FRIDAY night’s grand finals of the Port Macquarie Touch Association summer competition were an overwhelming success for organisers, players and supporters.
The touch committee could not be happier with the break from the traditional presentation night and the players seemed to support the idea of having all on the one night.
Great games and great fellowship were the order of the night and no doubt there were some sore heads as well as muscles come Saturday.
Men’s dual premiers minor and major was Steve Bailey’s Plastering led by Ben Thompson and Ben Andrews, who proved too strong for Bob Todd Motors, winning 3-2.
The game was fast and furious and the group enjoyed the skills and speed shown by both sides.
Andrews proved the difference between the teams, deservedly winning player of the match.
Glen Kightley and Glen Sprowle were very dangerous for Bob Todd Motors.
Women’s A grade minor premiers John Fisher Pluming Supplies, mainly through injury, found itself watching this year’s grand final between Tacking Point Tavern and Carl’s One Stop Print Shop.
Tacking Point Tavern became the premiers with a 3-0 win in a quick match. The score did not give a true indication of the game as after the first touchdown in the first minute of the game the score did not change until after a further 30 minutes.
Dual try scorer and organiser Cathy Deagan was awarded player of the match.
Men’s B grade premiers was Frank O’Rourke Surveyors 3-2 over Cleavers Tyre Service in a very tight match.
This game was always going to be one of the hardest of the night and certainly live up to expectations.
O’Rourke’s jumped to a 2-0 lead before Cleavers got into gear and then began pegging back the deficit.
Chris Inman won the player of the grand final with a very good all-round game.
Women’s B grade saw team Valvoline take on Shaw’s Kitchens and Joinery for the third time in two weeks.
Valvoline scored first in a tight affair and this touchdown seemed to jolt Shaw’s into action. It scored the equaliser and the game seemed to swing its way with the final score 4-1.
Helen Foster, back from injury, won player of the match.
Men’s C grade was another match all spectators were waiting to see.
Better Homes defeated Mid Coast Solar in the major semi-final to advance to this match, whilst Mid Coast Solar had to win two more games to join Better Homes.
Better Homes got off to the start it was looking for when Wayne Prince grabbed an intercept very early in the match, and shortly after it went to a 2-0 lead.
Mid Coast Solar then decided to put the foot down and scored three touchdowns in a five minute period, to lead 3-2 at the break.
The sides then went try-for-try until just on full-time when Mid Coast Solar scored to give the final result of 5-3.
Matt Burling, with three touchdowns, won player of the match.
Women’s C grade saw the Better Homes girls play Searson and Shannon Solicitors.
The score of 3-0 to Searson and Shannon did not accurately portray the game, but did reward the victors for a very good season.
Maria Smith, with a great game, won best player on the field.
The last game was the men’s D grade between Extreme Water Sports and Valvoline, who seem to pop up each year on grand final night.
Rick Flanagan and Steve Adams, with three tries each, were the main difference between the sides, with Adams winning player of the match.
Other awards on the night were bestowed upon Tahnee Swan and Brent McKeand as rookies of the year.
Both players have a very good future in touch.
Joanna Witt and Ryan Coleman won most improved players of the year. Their talents improve with each game.
The coveted player of the year awards were won by Cath Deagan and Ben Thompson for their excellent play during the year.
Touch team of the year was deservedly won by Mid Coast Door Services for its good sportsmanship and carrying out the duties asked of it.
Ray and Belinda Thomas as AMS Air-Conditioning were awarded a plaque to recognise their 10 year period sponsorship of teams playing touch in our competition. Without sponsors like the Thomas’ our teams would find the sport much harder.
Special thank you gifts were given to Jan McKeand for her magnificent job in running a 700-player junior competition, and to Tammy Grainger and Travis Foster for their manning of the touch canteen throughout the year.
All committee members were thanked by president Chris Veech on behalf of the players for their running of a very successful competition.
The winter competition will commence in April, possibly after the school holidays.
Nomination forms will be available at a later date. All relevant information will be advised in early April.