Touch of class
By STEVE SPINKS and AAP
LISMORE became the first country team to win the men's State Cup Touch championship yesterday.
The Lismore Touch Association representative team ? the North Coast Raiders ? recovered from a 3-2 deficit with less than five minutes remaining to upset Parramatta 4-3 in a dramatic final at Port Macquarie.
The annual State Cup is the biggest Touch tournament in the world, attracting more than 5000 players in 14 divisions.
Lismore's triumph was all the more memorable given the unfancied team featured the father-and-son combination of 47-year-old Adrian 'Mook' Harrington and his 20-year-old son Mook jnr.
Both Harringtons scored tries, including a spectacular length-of-the-field intercept from Mook snr to lock up the scores as the clock wound down.
"It was very exciting," an emotional Lismore Touch president Jenny McFarlane conceded on her way home from Port Macquarie last night.
"It went right down to the wire after Lismore scored first.
"Mook's intercept was brilliant.
"To see a 47-year-old run the length of the field just set them up."
Lismore made the semi-finals last year and a large number of the team came from the State champion Under-23s side from a few years ago.
Flyer Nathan Jones was judged player of the final by the referees.
Lismore overcame all the odds to become the first country side since the competition's inception 27 years ago to secure the title.
They negotiated a rugged draw, beating highly-rated Eastern Suburbs in the quarter-finals before stunning tournament favourite Western Suburbs ? featuring West Tigers NRL star Benji Marshall ? to reach the final.
The Lismore team included the Harringtons, Jones, Brendan Brooke, Josh Sauer, Kyle Everett, Tony Buchanan, Ryan Pollock, Eli Doornenbal, Ben Robinson, Ben McCullen, Ryan Skinner and Michael Clark.
The Lismore Under-23 Women's team made it a stellar day for Lismore, as they overcame Cronulla 3-2 to win their final.
Led by player of the final Missy Shaw, the Lismore girls didn't drop a game after finishing on top of their pool.
The team was coached by Lisa Brown and Josh Sauer, who recorded his second State final win in a day.
The Under-23s team included Hayley McAnnely, Kate Hillyard, Carly Bindon, Sharon Cassell, Jade Erbacher, Casey Staff, Missy Shaw, Cassie Brooke, Kirsten Sparre, Leanne Jones, Tamara Appo and Lauren McDonald.
To top off the day, Lismore's Senior Mixed team made it to the semi-finals before bowing out to eventual champions Forster 4-2.