Some very happy Mustangs (and their supporters) celebrate after the Grand Final victory … captain Michael Giles emphasised that 19 players were on the field on Saturday, but there were 35 players during the season

September 9, 2019

The Murgon Mustangs are celebrating after wrapping up the 2019 season with a victory in the A Grade grand final before an enthusiastic home crowd.

It’s been a big year for the Mustangs club … new changing rooms, multiple carnivals and taking home the minor premiership in A Grade.

Grand Final day was always going to be huge at Murgon Showgrounds – with trophies to be decided in U12s and U14s as well as the senior competition – and the crowd responded.

Supporters gathered around the ground behind balloons and banners.

The windy conditions played havoc with goal kicking, and the dust added an extra flavour to everything, but all three games were close and played in good spirit.

Hornets’ supporters made sure their players were welcomed on to the field in style …
… and Murgon weren’t going to be outdone, forming a tunnel of supporters for their team

* * *

A Grade Grand Final

LEFT: Maurice and Barwoo Fisher celebrate RIGHT: Captain Michael Giles hoists the trophy

Murgon 28 def. Cherbourg 14

The A Grade grand final was a lost closer than the final scoreline indicated, with the Hornets dominating the first 25 minutes of the game and testing Murgon for most of the 80 minutes.

Cherbourg scored first via Richard Conlon just after kick-off, and then mounted multiple attacks on the Mustangs’ line for at least 10 minutes, starving Murgon of possession. Unfortunately for Hornets’ fans, they weren’t able to convert this pressure into points.

Barwoo Fisher put the Mustangs’ first points on the board with 26 minutes left in the half.  The wind, which had been playing havoc with goal attempts across grades all day, struck again and Lewis Hopkins’ conversion attempt hit the posts and was waved away.

The score was 4-all.

When Arthur Saltner crossed for Murgon just minutes later, there were celebrations on the field and in the stands as Murgon had now hit the front for the first time.

Twelve minutes from the break, a Cherbourg player was sent to the sin bin but the loss didn’t stop the Hornets from scoring almost immediately. Norman Wragge’s try again evened the score again, 8-all.

However, a Mark Saltner try just four minutes later meant Murgon went into half-time ahead 12-8.

Murgon were the first to draw blood in the second half with Barwoo Fisher scoring his second try. This time the conversion was successful and Murgon’s lead had extended to 18-8.

Ten minutes later the Hornets struck back, with Kenneth Bone narrowing the gap and Bernard Hopkins adding the extras.

With the clock ticking down, Murgon was ahead but Cherbourg weren’t about to give in and at times looked set to overpower the home team.

But some Murgon magic in the last 10 minutes led to tries by Elwyn Fewquandie and Eric Law Jnr, blowing the scoreline out to 28-14.

Murgon tries were scored by Barwoo Fisher (2), Arthur Saltner, Mark Saltner, Elwyn Fewquandie and Eric Law Jnr. Lewis Hopkins kicked two goals.

Cherbourg tries were scored by Richard Conlon, Norman Wragge and Kenneth Bone. Bernard Hopkins kicked one goal.

Richard Conlon scores for Cherbourg shortly after kick-off … the first points in the A Grade Grand Final
Barwoo Fisher scores the first of his two tries for Murgon
Arthur Saltner runs away to score for the Mustangs at the midway point of the first half
Kenneth Bone’s try – converted by Bernard Hopkins – took Cherbourg to within four points of Murgon in the second half

Player of the Grand Final Michael Giles was presented with his award by QRL Regional Manager (Central Division) Rob Crow

A proud local league stalwart, Frank Malone, with son Dwayne … Frank won his first Grand Final 40 years ago with Murgon
Two players, Bernard Hopkins (Cherbourg, left) and Barwoo Fisher (Murgon, right), were joint winners this year of the Charles “Chaz” Williams Memorial Shield for Best & Most Respected Player … they are pictured with Rosetta Williams, Jay-Shorna Wragge, Christine Dynevor and Jarli Barwoo Fisher, 8 months. Chaz, a well-known local footballer, died in 2015 and the shield is presented every year in his honour by the Williams family

* * *

Under 12 Grand Final

Nanango supporters formed a tunnel to guide the Under 12 Stags on to field

Kingaroy 18 def. Nanango 12

The Under 12s Grand Final between the Kingaroy Red Ants and the Nanango Stags couldn’t have been much closer … at half-time, the scores were locked at 12-all.

Defence was fierce, with players from both sides held up over the line and others tackled into touch, saving certain tries.

With just a few minutes left on the clock, Nanango went within a whisker of levelling the scores again, but unfortunately for Stags’ fans, the grounding was ruled short of the line.

Kingaroy tries were scored by Harrison Braithwaite, Edward Riley and Davonte Swan. Thomas Frohloff, Edward Riley and Harrison Braithwaite kicked one goal apiece.

William Esen scored two tries for Nanango. Isaiah Smallwood and Slater Green each kicked a goal.

