It was fitting that a local junior played an integral role as Lake Cathie Raiders finally got the monkey off the back at Harrington on Saturday.
The Raiders came up with their most complete performance of the Hastings League season to date with a 34-10 hammering of the Hurricanes - a win five years in the making.
Club president Shane Franklin said while the team celebrated long and hard, they were already winners regardless of how challenging the season proved to be.
And it has been a challenge so far for the men in lime green.
"We had a win by getting the club back together and putting a team on the paddock; now the boys are glowing," Franklin said.
"We put it all together and are very happy and over the moon to get our first win. We celebrated into the night."
Winger Logan Nosworthy was outstanding on the wing, scoring a try.
"It's his first year in senior rugby league and he got our three points," the president said.
"The whole team played well, they're gelling together and it's a real pleasure because these things take time.
"We've been gradually improving and to go down to Harrington ... the boys are starting to come together as a team and the defence was great."
Hastings League president Geoff Connor said the Raiders had been improving week-by-week and it was their best chance at a win.
"It's been coming; they've had a few injuries and been playing the top sides," he said.
"The scoreline surprised me ... I thought it would have been closer."
It marked the middle of the season with the top two teams on the ladder to play off for the Bain Cup when they next clash.
The match has the added incentive of $1500 of prize money later in the year.
Runaway competition leaders Beechwood had already earned their right to play in the match with three other teams - Long Flat, Kendall or Lower Macleay - battling it out to be their opponent.
"Long Flat then moved into second because they beat Kendall 34-32, but then they had to wait and see if Lower Macleay were beaten by South West Rocks."
Reigning premiers the Marlins scored late to defeat the Magpies 18-12 which booked the Dragons' place in the Bain Cup.
"They're coming good, the reigning premiers and will be a force later in the year," Connor said.
The competition pauses for the June long weekend before it resumes on June 19.
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