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Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

Local league celebrates NAIDOC at Oakes Oval

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MAYDAY – MAYDAY – One hundred years ago today

One hundred years ago this week, around noon on Saturday 14 May 1921, the 2,000 tonne steamship Wollongbar ran aground on Belongil beach.

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Ballboy Garnett Jnr watched from the sidelines as dad Garnett Donnelly played for the Kyogle firsts at Oakes Oval last night.

Story and photos Eve Jeffery

The under-18s rugby league teams from Northern United and Kyogle hit the turf in a cool 17-degree overcast evening at Oakes Oval in Lismore last night.

The NRRRL round 10 catch-up games gave Dirrawongs and Turkeys players and supporters an extra opportunity to celebrate NAIDOC and enjoy a family event at the evening game.

Kyogle proved too tough for NU finishing 30–0 in the first match with one of the supporters commenting that the Northern United team would benefit from a bit more tackling.

9W6A9845The reggies game was a much closer engagement and the conditions toughened as halfway through the second term the temperature dropped as the wind came up and players spent 10 minutes pushing on through driving rain.

The final tally of 20–16 Northern United’s way tells the tale of hard work put in by both teams and a stellar effort by the players.

The rain eased then stopped at the first grade took to the field but the wet earth made going tough and the ball spent most of the first quarter of the match fluffing around back and forward in the centre third of the paddock.

9W6A9874It wasn’t until NU’s Jermaine Roberts took advantage of a Turkey’s fumble and scored that things began to get interesting.

This seemed to be all the lads needed to spark things up in the second half a small flood of tries followed, with one each to Jamahl Roberts, Corey Torrens, and in the closings minutes, Michael Walker.

It looked to be a great big duck egg for the Turkeys but a valiant near-miss from Sam Nicholson created a scare. That put the pressure on enough to galvanise Kyogle and a try followed from Todd Newton as the lads listened for the siren and looked toward the promise of hot showers.

The final score was Northern United 22 to Kyogle 4.

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