Early start for Group 4 minor semis

GROUP 4 has an earlier start to its 2014 premiership playoffs at Scully Park on Sunday than first thought.

Five minor semi-finals will be played at Scully with the addition of the West Lions-Kootingal Under 16 minor semi from the Group 4 North West JRL.

“We’ll kick off at 9am,” Group 4 president Barry Pratten said this week.

“Normally we would have kicked off at 10.30am with the Under 18s but this will start earlier because of the Under 16s.

“It’s going to be a big day.”

West will be involved in three of the knockout semis, with its Under 18s tackling North Tamworth (10.30am kickoff) and first grade playing Narrabri (about 2.45pm kickoff).

The Ladies League Tag has Gunnedah against Wee Waa while Oxley Diggers tackle Gunnedah in the reserve grade minor semi-final before the first grade clash between Narrabri Blues and West Lions.

Harold Sutton, who will referee the second grade semi, also celebrates a family landmark on the weekend.

The third of his three refereeing sons, Chris, has his official NRL “run-on” debut on Monday night.

Older brothers Gerard and Bernard have already officiated in the NRL, with Gerard doing his first State Of Origin this year and Bernard now in the video ref’s booth.

“Chris came on and did the  Roosters-Warriors game in Auckland last weekend,”  Pratten said.

“When Shayne Hayne got injured in the warm-up, Chris came on  for him. 

“But he’s been rewarded for a good game and given a run in the North Queensland versus Cronulla game on Monday night. 

“It’ll be his first NRL game and he becomes the third, after Gerard and Bernard, to do that. 

“It’s an amazing effort from the family. 

“Harold can be proud of them.”

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