Magpies play for Zane after emotional minute's silence
THE scoreboard was secondary to the emotional scenes witnessed at Maclean Showground yesterday when Lower Clarence Magpies "played for Zane".
Magpies player Zane Purcell died after collapsing on the field during the reserve-grade match at Ballina last Sunday.
Magpies and Murwillumbah Mustangs players yesterday observed a minute's silence prior to each of the three grades on a day dubbed #GameforZane in the host club's match-day program.
While the Mustangs had the better of the results, the Magpies were relentless in their efforts across the grades.
The juniors got the day off in fitting fashion sharing the points 14-all.
Prior to kick off in reserve grade, close friends and family joined players to pay tribute to Zane.
It was a spirited performance from the hosts, who threatened an upset when midway through the second half they scored a try to narrow the gap to 12-10 but that was as close as they would get, eventually going down 30-10.
"We're all just exhausted from the past week," captain-coach Mike Randall said. "We held in as long as we could. There's only so much the body can do.
"It was really good to finally hear a full-time siren after what happened last week."
In first grade the Magpies went down to the competition leaders 42-6.
IN Group 2 Joel Moss, Raih Woodley and Ben McLennan each crossed twice as Grafton belted Bellingen 50-0. South Grafton downed Sawtell 38-20.
FUNERAL FOR ZANE TO BE HELD IN MACLEAN
THE funeral of Lower Clarence Magpies rugby league player Zane Purcell will be held from 10am today at St James Anglican Church in Wharf St, Maclean.
The 29-year-old husband and father-of-two died after collapsing on the field during a game at Ballina on May 10.
Mr Purcell's cousin, former Lower Clarence coach Dallas Waters said he would never be forgotten.
"It's been difficult to come to terms with what happened last weekend," Mr Waters said.
"What has certainly been great is the family support we've received and also from the wider community. Lower Clarence Magpies have been outstanding. Zane had close family but the Magpies were his family as well.
"He'll want us to keep on carrying on and get some normality in our lives but the number one thing is he will never be forgotten."
Today's service will be followed by the burial at Lower Clarence Lawn Cemetery Townsend.