Bangalow is back!
By STEVE SPINKS
BANGALOW continued its rugby union resurrection by winning the Far North Coast village competition grand final 10-0 in a typically tough encounter with Kyogle at Mallanganee on Saturday.
Bangalow has a rich history of rugby dating back to the early 1900s, but it had failed to raise a team since before World War II.
In 2003, Bangalow entered a side in the then FNC third grade competition.
They made the semi-finals.
Last year the village competition was kicked off, but Bangalow failed to reach the finals.
This year Bangalow has been the dominant team in the one-team club competition.
It lost only one match ? against grand final opponents Kyogle ? during the home-and-away season.
But the players didn't let the game that counts slip through their grasp.
Heavy defence characterised the first half with the backlines cancelling each other out, which restricted most of the game to the forwards.
The scores were level until five minutes into the second half when Bangalow five-eighth Iain Bryce kicked a penalty goal.
Kyogle tried to reply, but a long-range shot minutes later just missed.
The match was there for the taking but it wasn't until the dying stages that Bangalow replacement forward Dan Hill crossed out wide to seal the win.
Bryce put the icing on the cake with a sideline conversion for the final 10-0 scoreline.
Bangalow prop Greg James again proved his worth with a big game, while Richard Kelly at lock and Darren Gill at flanker also contributed strongly.
Fullback Nick Hornery, who fielded the high ball with aplomb and returned the ball spectacularly, was also among the best for the victors.
For Kyogle, lock Todd Smith and flankers Aaron Reid and Chris Duley provided a stern presence, while five-eighth Matt Duley and centre Ben Osborne were menacing.
Kyogle captain and former Sydney first-grader and NSW Country representative Gordon McQueen played himself to a standstill.
The big lock has yet to signal his intentions for next season and may hang up the boots after what has been a fine career.