THE Boomerangs put on a clinical second half display to dispatch Goondiwindi Boars 52-22 under the Gilbert Oval lights in front of hundreds of Goondiwindi schoolchildren on Saturday night as all other Group 19 sides sat out what was a weekend referees’ strike.
The Rangs took their first trip north of the border since Goondi joined the competition with both sides suffering from the unusually cool and blustery conditions.
It was the home side that drew first blood with Jack Burey crossing wide out.
Man of the match Toby Key crashed over from in close with points machine Dillon Walford converting for a 6-4 Boomerang lead before a Bruce Smith try out wide and a very handy chip and chase try from Will Fernando took the premiers into the sheds up 14-6.
Rangs coach Chris Binge inspired his troops at halftime with the reigning premiers piling on four tries in the first 10 minutes or so of the second half.
They stretched their lead to 36-6 before the Boars could respond.
Smith, Fernando, Luke Raveneau and Jason Saunders all scored try-doubles.
The win keeps the Rangs clear on top of the ladder, although the battle for the remaining spots has five contenders, with Tingha a sixth outside chance of slipping in.
Boomerangs coach Binge said the win over the Boars was built on the foundations of a good team effort.
“We played some really nice patches of football where we completed a lot of sets,” Binge said.
“We probably had close to 80 percent completions in pretty terrible conditions.”
Toby Key took players’ player and the points with Jamie Sampson getting a coach’s mention to go with his double.
A Tuesday night meeting in Glen Innes over a dispute between the Group judiciary and the referees’ association will be hoping to end the strike that killed any chance of the other three games being played.
In Group 4 and 21 games proceeded as normal with North Tamworth, Gunnedah and West Lions successful in Group 4 and Scone, Greta Branxton and Denman all Group 21 winners.
Kootingal, Dungowan and Barraba ran out winners in Group 4 Second Division although not before unbeaten North Tamworth, Scone and Kootingal all had scares.
Scone came from behind to beat Muswellbrook 32-18, Norths had a slow start against a self-destructing Wee Waa and Bendemeer had Kootingal Roosters under the pump before the Roosters won their Group 4 Second Division Shield match 42-30.
Defending premiers Barraba beat Boggabri 46-nil in their G4 Second Division clash at Barraba Sportsground while Dungowan Cowboys had a special charity fundraiser against Walcha Roos for their newest Cowboy, burns victim Josh McIlrick.
The young Tamworth High School student was an extra Cowboy on the bench, the teenager braving the wet conditions to cheer on the Cowboys to a tough 20-6 win over Walcha in stormy conditions at the Dungowan Recreation reserve.
McIllrick suffered severe burns when a Tamworth High science lab experiment went wrong earlier this year.
On Saturday the Cowboys wore limited edition jerseys, which were auctioned straight after the game.
Dungowan utility forward and this year’s Young Auctioneer of the Year winner Chris Gooch took the microphone and gave a couple of the jerseys away, but not cheaply.
He did a great job in the wet and raised about $1800.
Dungowan committeman Peter Blom said it was a great win and day for the club.
“Young Josh has family at the club and we are always happy to help out,” Blom said.
McIllrick will use the money for further treatment at Westmead Hospital.
He thanked the club and everyone who bought a jersey and raffle tickets.