Magpies win home decider
A HUGHIE STANLEY-inspired Lower Clarence Magpies have broken a 46-year home grand final drought by defeating Mullumbimby 30-10 in the NRRRL major semi-final at the Maclean Showground yesterday.
This season's grand final will be first time the Maclean Showground has held the decider, offering the Magpies the opportunity to repeat the efforts of the 1984 premiership-winning team.
From the opening whistle to the full-time hooter, the minor prem-iership-winning Magpies looked like a team hungry for action, waving off fears caused by their week-long absence from the paddock.
The team's rampant defence was always strong, mistakes were cut to a minium and the attack - led by Stanley - was simply too much for the Giants too handle.
Capping a brilliant performance with a four-try haul, Stanley re-confirmed his status as the league's star centre.
And it was the try predator Stanley who started the ball rolling, dragging three Giants players over the line after steaming on to a flat William Lockwood pass.
However, the early try was followed by a case of jitters, the home side coughing up three sets of six in dangerous positions.
And Mullumbimby are too good to let those sorts of opportunities pass them by - Corey Poole gathering in a perfectly weighted cross-field kick to reduce the deficit by four.
The Magpies were winning nearly every battle on the paddock, but Mullumbimby were showing their determination, muscling up in defence and marking the Magpies danger men.
So it was a complete surprise to the visitors when the returning Tom Martin bustled his way through from dummy-half to score the Magpies' second.
The Magpies were in front, but thanks to some poor decisions and controversial decisions by referee Tim Booth, led only 10-6 at half-time.
“We were outgunned by a better side, they came up with some really good plays,” Giants coach Wayne Cullen said.
“They were a lot more hungry then we were. We just weren't on our game today ... we pay the price for not winning the game.”