TRUE COLOURS: Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell showing her support for Northern United – with players (from left) Willie Hammond, Roy Bell and Al McKenzie – ahead of Sunday’s rugby league grand final.
TRUE COLOURS: Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell showing her support for Northern United – with players (from left) Willie Hammond, Roy Bell and Al McKenzie – ahead of Sunday’s rugby league grand final. Steve Spinks

Mayor bets on Northern United

LISMORE mayor Jenny Dowell has challenged her Clarence Valley Council counterpart to a 'sporting bet' ahead of Sunday's Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League grand final at Maclean.

With the Lismore-based Northern United team set to challenge the Maclean-based Lower Clarence side, the mayor has thrown her support behind her home town team and is so confident of victory she has pledged to wear a Lower Clarence jersey should United fall short.

“If their (Clarence) team wins I'll wear their jersey for a day but if my team wins, I challenge Richie (Williamson - mayor) to wear the Northern United jersey for a day,” Dowell said yesterday.

“I know Richie well and I'm sure we could get a jersey to fit him.”

Williamson jumped at the chance, especially as the Magpies are favoured for this year's premiership after claiming the minor premiership.

“I'm happy to take the good mayor of Lismore up on her challenge,” he said. “We're quietly confident down here so I'll make it my business to seek out a Magpies jersey that will fit her perfectly.

“We follow all three sides (Grafton Ghosts, Grafton Rhinos and Lower Clarence) in the area but I have to say the whole Valley will support the Magpies this weekend.

“Obviously, we'll all be there on Sunday to be part of the crowd we hope will break the NRRRL grand final ground record.”

Dowell, who is unlikely to make the grand final due to other commitments, said she would tune in on ABC radio to catch the match.

“I will listen to the radio and I assure the boys they'll have a passionate supporter in me,” she said.

“The fact that this team, after three attempts, got into the comp and then in their first year are in the grand final is like a Cinderella story, if I can use that girly term for such a macho game.

“It's fantastic, especially for the younger guys and I'm sure that at training at Clifford Park there will be a big crowd to wish them well.

“My only regret is that the match is not in Lismore because I think the whole town would have rallied around the team.

“It's a fantastic news story and I really congratulate Chris (Binge - coach) and the boys.”

The Lismore mayor was on hand to watch Northern United's first match this season which coincidentally saw the Dirawongs defeat Lower Clarence.

“I saw their first game and they're (United) fast, furious and they're fit and fantastic,” Dowell said. “You can tell that these guys are really fit and have worked really hard and that they deserve every success.”

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Mayor bets on the Magpies



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