September 13, 2021
A rugby league Grand Final clash between Cherbourg and Murgon was always going to ensure a big crowd – and excited fans – at Cherbourg’s Jack O’Chin Oval … and Saturday’s encounter lived up to expectations!
A big crowd packed into the main grandstand and around the fences to watch the Hornets and Mustangs go head-to-head in the A Grade, as well as the Mustangs take on Kingaroy in Under 14s (see below).
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A Grade Grand Final
There was little love shown on the paddock by traditional rivals Murgon and Cherbourg in the keenly contested A Grade Grand Final.
There was plenty of tough tackling, and several players were binned for 10-minute stints.
At full-time, Cherbourg was ahead 40-24 but the final scoreline didn’t reflect the closeness of the game, particularly during the first half.
Tyreese Gyemore opened the Hornets’ account a minute after kick-off to put Cherbourg in the lead.
Minutes later Paddy Alberts looked to have crossed for another Cherbourg try, but play was called back and a Hornets player was sent to the sin-bin.
Murgon took full advantage, scoring two tries – by Arthur Saltner and Maurice Fisher – while the Cherbourg player was off.
With 28 minutes to go in the half, Murgon was ahead 12-6 and continued to press their advantage.
Cherbourg then looked to have crossed again, only to be called back for a forward pass.
But two minutes later, frustrated Cherbourg fans erupted as Thomas Simpson barged over the line and Alex Speedy’s conversion evened the scores at 12-all.
Cherbourg scored twice more – and Murgon once – before half-time.
At the break, Cherbourg led 24-16 but the Mustangs were still well in the game.
They tried to strike back after the restart, but their initial push to the Hornets’ line was centimetres short.
The battle continued for almost 15 minutes before Charlie Bond broke the tension, plucking an across-field kick out the air and scoring in the corner for Cherbourg.
Four minutes later, Fred Bell notched up his second try for Cherbourg, which Bernard Hopkins converted.
The scoreline was starting to blow out: 34-16.
Murgon scored twice more before full-time but it wasn’t enough to cut down the Hornets’ lead.
The Mustangs kept on attacking until the end, but the scoreline read 40-24 when full-time sounded.
Cherbourg tries were scored by Fred Bell (2), Tyreese Gyemore, Thomas Simpson, Errol Simpson, Charlie Bond and Keith Gadd.
Goals were kicked by Alex Speedy (3) and Bernard Hopkins (3).
For Murgon, tries were scored by Maurice Fisher (2), Arthur Saltner, Jameel Sullivan and Shane Borninkhof. Daron Saltner-Bligh kicked two goals.
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Under 14s Grand Final
The Under 14s Grand Final was a tussle between local favourites Murgon – whose fans packed the stand – and the Kingaroy Red Ants.
It was an even contest which had supporters yelling from the sidelines.
Murgon started strongly, pressuring the Kingaroy line.
Possession changed hands a couple of times before Damon Cooper put the first points on the board for the Mustangs. Trent Aubrey converted, and Murgon led 6-0.
Three minutes later, Harrison Braithwaite struck back for Kingaroy, scoring in the corner. The goal attempt was waved away, leaving the Mustangs ahead.
Before half-time, Murgon put on two more tries – by Zach Harris and Darryl Gyemore (under the posts). Both were converted.
As the siren sounded, Brayden Watcho-Page scored in the corner for Kingaroy, taking the half-time score to 18-8.
Kingaroy went on the attack in the second stanza, with Liam Irwin scoring almost immediately after the restart, followed a short time later by a try to Fletcher Prain.
With 19 minutes left in the game, Murgon’s lead had been sliced to 18-16.
For the next 10 minutes, the result could have gone either way, before Zach Harris scored his second try for the afternoon after a zig-zagging run, shaking off defenders.
Murgon was now ahead 22-16, but Kingaroy was on the attack – looking for a converted try to even the scores – when the full-time hooter sounded.
Murgon tries were scored by Zach Harris (2), Damon Cooper and Darryl Gyemore. Trent Aubrey kicked two goals and Mervyn Law kicked one.
For Kingaroy, tries were scored by Harrison Braithwaite, Brayden Watcho-Page, Liam Irwin and Fletcher Prain.
Murgon Mustangs’ Nick Webb was named Player Of The Match.