Narrandera Lizards Rugby League senior side stormed through the 2019 ProTen Community Cup Pre-Season Knockout to win the final against Barellan 22-8.
The knockout was hosted by Goolgowi on May 11 and embraced six former Group 17 clubs Narrandera, Barellan, Goolgowi, Hillston, Rankins Springs and Ivanhoe.
Narrandera drew to play favourites Goolgowi in the first match and last year’s winners Rankins Springs in the second match. Barellan won their matches against Hillston 8-4 and Ivanhoe 10-8.
Narrandera Club vice-president and playing co-coach Troy Prior said the Lizards were up against Goolgowi who called on 30 players for the knockout. The score was 12-all with Narrandera winning on the first try scored.
“We ended up with 18 players after the first game as we lost our hooker and a winger to injury,’’ Prior said. “Our defence was solid all day so it was a credit to everyone.
“Our young players really stood up – Jamaine Morgan played in the centres and scored the first try of the day for us, and Bryce Sanders played front row, ran hard and tackled hard all day.
“Braidyn Ingram played in the second row, kicked a few goals and tackled well.’’
The win was made sweeter by the fact there was several father and son combinations playing for the Lizards.
“In the second game, we beat Rankins Springs 16-14 – we were down 14-10 with about four minutes to go when Vula Wate had a big run, scoring right next to the post, and Braidyn Ingram kicked a goal,’’ Prior said. “Then we had a 20 minute break before playing the final – the short game of 20-minute halves helped us with the way we had been training.
“We had 20 players and each and every one of them stood up – our half back John Ingram tackled non-stop all day.
“Our front runner John Williams was a machine and unstoppable all day.’’
Gary Ingram was named man of the match with tries to Wade Williams, John Williams, Vula Wate, John Ingram and Gary Ingram, and a goal to Braidyn Ingram. The player’s pick was Shane Squires.
For Barellan, tries were scored by Ben Evans and Jimmy McDermott.
Mr Prior was pleased to see local supporters attend the knockout, which drew an estimated crowd of 800 people.
“Now we rest up, get back to training and head down for the season,’’ he said.
The Lizards play their season opener at Rankins Springs on May 25 against Goolgowi, while round two comes to Narrandera on June 1 when the home side will play Barellan. Narrandera will host the ProTen versus Murray Cup on August 31.