Harrison Braithwaite shakes off the Nanango defence to put the first points on the board for the Red Ants
Edward Riley reaches out to score for Kingaroy just before the break … Riley then converted his own try
The Kingaroy defence was as sharp as their attacking runs
Please, sir! The Stags were inches away from possibly levelling the score with eight minutes left on the clock
Both Under 12 teams played their hearts out in the Grand Final, and it showed afterwards … Kingaroy Red Ants (above) and Nanango Stags (below)

U12 Player of Grand Final Edward Riley

Kingaroy captain Harrison Braithwaite with the Under 12s Shield

* * *

Under 14 Grand Final

Nanango captain Bayden Alexander shares the Grand Final trophy with team mates

Nanango 14 def. Murgon 10

If the Under 12 Grand Final was close, the low-scoring Under 14s game was an even tighter armwrestle.

Nanango and Murgon had shared the glory all season so there was only a cigarette paper separating them on Saturday,

At half-time, Murgon was ahead 2-0 courtesy of a penalty goal kicked by Joseph Meikle which hit the posts and went over.

At full-time, the teams were 10-all.

Five minutes were then played each way (not golden point) to determine a winner.

Three minutes into the first stanza of extra time, the Stags’ Bayden Alexander crossed to give Nanango a four-point lead, which they defended for the rest of extra time.

Nanango tries were scored by Jayden Tewes-Smallwood, Jamahl Turner-Smallwood and Bayden Alexander. Jayden Tewes-Smallwood kicked one goal.

Noel Walsh scored two tries for Murgon and Joseph Meikle kicked a penalty goal.

No try …. Desperate Nanango defence keeps the Mustangs out in the first half …
… and just minutes later, Murgon is denied again
Jayden Tewes-Smallwood sneaks around the post to put the first points on the board for Nanango
Jamahl Turner-Smallwood scored in the corner for the Stags
Murgon threw everything at Nanango … literally
Bayden Alexander scores in extra time to give the Grand Final to Nanango

* * *

Scott Prendergast, from the Murgon Mustangs, was presented with a framed photograph of the premiership winning 1920 Mustangs team by Brett Otto to hang in the team clubhouse … the Mustangs will be celebrating their centenary next year

South Burnett Awards

South Burnett Rugby League awards were presented at the end of each Grand Final.

  • U35kg Player of Year – Quayden Langton (Cherbourg)
  • U43kg Player of Year – Rory Crumpton (Kingaroy)
  • U12 Player of Year – Harrison Braithwaite (Kingaroy)
  • U13 Best Back – Christian Simpson (Cherbourg)
  • U13 Best Forward – Kevin Langton (Murgon)
  • U13 Most Improved – Nathan Roderick (Murgon)
  • U13 Player of Year – Travis Larner (Central Burnett)
  • U14 Best Back – Thomas Oram (Kingaroy)
  • U14 Best Forward – Fletch Prendergast (Murgon)
  • U14 Most Improved – Danny Slade (Kingaroy)
  • U14 Player of Year – Dominique Sandow (Nanango)
  • Junior Eagle – Dominique Sandow (Nanango)

U43kg Player of Year Rory Crumpton (Kingaroy)

U12 Player of Year Harrison Braithwaite (Kingaroy)

U13 Best Back Christian Simpson (Cherbourg)

U13 Best Forward Kevin Langton (Murgon)

U13 Most Improved Nathan Roderick (Murgon)

U14 Best Forward Fletch Prendergast (Murgon)
  • Encouragement Award – Daniel Cobbo (Cherbourg)
  • Volunteer of Year – Blake Mara
  • Sports Trainer of Year – Sheree Prendergast (prize donated by Alicia Pidgeon from Sportsprep)
  • Bill Oliver Delegate of the Year – Wayne Frohloff (Kingaroy)
  • Blake Mara Beyond the Nest Staff Appreciation Award – Bobby Cuthbertson (Central Burnett)

Dominique Sandow (Nanango) was named Player of the Grand Final, Player of the Year and South Burnett Junior Eagle

Alicia Pidgeon, right, presented the Sports Trainer award to Sheree Prendergast, FAO for Murgon, South Burnett, Wide Bay and CQ

Daniel Cobbo (with Daniel Jnr) received the South Burnett Encouragement Award

Brenna Prendergast received the Junior Referee and Most Improved Referee awards

* * *

Christopher Bond (Murgon) was 2019’s Top Point Scorer, Top Goal Scorer and Top Try Scorer
  • Senior Top Try Scorer – Christopher Bond (Murgon – 14 tries)
  • Senior Top Goal Scorer – Christopher Bond (Murgon – 50 goals)
  • Senior Top Points Scorer – Christopher Bond (Murgon – 156 Points)
  • Senior Player of Year (accumulation of points from referees) – Matthew Stumer (Wondai)

* * *

Referee Awards

  • Referees’ Best & Fairest – Jed Zerk (Chinchilla)
  • Junior Referee of Year – Brenna Prendergast
  • Senior Referee of Year – Mitch Pratt
  • Most Improved Referee – Brenna Prendergast
  • Referee Best Clubman – Mitch Pratt

NB. The Under 16s, Under 18s and women’s awards have not yet been announced

* * *

South Burnett Eagles

And in good news from Toowoomba, South Burnett Eagles defeated Brothers 18-12 in the TRL Under 17 Girls Preliminary Final on Saturday.

They’ll now play Gatton in the Grand Final on Saturday (September 14) at Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba.

A section of the large crowd that gathered at Murgon Showgrounds for Grand Final day

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables

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