DEX SPORT IN REVIEW: Emerging talent on show in June
RUGBY LEAGUE: As a new-look NSW side crushed Queensland in the first State of Origin, earlier in the day, a Clarence Valley product showed he may be one to watch for the Blues in the future.
Former Lower Clarence Magpies junior Daine Laurie starred for his metropolitan school side Patrician Brothers Blacktown, scoring a first-half hat-trick from fullback to help his side defeat Erindale College 50-6 in the opening round of the prestigious NRL Schoolboy Cup.
AUSSIE RULES: It has been a long road to the top for Grafton Tigers star Hamish Ellem, but one that has been well worth the journey.
Ellem has a dream to one day play in the AFL, and the 15-year-old front-line star made a big step toward that dream this season after being selected in the under-16 NSW/ACT RAMS representative team.
Ellem worked almost exclusively with Grafton-based Swans Academy coach Dan Zacek since January, who took the towering star's game to the next level.
BMX: The opportunity of a lifetime beckoned for Grafton's Tahlia Marsh, who was set to take on the world on her BMX.
Tahlia, who turned 14 in June, finished runner-up at the 2017 BMX Australia National Championships to qualify for the UCI BMX World Championships to be held in the USA at Rock Hill.
RUGBY LEAGUE: After 80 minutes of the toughest football, there was nothing to split South Grafton Rebels and Coffs Harbour Comets.
A penalty in the 79th minute in front of goal allowed the Rebels to draw level at 28-all.
Aaron Taylor's successful kick ensured the Rebels maintained their two-year undefeated record at the McKittrick Park fortress.
RACING: With a line of four horses storming side by side down the Tweed River Jockey Club straight, a last ditch lunge from Grafton jockey Matt McGuren on board race-favourite Alatora was worth more than just any other race win.
The head victory over Jameslea World (Carla Dougherty) on Sunday brought up a major milestone for McGuren, riding a century of winners this season at a 17per cent strike rate. It was the second season in a row he had passed the milestone.
RUGBY LEAGUE: Staring down a 12-6 half-time deficit, a spirited talk from Grafton High coach Aaron Hartmann inspired his troops to glory.
A changed Grafton outfit emerged from the sheds on a chilly night at McKittrick Park to outmuscle Maclean High 24-16 and clinch The Daily Examiner Open Shield.
Led from the front by hooker Jacob Ryan and resilient front rowers Adam Kleindeinst and Chris Harris, Grafton High 'Goats' got the better of Maclean in the second half to fly home with a wet sail.
SPORT: It was expected to be a weekend of celebration as several major sporting events touched down in the Clarence Valley but it was all brought undone by a low pressure trough.
The Maclean Campdraft was the first event to pull the pin as organisers made the decision ahead of the forecast rain. Lower Clarence Magpies were also forced from the field in a catch-up clash.
Further up the river, Clarence River Jockey Club was forced to abandon its Ulmarra 'Chip In' Cup race day meeting but still managed to host more than 1000 people for the Grafton Truck Show.
Grafton City Tennis Club was forced to abandon action during their annual North Coast Tennis Championships while it was a similar story for the pit bike crew at Glenugie as organisers were forced to call an early finish to the Greef Clothing Mini X Cup. The biggest pit bike racing event in Australia was all systems go before the deluge turned the Glenugie Downs track into a mud pit.
SWIMMING: New South Wales touched the wall three seconds ahead of Queensland to claim the 2017 State Of Origin Shootout to wrap up a wet and wild Clarence River Masters Swim Carnival.
The relay featuring eight swimmers from each state, with the host club this year represented by Leonie Daley and Kieran Lynch, is a fitting finale for the relay event at Yamba Community Pool, and despite giving away a 20-second handicap it was another Blues victory.
The carnival proved a resounding success despite inclement weather, hosting 122 swimmers from 22 clubs. "It was quite incredible how we got through it all," Clarence River Masters swimmer David Abrahamssaid
SPECIAL OLYMPICS: Three of the Clarence Valley's brightest budding sports stars tackled a brave new challenge in June when they took on the Special Olympics National Junior Games.
The Valley was well represented at the games by a spirited trio in Harry Oxenbridge, Jamie Plunkett and Tylar Donohoe.
Harry, 10, took on the challenge in soccer and athletics. Tylar, 12, also competed in soccer as well as swimming. Already a noted swimmer in the pool, Jamie stepped out of her comfort zone to play soccer on the national stage after being introduced to the sport by local Special Olympics coordinator Shanon Tough.
AUSSIE RULES: AFL North Coast operations manager Paul Taylor labelled the first ever senior women's game on the North Coast a "raging success" at Ellem Oval in June.
Not even overnight rain and a boggy surface could stop the AFL North Coast side and Ballina Bombers from putting on a thrilling contest in front of a strong crowd.
ATHLETICS: At 81-years-old, Maclean athlete Tom Hancock can't help but throw himself into new challenges.
The specialist thrower returned from the Australian Masters Games in Darwin in June with a neck-full of bling after claiming seven gold medals.
Hancock won gold in the hammer throw, javelin, discuss, shot-put, weight throw and pentathlon (a combination of the five throwing events) as well as a gold in the high jump.
RUGBY LEAGUE: South Grafton Rebels' stranglehold on The Fortress at McKittrick Park has finally been broken.
But it took a hellacious effort from the Grafton Ghosts to ensure the two-year record came to an end.
A serious injury to Ghosts front-row forward Riley Law, which resulted in an ambulance being called, brought the Battle of the River local derby clash to a premature conclusion with Ghosts winning 28-14.
CLARENCE VALLEY JUNIOR AND SENIOR SPORTSPERSON OF THE MONTH
AFTER countless nominations for his efforts in the pool, Helmut Klein has finally touched the wall ahead of his competitors and claimed the Jetts Fitness Senior Sportsperson of the Month Award.
Representing Australia and racing against some of the best swimmers in his age group at the World Masters Games in New Zealand, the Clarence River Masters Swim Club member proudly brought home a silver in the 100m breaststroke, bronze in 200m breaststroke and bronze in the 2.5km ocean swim events.
Klein said it was hard not to be taken aback standing on the blocks before racing.
"Of course I was nervous," he said. "The nerves were up, and the adrenalin was up, too.
"I compete a lot, but it's not just another swim at something like the World Masters, it's a special swim."
The 76-year-old had set his sights on swimming at a World Masters Games, and said he was proud of his achievements in his first time at the event.
Meanwhile it was a resilient effort from South Grafton rugby union player Caleb Barker that stole the hearts of the judges in the junior award.
Towards the end of last season, Caleb Barker tore his meniscus in his left knee. Forced to have surgery on the injury, Barker was off the field and on crutches for months.
But it didn't take him long to hit the ground running after recovering from his injury.
Less than three months after making a return, Barker has gone on to gain selection in the NSW Country under-16 rugby union side.
It caused a selection headache for the boom inside centre after he was also selected for the NSW Combined High Schools side, ultimately making the decision to stick with the Country squad for a tour of New Zealand in July.