The Narromine Gorillas have secured their second straight minor premiership, and made it three from three against Parkes in 2018, defeating the Boars 32-0 at Cale Oval.
Saturday was an important result for the home side, but there was a much more important issue at hand. The day was focused on mental health, starting that conversation, and raising money to inject back into the local community to assist the cause.
It was an action-packed occasion on and off the field, with the five brave souls who walked from Warren to Narromine in order to raise money, arriving at half time to rapturous applause. The walkers were certainly sore and sorry, with many of them hobbling into the ground like a second grader with a bad case of gout.
Their monumental effort was rewarded with close to $14K raised, smashing their $10K target out of the water. This number was matched by an equally impressive $18K raised after the match during the auctioning of the jersey, once again showing the incredible generosity of the Narromine and rugby communities.
Special thanks must go to the Parkes Boars Rugby Club who made a separate $350 donation as well as several jerseys being purchased by Parkes players.
Now, back to the action on the field.
The Gorillas came out firing against a strong Boars outfit, and were buoyed by the solid home crowd.
The first try looked to have been scored when crowd favourite Billy Browning crossed in the corner after a neat pass form Mick Harris, but was deemed to have lost the ball over the line. However, it didn’t take long for the boys to make amends, Tim Allworth scoring off the back of a superbly timed rolling maul.
Browning redeemed himself shortly afterwards scoring the try of the match, following some salubrious backline passing and offloading down the western touchline. George Hancock was heavily involved in the lead-up play and later and crossed for a try of his own to push the Gorillas lead out to 17-0.
The scrum-doctor turned try-machine, Charlie Tuck, scored his 14th try of the season to finish off the first half and have Narromine in the box seat 22-0 at the break.
The weather took a turn during the break with an ice cold south-westerly blowing in something that resembled rain, but it was hardly enough to wet the ground.
The mercury had dropped but the contest on the field was heating up, with the Boars keen to make up for a lack-lustre first half. The visitors came out with renewed vigour and were peppering the Gorillas line for the best part of 20 minutes, but their defence held strong. When Narromine managed to get their hands on the pill, they were unable to generate the fast pace they had enjoyed earlier, largely due to Parkes’ strong efforts at the breakdown.
Tim Gainsford broke the shackles in the 70th minute, scoring a great counter-attacking try, and replacement Luke Brown crossed late to round out a memorable win for the Gorillas.
The old warhorse Craig Campbell had one of his best games of the season, supported well by Gainsford, Mitch Rixon and Dan Treseder.
Hancock continued his rich vein of form with another man of the match performance.
Narromine Gorillas 32
(Tim Allworth, Billy Browning, George Hancock, Charlie Tuck, Tim Gainsford, Luke Brown Tries; Dylan Ryan Conv) defeated Parkes Boars 0.
Second Grade experienced four seasons in one game, with the umpires calling for bad light mid-way through the first half before rain, sunshine and rainbows greeted them in the second!
Dwyane Anderson and John O’Meura both bagged doubles, setting the tone for an impressive 39-12 victory. The game against second placed Blayney Rams this weekend is an important one for the Gorillas, as it could ultimately decide who finishes on top of the second-grade ladder.
Narromine Gorillas 39
(Dwayne Anderson 2, John O’Meura 2, Dan Barry, Ryan Pratten, Matt Bullock Tries; Strath Munro 2 Conv) defeated Parkes Boars 12 (Luke Freeman, Brenden Bennett Tries; Brad Burrell Conv).