BLAKE Dureau left not one but two indelible images on the memories of spectators at Sunday’s Group 21 grand final day at Denman Oval.
The 26-year-old Devil halfback blasted two huge, spiraling torpedo bombs into the atmosphere from near halfway midway through the second half.
The first was well caught by Greta Branxton fullback Roy Bell but the second was placed away from Bell and winger Nick Leonard and, when it hurtled back onto Denman Oval, it eluded all bar Denman winger Broque Smith.
He was the first to pounce and score a try that blew Denman’s lead to to 16-4 and gave it a stranglehold on a grand final it eventually won 20-4 after Adam Grech’s match-sealing try.
Dureau’s pair of bombs will be long remembered.
Earlier in the day, some of his little chip kicks failed to bear any football fruit however, after the first bomb wowed all and sundry with its elevation and movement, the second confirmed Dureau’s kicking talent.
“They hit the sweet spot,” Dureau said.
“They came off real nice.
“ The first one was good but the second was better.
“We scored a great try from it.”
While captain-coach Dean Amos had lost something like half a dozen grand finals and second-rower Ben Hagan had lost all three of his grand final appearances, Dureau might be the good luck charm Denman needed to swell the 10 first grade premierships the club has now won.
He played in two grand finals for the Devils in 2005, one in Under 18s and one in first grade.
“We won them both,” he reminded this journalist who was lucky enough to witness the 2005 grand final success.
That was the last time they had won at Denman Oval too.
After that success the young pivot left for Sydney, hoping to make it in the NRL.
“I played for the Dragons’ Under 20s and then in the Jim Beam Shield,” he said.
“I won three premierships with Wests in Wollongong too – in 2009, 2010 and 2011. That was good.
“But I moved back home for work and so my wife could be closer to the family.”
Denman profited enormously from that decision and Dureau has a good job in a nearby mine.
“It’s just out of town,” he said.
“But it has been a great ride so far.
‘That was a great win today.
“ The boys played real well but my kicking game hadn’t been the best.
“I tried a couple of field goals but they didn’t come off the best.”
So he switched to the bombs and they exploded off his foot like missiles to blow apart the Colts’ hopes.
Dureau said it was the team’s scrambling defence though which was the real reason for the victory.
“Our goal-line defence was enormous – we turned them away and away.
“And we had plenty of great players today.”
No one in particular, just a wholehearted team performance – aided and abetted by two trademark bombs that will forever remain in the memories of those of us lucky to watch them steeple into the blue sky and return to earth to light up the Devil celebrations.