Ex Kobbie Charlie Tuck plays in the victorious Naromine Gorillas 1st grade Grandfinal.
Charlie Tuck (second from right kneeling)
Tries by Luke Harding and Craig Duff in the space of three minutes after the resumption of the second half, was just the ammunition Narromine Gorillas needed to shoot down Bathurst Bulldogs in the Blowes Menswear Cup grand final at Cale Oval on Saturday.
The minor premiers led 20-5 at the break but any hope Bathurst had of getting back in the game evaporated when firstly centre Harding picked up an intercept 30m out from the try line, and virtually from the restart fly-half Duff finished off a great run by winger Scott Burgess down the left flank.
CJ Smyth converted both tries and at 34-5 the game was virtually all over, despite there being 35 minutes left on the clock.
This was Narromine’s first shot at a central west first grade final and they weren’t about to be denied despite having played little football in the past month.
They had Bathurst on the ropes early in the major semi-final but this time it took them a bit longer, although they did lead from the second minute when Smyth kicked an easy penalty goal.
Urged on by a huge home town crowd, Narromine took Bathurst on at their own game – dominated up front and with determined and rugged defence the visitors weren’t able to get a roll on.
Duff had a great game for the winners and it was the first of his two tries at the 23rd minute mark that put Narromine out to 10-0. But soon after Scott Johnston started a rush down the right side and the Narromine defence couldn’t prevent Ray Lange from scoring.
At 10-5 down that was as close as Bathurst got. Centre Charlie MacInnes sliced through some weak defence up the middle to score and then Ward didn’t miss with a long-range drop goal from in front for a 20-5 lead.
But even with this advantage it was thought that Narromine might struggle in the final 40 minutes. The Bulldogs would have the breeze at their backs and there was concern that the Gorillas might run out of puff on a warm day.
But then before fans could settle back into their seats after the break, Harding and Duff scored and there was little left to worry about if you were following Narromine.
Despite the huge deficit the proud Bathurst club didn’t stop trying and they scored consolation tries by replacement winger Chris Porter (for Bart Bogart) and Alex Weal but it was the home team that was to finish on top.
The final chapter in the history book was written by Luke Harding who scored his second try under the posts.
Smyth then converted his fifth successive try and with two penalty goals from three attempts, had a day to remember.