KEY COG: Ball-playing back-rower Alex McMillan will be key to Lower Clarence Magpies shot at the Mateship Cup.
KEY COG: Ball-playing back-rower Alex McMillan will be key to Lower Clarence Magpies shot at the Mateship Cup. Leesa Kilduff

Magpies put Mateship on the line against friendly Raiders

RUGBY LEAGUE: While it is a clash between fifth and 10th on the NRRRL ladder, this weekend's game against Tweed Coast Raiders will be the most important game Lower Clarence Magpies play all season.

When the Magpies were staring down both barrels at the beginning of 2016, with the threat of folding looming large, Tweed Coast took their Under-18s ranks under their wing to keep the black and white flying for 2016.

Magpies, playing in their own colours, took the field as the Tweed Coast Under-18 side, forging an unbreakable bond between the clubs.

That bond will be tested this weekend when the Raiders journey to "The Nest” for the first time, with the two first grade sides set to battle with more than pride on the line.

"Given that this week it is Tweed Coast Raiders, a lot of our younger boys are really looking forward to that game,” club secretary Belinda Martyn said.

"They were very supportive to us as a club last year and we have a great bond with them.

"That is why we have developed a special Cup which we will battle for in first grade called the Mateship Cup.”

Last season's Under-18s are not the only connection between the clubs with Magpies reserve grader Jacob Essex coming up against the club he played for last year.

For Magpies president Darrin Heron it is also a special day as the Magpies reserve grade side tussles with a Tweed Coast side boasting his son Luke Herron.

"We are looking forward to this day,” Martyn said.

"It puts a smile on your face knowing that the boys who kept the club afloat all of last year actually get to host the club that helped them out and took them under the wing.”

With the Cup on the line it puts a little bit of pressure on the clash, as the Magpies work to get themselves off the bottom of the NRRRL first grade ladder.



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