Thrashing for Ghosts to end an unhappy season
By MAX GODBEE
KYOGLE Turkeys finished the 2005 Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition with their biggest win of the season, beating Grafton Ghosts 60-14 on the Frank McGuren Field, Grafton yesterday.
Overall Kyogle outscored the home side 11 tries to three and eight goals to one.
Despite yesterday's big result and three wins in the past four games, Kyogle missed out on making the competition semi-finals, on just 16 points.
Grafton, in an injury-plagued year, take the competition wooden spoon with just six points, winning only one game for the season, when they beat Lower Clarence 30-16 in round one.
Ghosts' other four points came via a forfeit from Tweed Coast and a round 19 bye.
Yesterday they tried hard throughout, but could not match the speed and hitting power of the revved-up Kyogle side.
The first 15 minutes seemed equal with neither side being able to register points until Phil Charles, who earlier scored two tries in reserve grade, came onto the field to replace Kyogle captain Brad Purtell.
Purtell was briefly in the blood bin receiving treatment for a gashed eyebrow.
Grafton five-eighth Brad Johnson brought up the 4-4 equaliser three minutes later when he crashed over out wide.
From that stage on it was all Kyogle, adding a further 10 tries and restricting Grafton to just two more, one each to halfback Jason Vidler and centre captain Phil Warby.
Warby, in a special ceremony before the main game, had been presented with a commemorative shirt for playing his 105th game for the Ghosts.
In a bizarre twist to the ceremony, Warby was to have received the award for playing his 100th game with the Ghosts, but a check of records revealed he had already passed that milestone.
Yesterday he again proved to be Ghosts' best player on the field, as he has been on many occasions during the season.
A second presentation was made to Shaun Davison, who had played 120 games with the Ghosts before he was sidelined by injury earlier this year.
Although the opposition was not as strong as some they have met during the year, it seemed Kyogle had saved their best football for the last game of the season.
They played out most of their six tackle sets, except for the times when their brilliance brought them tries.
There was not a player in the Turkeys' side who did not shine but the standout was undoubtedly the big prop forward Christian Mene.
Captain second rower Brad Purtell and prop Dave Mulcahy were others to show out in the powerful pack.
Outstanding in the back line were Sam Daley who had also played throughout most of the Kyogle reserve grade game and full back Shannon Walker who was good under the high ball and showed blistering speed in possession.
Overall it was Kyogle just too big and too fast for their Grafton opponents.