'Pies begin 2005 tilt
By DEBRAH NOVAK
A RUTHLESS training program over the summer break paid dividends over the weekend when the new-look, much fitter Lower Clarence Magpies competed in a Queensland nine-a-side pre-season rugby league tournament in South Logan.
In his new role as captain-coach, Jason Hebbard led his side of Shane Essex, Brett Smidt, David Briggs, Tom Freebody, Michael Laurie Jnr, Wayne Shannon, Lee Everett, Aaron Murray, Aaron Taylor, Mitch West, Ben Gillespie, Chris Brophy, Lee Harvey and Andrew Donoghue to fifth place behind four Queensland State League squads in the 16-team competition.
The Magpies played brilliantly to defeat three of the top contenders in the early rounds ? the Queensland Kumuls, Natives and South Logan Magpies ? to book a semi-final showdown with the South Logan Magpies.
The host club could not have dreamt for a better start to the day to rev their fans up when at halftime the score was four-all.
With the teams locked at eight-all at fulltime, the golden point rule was invoked.
South Logan scored first in extra-time to win 10-8.
Lower Clarence Magpies president Garry Anderson had nothing but praise for the team's effort over the weekend.
"On and off the field the Magpies were a real credit to themselves and our community," he said.
"The lads played some great footy, their behaviour and attitude were brilliant. Myself and the support crew were really proud of them."
With only three weeks to go before the next trial match, the Magpies' committee has extended an invitation to anyone wanting to join the club for the 2005 season to turn up for training on Tuesday or Thursday at Wherrett Park, Maclean by 5.45pm.
Contact Jason Hebbard on 0408015603 or Garry Anderson on 0419610158 for further details.