne Tigers captain Dean Hurrell at Lank Bain Sports Complex. Photo: Ivan Sajko

KENDALL Blues and Comboyne Tigers almost have a mortgage on the two Hastings League grand final positions.

For the third time in four years, the two sides will clash in the season decider at Lank Bain Sports Complex on Saturday.

The ledger currently stands at one apiece after Comboyne claimed last year’s title with a heart-stopping 29-26 victory.

In 2014 it was the Blues who proved too good with a 34-20 win.

Another page in what could soon become a best-selling novel looms on Saturday with Comboyne captain-coach Dean Hurrell.

It has been almost 30 years since the Tigers last claimed back-to-back Hastings League titles.

The whole lot of us all played for Comboyne and went to Comboyne Primary School. - - Comboyne captain Dean Hurrell on the family links to the town

On that occasion, current captain-coach Dean Hurrell’s father Greg was in charge during their 1988 and 1989 successes.

It remains the one and only time Comboyne has won back-to-back titles.

The 26-year-old skipper will have a chance to join his old man in Comboyne rugby league folklore if he can replicate last year’s success.

The Hurrell’s are a well-known family name in Comboyne community circles.

“The whole lot of us all played for Comboyne and went to Comboyne Primary School,” Hurrell said.

“There’s heaps of family history with the town and with dad winning comps as well so I’m trying to do the same thing as what he did in a way.

At the start of the season, the Tigers captain was unsure if he would ever get another chance to play alongside older brother Todd.

“The big thing about this season is that my brother was going to pull the pin because last year he won the comp with South Newcastle on the same weekend I won with Comboyne,” he said.

There’s heaps of family history with the town and with dad winning comps as well so I’m trying to do the same thing as what he did in a way. - Dean Hurrell

When the younger Hurrell sibling moved from the Hunter back to Hastings in 2009 he felt his opportunity to play alongside his older brother had gone.

“That was our last throw of the dice to get a game together so I’m just so grateful he went out of his way to travel up here on the weekend’s he has this year.

“I’d never played with him and he’s come up here for this year so it’s been awesome.”

Standing in between the Hurrell’s quest to replicate his father’s success are the Kendall Blues.

They’ve been the best side all season and will be well-led by captain Beau Kettle.

The sides have clashed in three matches this season with the Blues holding a 2-1 advantage and if those matches are any indication, it promises to be a heartstopping season finale.

It shows that we’ve been the best two teams all season. - Kendall Blues captain Beau Kettle

Comboyne claimed first blood with a 28-18 victory in Kendall earlier in the season before the Blues hit back with a 16-12 win and then an 18-16 victory in the major semi-final.

“It shows that we’ve been the best two teams all season,” Kettle said.

The Blues skipper said the heartbreak of last year’s 29-26 defeat to the Tigers had been discussed, but it hadn’t been a sole focus.

“A couple of the older fellas have brought it up, but that’s been about it, we don’t focus on what’s happened too much,” he said.

After more than 200 first grade games, Glenn Banton is expected to hang up the boots which provides an added source of motivation.

“He’s been around the traps for a while and coached a lot of the younger boys in their junior days,” Kettle said.

“It would be good to send him out a winner.”

The decider kicks off at 3pm on Saturday.

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