Family affair at the Ghosts
IF YOU compare this Sunday's Grafton Ghosts teams to those found in the history books you may notice some familiar names.
Two Lollbacks and a Dickson will take the field in this week's Group 2 grand final, but almost 30 years ago to the day it was two Dicksons and a Lollback making headlines.
The 1984 grand final doubled as the first game played at the newly opened Frank McGuren Field, which has been the Ghosts' home for the 30 years since.
Local supporters will hope history doesn't repeat given Grafton lost to Lower Clarence on that day, with Tony and brother Mark Dickson joined by Eric Lollback in the Ghosts' line-up.
Tony Dickson is the father of lock Don Dickson, who has been one of the standouts in the forward pack this season.
He was at his rampaging best against Coffs Comets in the major semi-final, and is one of the providers of fullback Mitch Lollback's record try-scoring haul.
Mitch and Dan Lollback, who will line up at fullback and on the wing, respectively, are Eric's sons.
The comparison between Eric and Mitch Lollback goes one step further, as Eric became the first Ghost to top the tryscoring list in Group 1.
He crossed the stripe 15 times in 1984, while Mitch Lollback has scored 45 tries in Group 2 this year.
Ghosts stalwart Joe Kinnane said it was evidence of the Ghosts' claim to be a family club.
"We've always prided ourselves on being a family club and I reckon that shows it pretty clearly," Kinnane said.
Kinnane said the club proudly relied on locally developed players, with a staggering 16 of the Sunday's 17-man squad playing junior footy in the Clarence Valley.
The only non-local junior is Dave Emmott, who considers himself a local after moving from England six years ago.
Todd Cameron and Tim Tilse played their junior footy with South Grafton Rebels while Ryan Binge is a Lower Clarence Magpies junior.