North leads Old Boys to victory
THE Old Boys of Gracemere may have been elated at winning the Thiess Lake Vermont Coal Projects Cup but stopped short of carrying their captain from the field shoulder high.
Leading the Old Boys team by example was powerful forward Cory “Dropsaw” North whose display, organiser Ben Lorraway said, has made the big man a living legend.
Hundreds turned out to St Paul’s Primary School, Gracemere on Saturday to witness the annual encounter with the experience and guile of the senior citizens prevailing over the speed and exuberance of the Young Guns, the Old Boys winning a thrilling contest by 20-16.
Lorraway said his team led from start to finish with the only serious concern being the possibility of the match stretching out for a “golden point” decision.
An emotional Lorraway said the Old Boys deserved the victory and none more than his captain who not only led the team with courage and determination but also provided a high percentage of the spectators as all his workforce turned out to cheer their hero on.
“Dropsaw held the trophy high,” Lorraway said, unable to disguise his pride.
The high quality of football even caught spectators by surprise.
“The crowd expected to see just a bit of a training run,” he admitted.
Within seconds of kick-off Young Guns fans were handed a reality check when Old Boys finished their first set of six with centre Haydon North crossing for a try.
Being ahead early is a bonus but there is a long time to play in a footy match and that is where experience came to the fore.
Perhaps experience is the wrong word and cunning is appropriate as the work had been done before players entered the field of play.
Lorraway had organised a referee for the fixture and gained the services of the distinguished whistle blower Dale Shepherd.
This proved to be a master stroke.
“There were a few controversial decisions,” he admitted.
Lorraway said it was just as well the referee was lenient towards Old Boys with his offside calls otherwise the game would rarely have got underway.
With aches and pains easing both teams can now concentrate on meeting again next year.
“They are all 17-year-olds and so they can have another crack at us next year,” Lorraway said.
The champions too plan to hold at least one training run before the next fixture in January 2011.
“We are planning a training run in six months time,” Lorraway said.