NARRABRI Eagles had something to celebrate Saturday night despite their saintly flogging that afternoon.
The Eagles lost by almost 13 points to the Inverell Saints in Saturday’s second match of a No 1 Oval TAFL double header in Tamworth.
Gunnedah Bulldogs had slipped the wooden spoon to Tamworth Swans earlier in the day with their 16.13 109 to 11.10 76 win over the Swans.
The Bulldogs had also celebrated Saturday night when Andrew George picked up not only the Gillies Medal but also the Sporting Pulse Award.
The Eagles, who were whipped 29.26 200 to 8.5 71 by the Saints, had cause to celebrate when club stalwart Daniel Hughes was named the TAFL Volunteer of the Year.
While Saints captain-coach Nic Baird and his Saints had hammered the Eagles on Saturday they applauded Hughes’s award.
“It was a good night,” Baird said.
“Andrew George deserved his awards.
“It was a bit of a surprise to win both the Gillies Medal and Sporting Pulse but 29 votes (Gillies Medal) is a lot of votes and shows how well he played all year.
“Daniel deserved his award too – he’s been a great supporter for the Eagles.”
He was delighted with his Saints, who had a few out, and their big win.
“It was a good all-round performance,” he said.
“It was a good way to finish the home and away rounds.
“We got a great start too.
“That’s been a bit of a weak point for us all season.
“We were outstanding early and kept it up for four quarters.”
The Saints had kicked 5.4 34 before the Eagles scored their first point, with Lachlan McDonald (11 goals) Mitchell Black and Mick Kenny impressive for the Saints.
“Mick Kenny was very good for us, both up forward and in the ruck,” Baird said.
Injured Eagles captain-coach Todd Dunn hopes to be back for this Saturday’s minor semi against Tamworth Kangaroos at No 1 Oval, Tamworth.
“We had a couple out and rested a couple as well,” Dunn said.
“The Roos are a good quality side – we’ll have to play very well to beat them.
“The Saints got the jump on us in that first quarter and we were chasing our tails after that.”
He thought Matt McConnell, Trent Bruinsma, Michael Leven and Kurt Warren were amongst his best.