Ghostly whispers

IT was a relief for all concerned for the first grade side to notch up its first win of the season at Frank McGuren Park on Sunday in an exciting game against the Casino Cougars and finally earn the right to a back page spread in Monday's paper.

The 26-10 win, five tries to three, was well received by our loyal supporters who stayed around after the game to celebrate with the players.

The Examiner's intrepid reporter was also seen to be in state of excitement at finally having something positive to report resulting in an excellent match report in Monday's paper.

Captain Coach Matt Michael led by example and was one of the best on the field, although each player could deserve special mention for their gutsy performances.

Tyson Donohoe won yet another award taking out the BP Fitzroy award voted by supporters at the ground, while Travis Daley, who has been a revelation this year, took out the Players' Player award.

All players, officials and supporters were thrilled with the win, and surely our good sponsors at the Albion Hotel were impressed by the after game celebrations noticing the difference in atmosphere between a winning and losing game.

nTHE club is appreciative of our loyal supporters who have turned up each week knowing a win was imminent.

Our booth and canteen had good trading with Marg Francis selling 100 of her now famous chicken burgers and was proud of the fact that demand required her to mix up five pots of her special gravy.

She was dubbed the 'gravy lady' by a wag in the canteen a title she was not overly impressed with.

The club is grateful to the people who give up their time to work in the canteen and booth at each home game.

The club now goes on the road for three weeks to do battle with Marist Bros, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby before returning home for the remaining games against Rebels, Lower and Murwillumbah.

nTHE reserve grade, depleted by injuries and unavailability, also tried hard but succumbed to a superior side 40-12.

Under-18 player Scott Bennett picked up the Players' Player award and half back Pat Vidler received the GDSC award selected by our 'man in the crowd'.

'Hazem El' Vidler has now kicked seven goals from seven for a 100 per cent record.

He says it is not true that he will only take kicks from in front.

nTHE Under-18 team had a great win, 34-6 with Tom McInnes taking out the Players' Player award and Jason Hackett the Turf Street Shop and Club award.

This side is strong throughout, however a number of close defeats could see them missing out on the finals series, which would be a tragedy as t hey have the ability to beat any side on their day.

Three of the team deserve special mention for their efforts on the day.

Jason Hackett had his best game of the year and then backed up to play strongly off the bench in first grade.

Rodney McRae appeared in all three grades and showed he is a first grade player of the future.

Scott Bennett backed up a good game in juniors, picked up the award in reserve grade where he scored the only two tries, and then played a fair proportion of the first grade game where he acquitted himself well.

nTHE club will be holding a 'Christmas' in July' function at the Albion on Friday, July 21.

Details are to follow but the club would like to see our supporters at this function.

Ghost trivia

THE club's vice presidents, while both being top class footballers, never played any games with the Ghosts.

Senior vice president, Lawrence boy Tony Hourigan commenced his football career with Lower Clarence Under-18s in 1975.

Tony was a speedy winger easily recognised by his shock of blondish/reddish hair flying down the sideline.

He commenced playing first grade with that club in 1976 and also had short stints with Orange CYMS and South Grafton Rebels.

In 1978 he represented Group 1 against two Sydney Clubs, St George and Manly.

He recalls playing St George at Grafton Showground and being pushed into touch by Rod 'Rocket' Reddy. He gave Rocket a dirty look and shook his head in disgust.

Rocket said "Hey, I could have tackled you over the sideline."

Tony replied, "thank you."

His appearance against Manly at Oakes Oval, Lismore was fairly limited being knocked out by his opposite, 16 stone Stephen Knight.

Junior vice president and much-loved groundsman, Greg Francis played his football as a hooker with the Rebels starting in Under-18s in 1980.

When that team had completed its commitments for the season he was called up to the reserve grade side for the semi-final series as that team was having trouble winning scrums.

In the first semi, Greg won 17 scrums in a row which provided a platform for victory for the very good side captain/coached by Alan Read.

That team, with the likes of Paul Danvers, Dennis Pye and Jeff Sewell to name a few, would compete well with some first grade teams of today.

Unfortunately for Greg his hooking prowess became well known and in the next semi-final against Marist Bros at Lismore, he was targeted and taken out of the game by an illegal hit from behind which went unnoticed by officials.

The Rebels were subsequently beaten in that game.

Greg played first grade for the next two seasons under coaches Terry Stevens and Harry Read, however work commitments prevented him continuing his football career.

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