Emus tough it out
The Goondiwindi Emus failed in their bid to win -back-to-back grand finals but they still managed to come home with some silverware.
The A Grade went down in a tough encounter against the Dalby Wheatman 21-15 in a match that could have gone either way.
However the C Grade Emus continued their superb season taking out the premiership, also, against Dalby 19-14.
But that too was a seesawing affair which had fans on the edge of their seat right to the end.
The other upside for the A Grade according to more than a few supporters, at least the Risdon Cup went to a country club. It was the first win by the determined Wheatman since 2004.
Our thanks to Old Emu Jeff Cairns who has been taking pics the last few weeks. “Sorry mate, I couldn’t take any, on Saturday, I was too nervous.” We understand Cairnsy.
Emus ran into the wind in the first half. Both teams traded early penalties as Dalby piled on the pressure.
The match was marked by brutal defence from both teams as an arm wrestle ensued. The much vaunted Dalby backline was repelled time and time again as they tried to break through the Goondiwindi line.
The Goondiwindi forwards worked the ball up field tirelessly with strong runs from Jack Cook and Sam Tweedy but a lack of field position didn't allow any pressure to mount. Dalby worked their way into the Goondiwindi quarter and a lineout close to the tryline saw the Dalby Wheatmen Captain Sam Hograth crash over.
Dalby 8- Goondiwindi 3. The game nearly erupted when consecutive lifting tackles fired the Goondiwindi pack up even more and the Dalby Captain was sent to the sin bin.
The Emus lifted and were finally able to mount pressure in the Dalby half. After numerous drives to the line Captain Coach Matt Bell scored a hard fought try and Goondiwindi struck back to tie the score up at 8-all.
Five minutes later after a strong run from Sam Jobling in the centre of the field Goondiwindi produced the try of the final when quick hands found Sean Cairns with a little bit of room. It was enough to allow him to draw the fullback and pop a the ball to a hard running Michael Jamesion.
Michael skirted the touchline and out paced the cover defence to score under the posts. A successful conversion to Will Gilbert and Goondiwindi lead 15-8. Dalby then camped in the Goondiwindi half and as series of penalties allowed Dalby to attacked the Goondiwindi line.
The second half was more of teh same with Dalby defence stepping up and forcing errors from the Goondiwindi team. Dalby finally broke through when their forwards rolled a maul over the line.
The conversation saw Dalby regain the lead. It remained that way as both teams slugged it out.
While the big Goondiwindi crowd were disappointed they certainly weren't disappointed with the effort shown by the less fancied Emy team.
Captain Coach Matt Bell showed why he has been a force in the Downs' Rugby with an inspiting performance which maybe his last in the Emus colours.