Groups fine-tuning for titles

GROUP 4, 19 and 21 clubs have final rounds this weekend before embarking on May 17’s Greater Northern Championships in Tamworth.

Group 19 clubs have a full round of Saturday matches in Moree, Goondiwindi, Tingha and Uralla while Group 4 and Group 21 have one Saturday game and two Sunday Mother’s Day matches.

Greta Branxton and Aberdeen match up at Greta Oval tomorrow evening with  a 6pm kickoff.

Unbeaten competition leaders Scone travel to Muswellbrook on Sunday to tackle the Josh Pearson-coached Rams while Singleton Greyhounds are at home to the Denman Devils on Sunday as well.

Both Sunday games are timed for a 2pm kickoff.

In Group 4, West Lions host Oxley Diggers at Scully Park tomorrow with North Tamworth at home to Wee Waa Panthers on Sunday and Narrabri hosting Gunnedah Bulldogs in a big local derby at Collins Park, Narrabri on Sunday.

The Diggers have come into the competition the hard way, playing Gunnedah and Norths straight up, with premiers Wests this weekend.

Coach Jamie Trindall is hoping  their first game in Tamworth, at Scully Park, might encourage his players to turn up on the day.

“Last week against North (at Manilla)  we had seven players not show up on the day who had been at training,” Trindall said. “We have a good side but can’t get them all to turn up on the same day.”

The new venture is sharing Scully Park with West this year with this game being the first local derby with both sides at home.

Gunnedah sits atop the Group 4 first grade table with North Tamworth after two rounds and heads to Narrabri for a traditional local derby.

Wins over Oxley Diggers (88-16) and Wee Waa Panthers (42-40) have the Shane Rampling-coached Bulldogs ticking over nicely.

Narrabri is coming off a narrow loss to West Lions at home and will be endeavouring to secure its first home win of the season after its first-round win came at Wee Waa.

The Blues  have seven  players in the Group 4 squad to play in next Saturday’s GNC – Lachlan Cameron, Michael Skillicorn, Charles Tago, Justin Knight, Joseph Tago, Brandon Tago and Jake Rumsby.

Gunnedah has three, talented hooker Tyler Flemming, winger Aaron Donnelly and versatile backrower Trent Hilton.

Competition leaders North Tamworth are represented by Marshall Barker, Shane Wadwell, Nic Dobson, Abel Carney and ShaunFerguson.

West captain-coach Chris Hunt will skipper the side and is joined in the squad by Phil Beaton, Shane Salvador and centre James Blackburn.


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